Sometimes the real action is on the B-side. White Heat's (see here) second single from 1980, features "Finished With the Fashions" another broadside against late seventies excess (this time slamming the Eagles!) which has some fine drama and a good pop-reggae feel. Now flip the record (use your imagination, dammit!) and let "Ordinary Joe" infect your nervous system. The song's subject is not Joe Strummer, as a very cursory listen might suggest, but Jesus Christ himself. The song's narrative details a casual meeting with Jesus of the the type pioneered by John Prine and hacked out by a million alt-country wannabe's ever since. It is an odd story-line for late seventies London, as opposed to say, Austin, Texas but it's the fiery playing, full of inventive vocal and guitar inter-play that drives the song to sound like some big show tune stripped-down and then souped-up.
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