Joe Strummer – “War Cry”

Liz Fox Recalls: Primarily known as the political ringleader of The Clash, Joe Strummer also enjoyed a successful solo career, recording a handful of albums with the Latino Rockabilly War and the Mescaleros before his death in December 2002. During this time he also produced and worked on several movie soundtracks, one of which was the John Cusack-penned black comedy Grosse Pointe Blank. Among various hits from the ska, punk, and early alternative scenes of the 1980s, Strummer recorded an original contribution known as “War Cry,” which establishes itself as one of the more unique songs on the compilation.

A full-length instrumental, “War Cry” is a hodgepodge of spiraling riffs and unfiltered reverb backed by a compelling beat. Strummer had reportedly thrown himself into the 1990s electronica craze and he subsequently incorporated elements of early electro into his work for Grosse Pointe Blank. It’s unabashedly repetitive but appealingly infectious and, much like his proven ability to blend genres like dub, free jazz, and gospel, it serves as testament to Strummer’s passion for new sounds from opposite ends of the world as well as different sides of the musical spectrum.

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