In celebration of what would be musician Joe Strummer’s 70th birthday, Eddie Vedder has released a cover of The Mescaleros’ song, “Long Shadow.”
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The Mescaleros was a band that featured Strummer and released three albums before his death. In addition, Dark Horse Records has released a previously unheard song, “Fantastic,” by Strummer.
The new music portends a new box set from Strummer’s career, Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years. It’s the first-ever comprehensive collection of the artist’s work with the band and includes previously unreleased songs, demos, and outtakes, along with revisited editions of the band’s catalog.
It’s set to drop on September 16.
“I just think that what Joe did with the Mescaleros and those records, and those songs, and those words, it was a very communal sound,” said Vedder. “I think when you have a communal sound, the listener feels like they can be part of that community.”
The forthcoming box set will include a 4 CD w/72-page book and 7 LP w/32-page book, special edition packaging, and exclusive 12”x12” art print. Pre-orders are available now HERE.
Specifically, the new collection includes remastered editions of all three of The Mescaleros’ studio albums, plus 15 rare and unreleased tracks spanning the first demos Strummer wrote for the band and outtakes from their final recordings together, as well as songs like “Ocean Of Dreams,” featuring the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones on guitar. Executive produced by Strummer’s widow, Lucinda Tait, and produced by David Zonshine, the richly curated boxset also includes exclusive new interviews with Joe’s friends, collaborators, and Mescaleros bandmates, plus never-before-seen handwritten notes, lyrics, and drawings by Strummer taken from the Joe Strummer Archive.
While best known as the front man for The Clash, Strummer produced some of the most exciting work of his career with The Mescaleros. “All that’s happening for me now is just a chancer’s bluff,” Strummer said during this period. “I learned that fame is an illusion and everything about it is just a joke. I’m far more dangerous now because I don’t care at all.”
“There’s so much great music that Joe left us in his archive,” says Strummer’s widow and Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years Executive Producer, Lucinda Tait. “We started this work last year with ‘001’, so to focus on Joe’s work with The Mescaleros was the natural second step on ‘002’ because those songs he made with them just seemed to resonate so strongly and reinvigorated his connection with his audience at a level he hadn’t experienced since his days with The Clash.
“He was so excited to work with The Mescaleros and the reception he got from the press and fans was incredible, it gave him a whirlwind of energy and confidence and he was creatively fulfilled and happy. His words are so beautiful and honest and together with The Mescaleros some fantastic tunes were created and to listen to some of the tunes recorded as outtakes for me was really special.”
The release year marks twenty years since the passing of Strummer, who died on December 22, 2002.
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