This Sunday marks 70 years since the birth of John Graham Mellor, who’d grow up to become the Joe Strummer. Dark Horse Records is commemorating the anniversary by releasing one of the final songs by the late Clash and Mescaleros frontman, as well as an Eddie Vedder cover of “Long Shadow,” ahead of a larger retrospective comp.
“Fantastic” is one of Strummer’s final recordings, recorded in Wales in December 2002 just weeks after Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros’ final show. It’s billed as a previously unreleased track, but it’s more of an alternate version of “Ramshackle Day Parade.” It’ll appear on Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years, a box set including the albums Rock Art And The X-Ray Style, Global A Go-Go, and Streetcore plus the demos and outtakes collection Vibes Compass. They’re calling it the first comprehensive collection of Strummer’s work with the Mescaleros, the band he was fronting in his later years.
Not on that comp is Vedder’s cover of the Streetcore track “Long Shadow.” Lance Bangs filmed Vedder performing the song beside a campfire; the clip ends with Vedder stating, “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. I think when you have a communal sound, the listener feels like they can be part of that community.”
Check out the “Long Shadow” cover and “Fantastic” below.
Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years is out 9/16 on Dark Horse.