When this cd came out in 1999, I,like most clash fans, could not wait to get it home and play it,from "Combat Rock" in 1982, it had been a long time! Sure there was "This England" the only great track on "Cut the Crap", great title, crap album......and a few tracks floating around, but this was supposed be the real deal. As soon as the first track kicked in "Tony Adams" a great groove, fantastic lyrics, full of humour and bite, I relaxed, I knew I was in for a treat.
Highlights were also "X Ray Style", a superb song, great acoustic playing, bongos with a happy positive lyric."Nitcomb", Joe singing to "all the torn betting slips", great song with the high of a Saturday night, and great lyrics of showing how you can get your life back despite anything thrown at you."Diggin' the New", acceptance of getting older and a new regime is in, with the immortal line "Just walk in like you own it........."."Forbidden City" Oh China indeed, strong imagery, the voice is seasoned and passionate, just as you would wish it to be. There are some modern sounds on the album,"Yalla Yalla" is very electronic, as are one or two tracks, but still with those fantastic lyrics "So long Liberty, lets just forget you didn't show" and then the humour of mixing fighting moves and drinking beer......It finishes with a sentimental "Willesden to Cricklewood", getting the mozzerella in.....
I was lucky enough to see the Mescarleros in Liverpool shortly after this album came out, the band were superb, Joe was pushing 50 and still giving it everything, thats why we loved him!
I saw him after "Global a Go Go" came out a couple of years later in Manchester, by that time, he'd played the Festivals all over the World, got his respect and profile back up, and yet he was chatting with the audience and was a great down to Earth guy.
To me, he was the John Lennon of our generation, always ready to take risks, and put himself on the line.
This album must have given him as much pleasure as it did all his fans, the way it was received. Go and buy it!