Rock Art and the X-Ray Style

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Rock Art and the X-Ray Style
Studio album by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
Released 19 October 1999
Recorded 1999
Genre Alternative rock
Length 49:44
Label HellCat
Producer Antony Genn, Richard Norris
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros chronology
Rock Art & The X-Ray Style
(1999)
Global a Go-Go
(2001)
Singles from Rock Art & The X-Ray Style
  1. "Yalla Yalla"
  2. "Tony Adams"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Rock Art and the X-Ray Style is the debut album by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, released in 1999. This album featured the band in its first incarnation: Joe Strummer and Antony Genn on guitar and vocals, Martin Slattery playing keyboards and guitar, Steve "Smiley" Barnard on drums, Pablo Cook on other percussion instruments, and Scott Shields on bass. Richard Flack also did engineering on the album.

The record marked Strummer's re-emergence from a long absence in the music scene, his last record being 1989's Earthquake Weather. The album begins with "Tony Adams," a track which sounds not unlike Strummer's previous work with The Clash. Saxophone riffs are juxtaposed with reggae inspired guitar, as Strummer recites lyrics detailing a catastrophe hitting New York City. The rest of the record takes a winding journey, with songs that capture Strummer's genre mixing. "Sandpaper Blues" features hand drums and African chanting, "Techno D-Day" dabbles in electronic instruments, while "Road to Rock and Roll," another song written by Strummer for Johnny Cash combines acoustic guitar with turntables and electronic drums. "Yalla Yalla" Strummer himself once described as "an ancient British folk song....written in the year 1999." [2] The song is rich in layers, which includes keyboards, synths, bass, drums, and a guitar with endless sustain (likely provided via an e-bow).

"Yalla Yalla" and "Tony Adams" were both released as singles with music videos shot for each. The video for "Tony Adams" features Strummer walking down the street of New York City carrying a ghettoblaster. Rancid's Lars Fredriksen makes a brief appearance in the video.

A remastered version of the album along with Strummer's other two Hellcat released albums was released as a special 57 song digital download titled Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros, The Hellcat Years on 21 August 2012 to celebrate what would have been Strummer's 60th birthday. Hellcat will also release each remastered album individually on CD and vinyl on 25 September 2012.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Joe Strummer. 

No. Title Music Length
1. "Tony Adams"   Joe Strummer, Antony Genn 6:35
2. "Sandpaper Blues"   Joe Strummer, Gary Dyson, Richard Norris 4:28
3. "X-Ray Style"   Joe Strummer 4:36
4. "Techno D-Day"   Joe Strummer, Antony Genn 4:09
5. "The Road to Rock 'n' Roll"   Joe Strummer, Antony Genn 4:00
6. "Nitcomb"   Joe Strummer, Antony Genn 4:32
7. "Diggin' the New"   Joe Strummer, Richard Norris 3:09
8. "Forbidden City"   Joe Strummer 4:48
9. "Yalla Yalla"   Joe Strummer, Pablo Cook, Richard Norris 6:58
10. "Willesden to Cricklewood"   Joe Strummer, Antony Genn 6:46
Total length:
49:44

Personnel[edit]

  • Joe Strummer - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mixing
  • Antony Genn - synthesizer, guitar, piano, bass, strings, beats, backup vocals, programming, mixing, producer
  • Richard Norris - keyboards, E-Bow, drum programming, producer
  • Martin Slattery - Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, melodica, saxophone
  • Scott Shields - acoustic guitar, bass, electric guitar, backup vocals
  • Pablo Cook - percussion, drums, backup vocals
  • Steve Barnard - drums
  • Dave Stewart - acoustic guitar
  • Ged Lynch - drums
  • Gary Dyson - backup vocals, chant
  • B.J. Cole - pedal steel
  • D.J. Pete B. - scratching
  • Richard Flack - programming, engineer, mixing
  • Ian Tregoning - engineer
  • Damien Hirst - cover art
  • Streaky Gee - mastering

References[edit]

  1. ^ William Ruhlmann (1999-10-19). "Rock Art and the X-Ray Style - Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  2. ^ "20. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Yalla Yalla.". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]