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Were the Clash Working on a New Album Before Joe Strummer’s Death?

The Clash
Hulton Archive

Had Joe Strummer not died in 2002, the Clash might have reunited and made a new album. At least that’s the tantalizing takeaway from Mick Jones’ interview yesterday with BBC 6Music.

As the NME reports, Strummer worked with Jones shortly before his death on a number of songs he initially planned to record with his new band the Mescaleros. This would have been around the time Joe and the gang were making what would become ‘Streetcore,’ which surfaced in 2003 following Strummer’s death from a previously undiagnosed heart defect.

“The idea was he was going to go into the studio with the Mescaleros during the day and then send them all home,” Jones, chatting alongside fellow Clash members Paul Simonon and Topper Headon, told the BBC. “I’d come in all night and we’d all work all night.”

Unfortunately, the idea didn’t quite come to fruition, and when Jones asked Strummer about the material months later, he received an answer — seemingly delivered in jest — liable to make Clash fanatics lose their minds.

“That didn’t come to nothing because that wasn’t going to work, we knew that but it was a nice idea,” Jones said. “Later on, a few months later we were at some opening or something and I said, ‘What happened to those songs?!’ If you didn’t do them straight away and get them back straight away, it was like, ‘What’s wrong with them?!’ So, I went, ‘What happened to the songs?!’ He went, ‘Oh man, they’re the next Clash album’.”

Had they made that “next Clash album,” of course, Sony would have had to squeeze it into the already-stuffed ‘Sound System’ box set, a comprehensive collection of the iconic U.K. band’s music released last month, and that might have proved physically impossible.

Next: 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Clash

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