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The Sandinista

4.4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 15, 2007

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Product Description

2-CD set honoring the epic Clash release to be issued May 1 on 00:02:59 Records

Features The Smithereens, Camper Van Beethoven, Jon Langford & Sally Timms, Amy Rigby, Katrina Leskanich (Waves), Wreckless Eric, Willie Nile, Matthew Ryan, Stew, Sex Clark Five, Sid Griffin & Coal Porters and more; proceeds benefit two Clash-backed charities.

BOSTON, Mass. - Sandinista!, recorded by The Clash in 1980, was one of the most ambitious records in the history of rock 'n' roll. According to one of its biggest fans, author and journalist Jimmy Guterman, "It wasn't necessarily their best record, their best-selling record, or even their most enjoyable record, but it's an exciting, sprawling mess that I return to constantly." Guterman liked it so much, in fact, that he took it upon himself to amass a tribute as ambitious as the album itself - 36 tracks by nearly as many different artists.

On May 1, 00:02:59 Records - a label named after a lyric from the Sandinista! song "Hitsville U.K." - will release The Sandinista! Project as a two-CD set, with profits split between two charities - Amnesty International (heartily supported by The Clash) and the Joe Strummer Memorial Forest, which is a division of Future Forests, an organization fighting global warming.

In preparing the Herculean task of commissioning 36 songs to correlate with Sandinista!'s own 36, album producer Guterman called upon artists with whom he'd admired over his years as a journalist. Initial reactions were generally along the lines of "That's the craziest idea I've ever heard." The second reaction, following a brief pause, was "I want in."

Guterman received enthusiastic commitments from such artists as The Smithereens, Camper Van Beethoven, Jon Langford & Sally Timms, Amy Rigby, Katrina Leskanich (Waves), Sid Griffin & Coal Porters, Willie Nile, Matthew Ryan, Stew, Sex Clark Five and many more. Some recorded faithful tributes, other nearly dada-esque abstractions of the songs in question. And many boasted their own organic thread to the Clash, the song in question or both.

For instance, Katrina Leskanich of Katrina & the Waves, seemed a natural for "Hitsville, U.K." After all, her hit, "Walking on Sunshine," shared the same bass line as "Hitsville U.K." which was borrowed from Motown's "You Can't Hurry Love." Jon Langford & Sally Timms from the Mekons took "Junco Partner," originally a James Booker new Orleans R&B hit, and returned it Stateside as only two British punk expatriates can. Sid Griffin, a native of Kentucky who has since migrated to the U.K., tackled "Something About England," a powerful ballad about British deterioration, and turned it into a bluegrass stomp.

Singer/songwriter Matthew Ryan, who had already recorded "Somebody Got Murdered" on his 2001 album Concussion, donated the track intact. Labelmate Willie Nile's streetwise take on "Police on My Back" recorded for this project, also appeared on his own 00:02:59 album released in 2006. Steve Wynn, frontman for The Dream Syndicate and more recently the Miracle3, had been the subject of a double-disc charity record, and got into the spirit with a cover of "If Music Could Talk." And if you ever wanted to hear "The Call Up" performed on theremin, The Lothars provide you that opportunity.

There is even a track from a dedicated Clash cover band, London Calling of Chicago, whose "Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice)" displays what Guterman calls "a sharp, spirited cover by a sharp, spirited band."

And there are several more stories to be gleaned in The Sandinista! Project's 36 tracks - "Washington Bullets" by Phil Rockrohr & the Lifters, "Kingston Advice" by Camper Van Beethoven," "Silicone on Sapphire" by The Blizzard of 78 featuring original Sandinista! producer Mikey Dread - all chronicled by Guterman in the liner notes.

Guterman sums it up: "Joe Strummer once said that Sandinista! is 'a magnificent thing. I wouldn't change it if I could.' And now, join us on The Sandinista! Project, in which we change everything on that magnificent record."

Even those who prefer the punch of the Clash's classic London Calling to the sprawl of the subsequent Sandanista! will find plenty of revelation here. Spearheaded by rock journalist Jimmy Guterman, the project accentuates the original album's expansive range through a roster of artists that is transatlantic, transgenerational, and transgenre. Jason Ringenberg (of Jason and the Scorchers) and Kristi Rose transform "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe" into a hardcore country duet, while Katrina Leskanich (of Katrina and the Waves) puts plenty of bounce into "Hitsville U.K." The versions of "The Magnificent Seven" by Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers and "Police on My Back" by Willie Nile remain true to the the Clash's hard-rocking spirit, with the loopy atmospherics of Wreckless Eric's "The Crooked Beat" and the Lothars' multi-theremin arrangement for "The Call Up" exploring the outer fringes of the album's musical adventurousness. This project has the musical strength, variety, and inventiveness to stand on its own, but it will likely do what tribute albums should: Drive listeners back to the source. --Don McLeese

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Magnificent Seven, Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers
  2. Hitsville U.K., Katrina Leskanich
  3. Junco Partner, Jon Langford and Sally Timms with Ship & Pilot
  4. Ivan Meets G.I. Joe, Jason Ringenberg and Kristi Rose
  5. The Leader, Amy Rigby
  6. Something About England, The Coal Porters
  7. Rebel Waltz, Ruby on the Vine
  8. Look Here, Jim Duffy
  9. The Crooked Beat, Wreckless Eric
  10. Somebody Got Murdered, Matthew Ryan
  11. One More Time/One More Dub, Haale
  12. One More Time (One More Time), Ted Harris
  13. Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice), London Calling of Chicago
  14. Up in Heaven (Not Only Here), The Smithereens
  15. Corner Soul, Ethan Lipton
  16. Let's Go Crazy, Storybox
  17. If Music Could Talk, Steve Wynn
  18. The Sound of the Sinners, Bill Lloyd

Disc: 2

  1. Police on My Back, Willie Nile
  2. Midnight Log, Soul Food with Mick Gallagher
  3. The Equaliser, Sunset Heroes
  4. The Call Up, The Lothars
  5. Washington Bullets, Phil Rockrohr and the Lifters
  6. Broadway, Stew
  7. Lose This Skin, Jim Allen
  8. Charlie Don't Surf, The Crunchies
  9. Mensforth Hill, Bee Maidens
  10. Junkie Slip, Mark Cutler
  11. Kingston Advice, Camper Van Beethoven
  12. The Street Parade, Dollar Store
  13. Version City, Tim Krekel
  14. Living in Fame, Lou Carlozo
  15. Silicone on Sapphire, The Blizzard of 78 featuring Mikey Dread
  16. Version Pardner, Sally Timms and Jon Langford with Ship & Pilot
  17. Career Opportunities, Sex Clark Five
  18. Shepherds Delight, The Hyphens

Product details

  • Audio CD (May 15, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: May 15, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: 2:59:00
  • ASIN: B000OZ2CVG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,308 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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