CD Review: Joe Strummer “Assembly”

“Assembly”

Joe Strummer

Dark Horse Records

Tracks: 16

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Remastered by three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks (The Beatles / The Rolling Stones / David Bowie) Joe Strummer “Assembly” is a 16-track compilation featuring three previously unreleased versions of classic The Clash tracks, including a never-before-heard recording of “Junco Partner” a live performances of “Rudie Can’t Fail” and “I Fought The Law” recorded by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros at London’s Brixton Academy on November 24, 2001. In addition, Assembly” includes exclusive liner notes written by Jakob Dylan.

Joe Strummer’s work as the front man for legendary punk rock group The Clash has been well documented through various forms of media however the music Joe went on to create after the groups disbanding in 1986 has received less coverage and fan fair. The newest compilation from Dark Horse Records does an impressive job shining the light on Joe’s solo work with the sixteen tracks which make up this release. The album runs the gamut of styles associated with Strummer’s career as listeners are treated to a spattering of sounds including upbeat rockers like “Coma Girl” and “Love Kills” to raucous live version of Clash staples “I Fought the Law” and “Rudie Can’t Fail”. The album is not all just angsty vocals and distorted guitars as tracks like “Long Shadow” “Redemption Song” and “Junco Partner” (previously unreleased) all feature acoustic accompaniment which showcase Strummer’s signature vocal style. Also included are tracks like “Get Down Moses” and “At The Border, Guy” which lend a nod to Joe’s reggae influences. You even get a little of that 80’s synth rock sound with the inclusion “Love Kills” which was a person favorite of mine.

“Assembly” offers a wide sound pallet that showcases a portion of Joe Strummer’s career which in my opinion does not get enough credit. From rock to reggae and electronic to acoustic Dark Horse put together a solid compilation that showcased the diversity of Joe Strummer’s post Clash career. To add to the audio portion of the release is some very cool packaging which combines a mixture of matte and glossy appointments and photos, Lyrics for all sixteen tracks and newly written liner notes from Jakob Dylan.

Track Listing:

1.) Coma Girl

2.) Johnny Appleseed

3.) I Fought the Law (Live)

4.) Tony Adams

5.) Sleepwalk

6.) Love Kills

7.) Get Down Moses

8.) X-Ray Style

9.) Mondo Bongo

10.) Rudie Can’t Fail (Live)

11.) At The Border, Guy

12.) Long Shadow

13.) Forbidden City

14.) Yalla Yalla

15.) Redemption Song

16.) Junco Partner (Acoustic)

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