on 19 September 2003
Awaiting the release of Streetcore and as a regular listener to Rock Art etc, I thought that I should investigate Global a Go Go....Amazing, exciting, provocative and downright melodic this will prove to be one of my Playlist favourites. There's still plenty of north London wit on display as well as the global eclecticism that was setting Joe up as a valuable contributor to all that is accessible in new World Music.....the balance of street hardened sneer in Joe's voice offset by the pleading yell for a better world makes this package an inspirational sound collage. So cruel that Streetcore will be an epitaph to a voice that has been dimmed by the Creator......the musical legacy will surely attract, entertain and inspire for decades to come. A must for anybody who appreciates intelligent, beautifully crafted music.
on 19 October 2001
I came to this with more than a grain of salt but... it's brilliant! Wonderfully performed and beautifully produced - musically uplifting and lyrically positive - it's the perfect antidote to all the cultural paranoia that is being washed over us during these dark days.
It's ambitious, playful, mature, and amazingly successful, blending different musical styles cleverly, and there's not a punk cliche in sight, either. The best album I've bought this year, by a street. Be careful if you get trashed listening to it though, cos that last track ... you might get lost in it forever: it's loooong, maaan.
on 18 July 2001
After the brilliant ,if not cautious, 1999 outing "Rock Art & the X Ray Style", Joe has finally produced the ultimate CD to reflect the melting pot of musical styles close to his heart. This outing includes everything from, dub reggae ,hip hop jazz to Folk, techno, and eastern vibes. All these sounds giving a multi-cultural, multi-coloured musical background to the words of the greatest lyricist of his generation. Its taken along time to get to this place...but its been worth the wait. Thanks Joe .
on 14 April 2011
This is probably the best album Joe Strummer ever made - and I am a lifetime Clash fan, love that band. Got 'Streetcore', loved it, but when this album arrived, it blew me away. Gets better with every listen, such craftsmanship - Mescalero's should have been big business if the world had any taste. Don't hesitate, get this and rue Joe's passing even more. He would have become an electric Johnny Cash. Brilliant.
on 15 May 2004
My father, a poet and an artist on his own right, used to say that there was a "first row "and a "second row" for artists of any discipline. His theory was that, whether it's literature, sculpture or music, people will emerge who will redefine their medium, push their artistic form beyond its present atmosphere, and then there man, many more, extremely capable writers or composers whose work was important but not seminal, not worthy of the first row. I guess my dad was speaking of what B.H. Fairchild called "the difference between talent and genius." Well I think my father's notion certainly has applied, for a long time, to contemporary popular music. I grew up touched -shaped, really- by people like Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Caetano Veloso, Ellington, Joni Mitchell. This is the work of the first row, to be a lifelong catalyst for your times. Joe Strummer belongs in the same first row too. In some way, I feel that this album materializes Joe's lifelong vision bringing forth punk and world, accordions and electric guitars, politics and art, social justice and killer grooves. "Mondo Bongo" is a Strummer ballad, heartfelt, slow, perfect for Joe's mature voice. "At The Border, Guy" should be called "at the edge" with its Rock-n-Reggae. "Gamma Ray" and "Mega Bottle Ride" are precious stones, etched off Latin and Punk, like a working class Jimmy Buffet with something important to say. Global A Go-Go is immense fun but not a Disney ride, his politics just as radical but maturing into a sharper artistic edge.
on 2 March 2006
"welcome to Britan in the 3rd millennium". It's the words that do it for me. Strummer just had a knack of phrasing that makes me beam like a Cheshire cat. There are many high points on this album, but "Bhindi Bhagee" is my favourite. You can read the lyrics and they just SING at you. The delivery is something else again, sounds like it is played back at twice the speed it was recorded at. What's more the whole song is like a tongue twister. Just hearing Joe sing "exotic avocado or toxic empenada" is a delight.
Strummer's post-Clash work is a world tour in words as well as music influences. Would you believe that Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Indianapolis, Donetsk, New Zealand, the Serengeti, Omaha, Bondi Beach, Islamabad, Stalingrad, Nevada, Jakarta, Bulawayo, Nevada, the Himalayas, Kamchatka, New York City & Leek Town Hall all get a mention ? It's a geography lesson in words & music !
What endeared me most to Strummer is that he was always a fan of music himself. Right from the start, disbanding the 101'ers after seeing the Sex Pistols, he has always acknowledged others, never appearing superior or elitist. The title track is a great Strummer homage to music, little more than a list of artists & places it is still magical.
This is Joe Strummer's at his happiest, for once the joy of life far outweighs any bitterness or political sniping. As such it is also very funny in places: "when Alan McGhee went to Dundee / he caused all the rock groups to flee / yeah, I read it in the NME ...."
If I ever become unbearably rich I will declare myself Emeritus Professor of GLobal A Go-Go and devote the rest of my days helping enlightened students appreciate the benefits of this great work.
on 1 September 2006
This is a complex-sounding but charming album that has multiple influences.
World music, punk, reggae, folk, country..... and so on and so forth. There is no resting on any laurels for the sound here and Strummer's vocals are supported by the very talented Mescaleroes. "Johnny Appleseed" is the memorable opener which is probably the most straightforward song on the album. "Bhindi Bhaji" is a curious number ("He was looking for mushy peas...") but all the same rather charming.
Much of the material on here unfolds its charms after repeated listening.
on 26 August 2001
When I bought this cd I expected something special from Joe Strummer and he certainly did not dissapoint me. The music is first class and the lyrics are meaningfull. When you listen to Bhindi Bhaji you think its just meaningless until you lsiten and then is it a cry for the loss of the Britishness in this country or is it perhaps informing you that we are now a multicultural society which has enveloped us all.
I would reccommend this to anyone real music with real instruments and the Mescaleros are certainly talented this is not just Joe Strummer and some session players
on 21 June 2008
After the return to form of `Rock Art and the X-Ray Style' great things were expected of the second Mescaleros album and they didn't disappoint.
Only Joe Strummer could take all American iconic folk tale `Johnny Appleseed' and turn it into a world music classic. Unlike its predecessor `Global a Go-Go' is pretty consistent in arrangement with rockabilly guitars with African/bangra percussion, percussive piano arrangements and reggae organ fills with a few techno styling's thrown in for good measure across the first ten tracks. `Johnny Appleseed' gives way to `Cool'N'Out' (a Mescaleros in joke), through the title track and onwards with no drops in quality just great, if bizarrely named, songs. There are some brilliant tracks here, my favourites being `Bhindi Bhagee', `Mega Bottle Ride', `Mondo Bongo' and `At the Border, Guy'.
The final track doesn't really fit with the rest of the album, a sixteen minute instrumental workout of the folk standard `Minstrel Boy' which was originally recorded for the soundtrack of the film `Black Hawk Down'. It's not that it's a poor track it's just that a sixteen minutes it doesn't warrant playing more than a couple of times, much better to start the album up again and listen to the first ten tracks spread over an hour. A truly great way to spend an hour.
on 9 October 2006
I always loved The Clash but had never really listened to Strummer.I was on holiday last year when someone played me this cd, I was blown away, the music is really upbeat and the musicians are incredible, they have really created a strong sound.
Sounds nothing like the clash, which is a good thing and in fact I prefer it ! favourite song is Johnny appleseed a great opener.