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Monday, 10 April 2017

Stop Writing Things On Screens

Good advice Joe.

Earthquake Weather, Joe Strummer's 1989 album, is a bit of a mess in places. There are some of Joe's most affecting solo songs (Sleepwalk, Island Hopping), some mostly forgettable ones and some that sound like Joe couldn't quite get it sorted. The songs that are decent aren't helped by the production and the mixing. Gangsterville has a rambling lyric full of Joe lyrical tropes and a bashed out musical track complete with a squealing guitar solo. For the intro Joe mutters something and then the band crash in. There are some good moments, where the song breaks down and the piano runs down and Joe sings the song's title - and then the band come back in again, crashing about. There's a good song lurking inside Gangsterville but the performance and the production do their best to hide it.  Joe was lacking confidence at this point, well into his self proclaimed wilderness years, and worked on Earthquake Weather in Los Angeles without a musical partner. Another voice alongside him, co-writing and in the control booth, and Earthquake Weather might have been a very different record.



The Swede said...

Couldn't agree more SA. By 1989 I'd forgiven (or at least come to terms with) Joe's mistakes in the later days of The Clash and really wanted to love 'Earthquake Weather'. I still dig it out every now and then, but it was, and remains, a largely unlovable album. It does contain some great moments though.

Swiss Adam said...

The production gets criticised but I think its the band's playing that mars it. Zander Schloss mostly. That and a few under par songs.

acidted said...

Great review