JOE STRUMMER & THE MESCALEROS – ” Streetcore ” Record Store Day 2023

Posted: April 16, 2023 in MUSIC

2023 marks 20 years since the release of Joe Strummer’s last studio album, the posthumously released “Streetcore”. Dark Horse Records will celebrate the anniversary with a limited-edition colour vinyl pressing for RSD. Originally issued on Hellcat Records, the standalone vinyl album has been out of print for years and commands high prices on the secondhand market.

Streetcore: In Joe’s words, “A distillation thru the mind bending coil…” In November of 2002 Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros had been on an extensive UK tour, the “Bringing It All Back Home Tour”, and were blending new songs into their set, which were recorded in December. “Streetcore” is a collection of new material, which reflected the Mescaleros’ life on the road together, combined with distilling their collective vast knowledge of musical genres. His final gig with his newfound cohorts was a controversial benefit for the British Fire Brigades Union.

As band mate and co-producer with Scott Shields, Martin Slattery said, ” I’ll miss the inspiration more than anything. He wanted us to make music that we feel – it’s such an alternative position these days to be able to work with a guy who is not only a legend, but is allowing you to do what you want.”

After a number of self-described ‘wilderness years’ post-Clash, Joe Strummer formed The Mescaleros in 1999 and embarked a roll of three great albums before his death in 2002. The last two were released on Californian punk label Hellcat, home of Clash-influenced bands like Rancid. This felt like full-circle for the rockabilly-punk icon, and his return to musical form made Strummer’s untimely demise hurt even more. 

“Streetcore”, finished and released posthumously in 2003, is a great record to have gone out on. Strummer dug deep to sprinkle some of his old Clash magic over “Coma Girl” (an ode to Glastonbury festival, where you can still find Strummerville), the country-blues of “Long Shadow”, anthemic rocker “Arms Aloft”, and a heartfelt version of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”; which exactly 20 years after first hearing this album, still makes us a little teary for the loss of a true genius. Re-released for RSD on Dark Horse records, you’ll do a lot worse than to snap up this limited edition coloured vinyl pressing.

With the release of “Streetcore”, the electric axes are back, with a couple of unplugged-style tunes included – “Silver & Gold”, and a song Joe was inspired to write for Johnny Cash called “The Long Shadow”, whom he performs with Smokey Hormel as well as a terrific version of “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley, who’s songs and performances no doubt influenced Joe a great deal throughout his life.

Dark Horse Records celebrated what would be been Joe’s 70th birthday in 2022, with a beautifully curated retrospective box set, Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros, which shined a light on the intense period of creativity at the end of his life with his new band The Mescaleros.

Joe Strummer, was best known as the lead vocalist of the iconic punk rock band The Clash, formed The Mescaleros in the late 1990s. The band released several critically acclaimed albums, including “Streetcore,” which was their final album and was released posthumously in 2003, following Strummer’s untimely death.

Stand out rock tracks are “Coma Girl” and “Get Down Moses” (rock/reggae flavored) which the band had become well versed in performing live throughout 2002.
It was Joe and the band’s desire to go straight from the road into the studio, not lose momentum, capture their energy, freshness & tightness as a band to record the new songs for this record.

Joe’s own artwork and logos for the record grace the cover and internal packaging, giving the record a personal touch. His diagrams and illustrations are put into a montage style – offering insight into his and the bands creative process behind the concept, truly depicting his vision and lyrical ideas for “Streetcore”.


A1. Coma Girl
A2. Get Down Moses
A3. Long Shadow
A4. Arms Aloft
A5. Ramshackle Day Parade

B1. Redemption Song
B2. All In A Day
B3. Burnin’ Streets
B4. Midnight Jam
B5. Silver And Gold

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