Monday, August 23, 2010

'Straight To Hell': The Clash> Alex Cox> Elvis Costello> Lilly Allen> MIA

Today's cultural hand-off is "Straight To Hell" by THE CLASH.

Frontman JOE STRUMMER's haunting screed against the fallout from exploitation of Third World countries is often considered the finest and most beautiful song the band ever did. Here's the uncut, unreleased longer version of it.

THE CLASH -"Straight To Hell (extended version)" (1982)

The title was borrowed by rogue filmmaker and punk auteur Alex Cox ("REPO MAN", "SID & NANCY") for his own flick, and he returned the favor by casting Joe Strummer.

With a cast that includes (incredibly) JOE STRUMMER, COURTNEY LOVE, GRACE JONES, ELVIS COSTELLO, THE POGUES, Dennis Hopper, and Jim Jarmusch, it's a wonder the set didn't spontaneously combust!

A post-punk homage to the Italian Westerns of the 60's, take note of the tribute to Ennio Morricone's scores in the title credits of this manic clip...

"STRAIGHT TO HELL" movie excerpt (1987)

Fellow Punk running partner ELVIS COSTELLO here teams with JAKOB DYLAN.

I remember reading how BOB DYLAN took his young son Jakob to see The Clash in the early 80's, and Strummer was so gobsmacked afterward he said it was 'like learning God was in the audience'.

ELVIS COSTELLO + JAKOB DYLAN -"Straight To Hell" (live, 200?)

In the fine global music and radical rebel tradition of Joe Strummer, THE SLITS, and NENEH CHERRY, here is British-Sri Lankan activist rapper M.I.A. using the song as the foundation of her own song...

M.I.A. -"Paper Planes" (2008)

Here is Clash guitarist MICK JONES producing and singing with Joe Strummer's goddaughter LILY ALLEN on this atmospheric and pretty remake...

LILY ALLEN + Mick Jones -"Straight To Hell" (2009)

And from Argentina, the tradition continues with 2 MINUTOS...

2 MINUTOS -"Straight To Hell" (2010)

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