Joe Strummer was not a very popular guy when 1986 rolled around. The year previous, he, alongside a new crew of imposters, had taken a nice healthy dump all over the Clash name by releasing the â€œfinalâ€ Clash album, â€œCut the Crapâ€, picking a name that filled critics with glee, all headline pun-ready. At this point, the Clash was down to Strummer and sorta Paul Simonon (he only plays on a few cuts). â€œCut the Crapâ€ was execrable, just awful â€“ witness the â€œHey, Hey, Weâ€™re the Monkeesâ€ vibe of track three, titled â€œWe Are the Clashâ€. Yes, it was really that bad.
So when Strummer was asked to provide theme song for Alex Coxâ€™s largely fictional â€œSid & Nancyâ€ biopic, no one expected too much. Diminished expectations aside, â€œLove Killsâ€ was fantastic â€“ a raw yet well produced number that would have fit nicely on â€œCombat Rockâ€. It may have been the most accessible Clash song ever, barring â€œTrain In Vainâ€. Unfortunately, it was attached to a piece of trash.
Ah, â€œSid & Nancyâ€â€¦where to begin? How about with the overriding theme of the film, which was, who cares if they were two murderous junkies? THEY WERE IN LURRRVE. Wasnâ€™t it sweet that after Sid stabbed his lover to death in a heroin haze that he was magically reunited with her in the afterlife and they took a taxicab straight to heaven? Awwwwwâ€¦
Just awful. Luckily, Strummer escaped unscathed and continued his solo career, even reuniting with Mick Jones at one point to do work on some Big Audio Dynamite stuff. Unfortunately, we lost Strummer in 2002 to a heart attack, but what a body of work the man left behind. â€œLove Killsâ€ should have been a big crossover hit, but hey, here it is for us today. Enjoy.
Just donâ€™t bother with the film.
Download “Love Kills” by Joe Stummer.
“Love Kills” did not chart.