The first half of this double A side is a cover of ‘Redemption Song’. The sadly late Joe has brilliantly transformed the track, which ends up being far removed from the Bob Marley original. He has created a gentle folk rock backing with the aid of Bobby Trench (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Smokey Hormel (Tom Waits, Beck and Johnny Cash) and Rick Ruben (producing and playing piano). All of this is topped by the familiarly growling vocals of Mr Strummer. The result is a classy and soulful lament.
Second up is the much rockier ‘Arms Aloft’, which is full to the brim with twangy guitars, rumbling bass and a really catchy chorus. The contrast with ‘Redemption Song’ is stark but just goes to show what a versatile guy Joe was.
Look out for Joe’s contribution to AIDS/HIV in Africa charity 46664. The song is called ‘46664 Long Walk To Freedom’ will be available soon and was co-written by Joe Strummer, Bono, Youssou N’Dour and Abdel Wright. Label : Hellcat Records
Release Date : 15 December 2003
Website : www.strummersite.com