Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Joe Strummer: "Generations"

It's no secret that Joe Strummer experienced a career renaissance before his untimely death in 2002. The trio of albums released in the late 90's and early 2000's represented some real growth for the former Clash frontman, both in instrumentation and songwriting. If they're not already in your collection, they certainly should be. But that's a story for another day.

Prior to those three, Strummer was in something of a "lost weekend" phase. After The Clash, Strummer released an overlookable solo record (Earthquake Weather) and a smattering of side projects and one-offs, none of which really failed to take hold. However, there was one piece of the puzzle that is obviously the clear lead in to Strummer's fantastic late-period records, and criminally overlooked: "Generations".

The song is the title cut from a 1997 charity album of the same name, and is brimming with the promise that would be fully realized in 1999 with Rock Art And The X-Ray Style. All the elements are in place: Strummer's new found laid back vocal style, eccentric percussion, and guitar lines that border on sounding like synthesizers. More importantly, it truly sounds as though Strummer is inspired and has something to sing for.

There's no question that Joe Strummer died far too early, but at least one can be thankful that he found his muse again before leaving life behind. He was an unquestionably unique talent in the world of rock music, and while his legacy with The Clash was fantastic, he truly built upon it with his later work. Stumbling across gems like this just serves to hammer that point home, and make us glad he left so much damn good music behind.

mp3: Joe Strummer - Generations


Anonymous said...

I think your totally right, Joe Strummer, was, is, and always will be Generations, he signified a youthful print in the early seventies and that print has been growing deeper and deeper.