Today Dark Horse Records releases Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years, the first-ever comprehensive collection highlighting Strummer’s work with his post-Clash band, The Mescaleros. The collection includes remastered editions of all three of the band’s studio albums, plus 15 rare and unreleased tracks spanning the first demos Joe wrote for the Mescaleros, as well as the previously unheard cover of ‘Secret Agent Man’ from 2002 that was discovered in the Joe Strummer archives and was identified as one of the last songs he recorded, along with other unreleased tracks including ‘Fantastic’ and ‘Ocean Of Dreams’, featuring Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols on guitar, as well outtakes from Joe’s final sessions with the Mescaleros. This richly curated boxset was executive produced by Joe’s widow Lucinda Tait and produced by David Zonshine and features exclusive new interviews with Joe’s friends, collaborators and Mescaleros band mates, plus never-before-seen handwritten notes, lyrics, and drawings by Strummer taken from the Joe Strummer Archive. The release arrives everywhere today on 4 CD w/72-page book and 7 LP w/32-page book, special edition packaging and exclusive 12”x12” art print.
ORDER JOE STRUMMER 002: THE MESCALEROS YEARS HERE
LISTEN TO THE PREVIOULSY UNRELEASED ‘SECRET AGENT MAN’ HERE
The boxset has already received the stamp of approval from Henry Rollins, who said of JOE STRUMMER 002: THE MESCALEROS YEARS: "If you think you miss joe strummer now, by the time you get to the end of this boxset, you are really going to miss this guy. What an impact, what an amazing musician, what an amazing human being, a great artist, and this boxset perfectly captures the man, the music and the moment. I'm so glad this came out."
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.”
Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years highlights this intense period of creativity from 1999-2002, collecting for the first time such extraordinary albums as Rock Art and the X-Ray Style (1999), Global A Go-Go (2001), and the posthumous Streetcore (2003), along with Vibes Compass, a brand-new compilation of 15 B-sides and rarities, spanning early demos of some of the first tracks Strummer wrote for The Mescaleros (such as “The Road To Rock ‘N’ Roll,” “X-Ray Style,” and “Techno D-Day,” as well as the previously unreleased “Secret Agent Man”) to the original recordings from Joe’s last ever sessions, including outtakes of “Get Down Moses,” “Coma Girl,” and the never-before-heard new song, “Fantastic.” All albums are remastered by three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks (The Beatles, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie) especially for the release and are packaged with extensive new liner notes, unreleased images, and four reproduction lyric sheets and chord charts from the Strummer archive.
“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.”
2022 marks twenty years since the passing of the legendary Joe Strummer. Punk poet, musician, composer, actor, and style icon, Strummer spent his life smashing musical and cultural boundaries both as the singer of The Clash and as a solo artist. His songs sound as urgent and vital today as when they were written. Calling out social injustices and giving a voice to the struggles of the working class, Strummer’s politically charged lyrics struck a chord with legions of fans and the press alike, with Rolling Stone calling The Clash “the greatest rock & roll band in the world.” He famously once said, “Without people, you’re nothing.” Through his art, Joe Strummer played his part in shaping the musical landscape of the world and with it left an unrivaled and timeless legacy.