Strummer, Rancid Booted

Hellcat compilation fat with punk-rock rarities

September 21, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Previously unreleased tracks by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Rancid and Dropkick Murphys will hit shelves on November 9th when Hellcat Records -- the label co-owned by Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong -- releases the twenty-six-track compilation, Give 'Em the Boot IV.

The Dropkicks pay tribute to their hero and their hometown with their cover of Woody Guthrie's "I'm Shipping Up to Boston." It's not the first time the band has punked-up Guthrie's prose: "Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight," from the band's 2003 album Blackout, is extracted from the folk legend's verse.

"Woody's grandson knew our band," guitarist Ken Casey told Rolling Stone at the time. "He went to his mother, Nora, and told her that we would be a good fit to record his music, because we're both products of and champions of the working class."

As for the posthumously released Strummer track, it's a scorching live take on the Clash's "Junco Partner," which originally appeared on 1981's sprawling, three-disc set Sandinista!. Recorded at London's Brixton Academy, the song had been a fixture of Strummer's final November 2002 Bringing It All Back Home Tour of the U.K.

Looking back on the Clash's short, prolific output just weeks before his death, Strummer told Rolling Stone in 2002, "Maybe we said all we needed to say in a five-year blast. We put out sixteen sides of vinyl in five years. Maybe we could have strung that out over twenty years -- and we'd be on the fifth side of Sandinista! right now."

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