Clip: Joe Strummer's Walker Soundtrack to Be Reissued
- This reminds me that I enjoyed the Sid & Nancy soundtrack a lot -- plenty
of atmospheric instrumentals from Pray for Rain and a great Strummer song
Joe Strummer's Walker Soundtrack to Be Reissued
Jason Toon reports:
During the long career nap between the Clash and the Mescaleros, Joe
Strummer recorded an awful lot of substantial, exciting music-- but because
most of it was on soundtrack albums for flop indie films, even many
Strummer fans have never heard it. Astralwerks will take a step to amend
that with the July 26 reissue of Strummer's soundtrack to Alex Cox's
little-seen 1987 film Walker.
The album was Strummer's first post-Clash full-length work, following on
his contribution of a few tracks to Cox's Sid & Nancy. To properly set the
mood for the tale of William Walker (a despotic, pro-slavery American
mercenary who conquered Nicaragua with a private army in the 1850s),
Strummer uses largely rustic Latin motifs, along with the odd big-band
mambo or Appalachian country tune. Only two cuts on the original album
feature vocals, both by Strummer ("Tennessee Rain" and "Unknown Immortal").
Everything is executed with surprising skill and imagination for somebody
only two years removed from "We Are the Clash". While a definitive
tracklist is not yet available, Astralwerks says the reissue will add three
new tracks to the original's 14: "Straight Shooter" (B-side to the
"Filibustero" single), and "Filibustero (Freestyle Mix)" and "Brooding Six"
(from a limited-edition 12").
So should Walker be considered Strummer's debut solo album, as Astralwerks
claims? This writer feels that 1989's Earthquake Weather still holds
spiritual claim to that title-- Strummer sings on every song, and it wasn't
recorded as an adjunct to another creative work-- but Astralwerks can toot
whatever horn they like, as long as they keep the Strummer reissues coming.
To the lasting dismay of the Clash army, Strummer's more guitar
rock-oriented soundtrack work from such films as Sid & Nancy and Permanent
Record remains out of print-- and don't even get us started on mythic lost
soundtracks like When Pigs Fly or I Hired A Contract Killer. We're sure
it'll all add up to a killer box set someday, but Christ-- couldn't he have
recorded for Scorsese or Spielberg, so the rest of us might've had a chance
to hear it?
* Astralwerks: http://www.astralwerks.com/