Joe Strummer Lives On, The Hellcat Years Albums Reissued

Tomorrow is of course the anniversary of the day he died in 2002. Even though he has gone to that big stage in the sky his work and memory live on in the work of StrummerVille and others that carry on his torch of moving music forward and highlighting the strength of people to affect change in the world.

Joe Strummer’s post Clash years were filled with long periods of not much in the way of new or interesting music. This happens to so many great artists who try to follow up their groundbreaking work with whatever band they were in that made such a huge impact. Elvis Cotello comes to mind of someone who has continued to grow as an artist and has found success with newer musical works right now but other than that not much. Joe though never stopped being an outspoken sort and when he finally hooked up with his Mescaleros he had found a new muse and outlet for the thoughts in his head. The layers and layers of meanings in many of his songs is unmatched.

The band released 3 exciting and eclectic collections of tunes, Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, Global A Go-Go and Streetcore, via Tim Armstrong’s Hellcat Records and the match-up was a perfect fit for both. One punk legend meeting another and finding a musical kinship and excitement in that meeting. Just imagine that first meeting of these two. Tim had been channeling Joe since he first picked up a guitar anyway. I wonder if this was one time were Tim actually found himself in a bit of awe at meeting one of his legends.

In this 10th year after his passing Hellcat is celebrating Joe with the reissue of all three of those albums on CD and Vinyl. They’ve also compiled all into one massive digital set with a ton of bonus tunes of live and rare material from the vaults.

For a good breakdown of the set head over to this indepth review that PunkNews.Org did for the release. Take a minute and read that then make your own thoughts if the collection is worth it or not. It is of course.

The amazing site Consequence of Sound has a stream of a live version of “Yalla Yalla”, from their debut set Rock Art and The X-Ray Style, which was the b-side to the “Coma Girl” single. also has a stream of a live version of “Johnny Appleseeed” from the benefit the band performed November 15th, 2002, at Acton Old Town Hall for the Fire Brigades Union in London. Sixteen of the songs performed that night are included in the digital bundle. The show was also special as it featured Mick Jones joining Joe and the band on stage for 8 songs (3 of which are included on the new release) marking the first time the two had played on stage together since Jones’ departure from the Clash in 1983.

Here’s Joe doing “London Calling”

Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros, The Hellcat Years is currently available for download through iTunes and Amazon for $24.99 for nearly 60 tracks!

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros: The Hellcat Years

Rock Art And The X-Ray Style (1999)
01 Tony Adams
02 Sandpaper Blues
03 X-ray Style
04 Techno D-day
05 The Road To Rock’n’roll
06 Nitcomb
07 Diggin’ The New
08 Forbidden City
09 Yalla Yalla
10 Willesden To Cricklewood

Global A Go-Go (2001)
11 Johnny Appleseed
12 Cool ‘N’ Out
13 Global A GO-GO
14 Bhindi Bhagee
15 Gamma Ray
16 Mega Bottle Ride
17 Shaktar Donetsk
18 Mondo Bongo
19 Bummed Out City
20 At The Border, Guy
21 Minstrel Boy

Streetcore (2003)
22 Coma Girl
23 Get Down Moses
24 Long Shadow
25 Arms Aloft
26 Ramshackle Day Parade
27 Redemption Song
28 All In A Day
29 Burnin’ Streets
30 Midnight Jam
31 Silver And Gold

B-Sides & Rarities
32 Time and The Tide (B-side of Yalla Yalla)
33 The X-Ray Style (live summer 99) (B-side to Yalla Yalla)
34 Yalla Yalla (Norro’s King Dub) (7:01) (B-side to Yalla Yalla)
35 The Harder They Come (live) (B-side to Coma Girl)
36 Rudi, A Message To You (live) (B-side to Coma Girl)
37 Blitzkreig Bop (live) (B-side of Coma Girl)
38 Yalla Yalla (live) (B-side to Coma Girl)
39 Armagideon Time (B-side to Redemption Song)
40 Pressure Drop (B-side to Redemption Song)
41 Junco Partner (from Hellcat Give Em The Boot IV compilation)

Live Concert
42 Shaktar Donetsk (Acton Concert)
43 Bhindee Bhagee (Acton Concert)
44 Rudy Can’t Fail (Acton Concert)
45 Tony Adams (Acton Concert)
46 White Man In Hammersmith Palais (Acton Concert)
47 Mega Bottle Ride (Acton Concert)
48 Get Down Moses (Acton Concert)
49 Police and Thieves (Acton Concert)
50 Cool ‘n’ Out (Acton Concert)
51 Police On My Back (Acton Concert)
52 Johnny Appleseed (Acton Concert)
53 Coma Girl (Acton Concert)
54 I Fought The Law (Acton Concert)
55 Bank Robber (encore w/ Mick Jones) (Acton Concert)
56 White Riot (encore w/ Mick Jones) (Acton Concert)
57 London’s Burning (encore w/ Mick Jones) (Acton Concert)

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.