The Upshot: Erstwhile Clash mainman’s ’91 collaboration with the Irish wonders proved to be a total winner, as documented on this concert disc.
BY FRED MILLS
When this 2LP colored wax goodie originally was released for Record Store Day it quickly sold out its 3000-piece pressing and eBay prices shot up into the $50+ range. For some reason, though, it has recently plummeted in price, averaging out to about $20 – $30 depending on what country you are buying it from. Given that de facto new release status for the record, now feels like a good time to update my original post-RSD review of the set, which as a RSD title probably flew under the radar of a lot of music fans. (Currently there are also some folks listing it in the $60 – $70 range but they are dreaming.)
Previously, the 2012 Strummer release Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros Live at Acton Town Hall proved to be a key part of the erstwhile Clash mainman’s puzzle, and this artifact also made a winning addition to the legacy via his 1991 tenure with partners-in-crime The Pogues. Pressed on brilliant red vinyl, the 2LP set covers all the Pogues bases (wait’ll you hear Joe warble out the melody of “The Sunnyside of the Street”) while not overlooking the Clash oeuvre via passionate readings of “London Calling,” “Straight To Hell,” “Brand New Cadillac” and “I Fought the Law”—all with a Poguesian spin, of course. Joe clearly enjoyed filling in for the AWOL Shane MacGowan, and the band clearly reveled in the partnership.
It’s a solid 5-out-of-5-stars release. While I risk collector-geek blasphemy by saying this, the album really needs to get a wider release so Strummer fans everywhere will get a chance to hear the ’91 London concert. For now, eBay or Discogs probably are your only sources, but as I pointed out above, the current retail price isn’t higher than what it was originally offered at, so go for it while you can.
DOWNLOAD: “Straight To Hell,” “Brand New Cadillac,” “The Sunnyside of the Street”