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The Future Is Unwritten

Joe Strummer

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Album Review

This musical accompaniment to director Julian Temple's biopic of the late Joe Strummer obliterates the traditional soundtrack formula, turning the whole listening experience into an 80-minute radio show, hosted by the inimitable singer/producer/punk rock icon himself. Strummer, a lifelong devotee to the power of radio (he would often bring a transistor on-stage, hold it up to the microphone, and religiously tune in whatever beat-heavy, underground station popped up first), had his own program on the BBC that revolved around his myriad influences and notorious gift for gab. Like Little Steven's Underground Garage program, the music was steeped in its creator's psyche, with old and new favorites inciting rants, raves, and stories that were just as entertaining as the songs themselves. Strummer, a die-hard supporter of world music, filled the airwaves with as many dub, Latin, urban folk, and Middle Eastern dance tracks as he did rare Clash cuts and tracks from rock & roll outsiders like Tim Hardin, the MC5, and Nina Simone, a discipline that's executed perfectly on this lovingly compiled window into the soul of one of popular culture's most inclusive and influential voices.

Biography

Born: 21 August 1952 in Ankara, Turkey

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

As frontman and main songwriter of the Clash, Joe Strummer created some of the fieriest, most vital punk rock — and, indeed, rock & roll — of all time. Strummer expanded punk's musical palette with his fondness for reggae and early rock & roll, and his signature bellow lent an impassioned urgency to the political sloganeering that filled some of his best songs. After the Clash disbanded in 1986, Strummer sporadically pursued film acting and released the occasional solo album,...
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The Future Is Unwritten, Joe Strummer
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