Thursday, May 28, 2009

The First Great Post-Clash Song?

Regarded coldly in the modest post-Clash canon,"Love Kills", Joe Strummer's contribution to Alex Cox's 1986 bio-pic Sid and Nancy, deserves a moment's consideration.

Sure there's some stiff playing, a bit of eighties production gloss and Mick Jones' glorious return was supposedly wiped out in the mix but that's a cool riff, the lyrics are witty and that hook, with it's haunting back-ups, is simply devastating.

Better version of the video here.

Love Kills
(Joe Strummer)

Walking out of England thinking you were king taking on this world
On that bus that goes through Mexico a killer love finds a sweet Mexican girl
But in Mississippi we rushed into the room
Down in Dixie you were crying for dope
Down in Alabama they like home cooked fare yea
So we are going to strap you to the fryin´ chair yea

But I do not know what love´s
Is there something else giving me the chills?
But if my hands´re the color of blood
Then, Baby, I can tell ya sure I can tell ya
Love kills
Love kills

Do you want to hear all the sirens of the city drown the arguing?
We are on Riker´s Island on a population board
They do not care about your fame

repeat chorus

On the Rio Grande they will tie you to a tree
Ooh-oh-ohh x2
And you can not call the lawyers ´cause the whorehouse is asleep
Ohh-oh-ohh x2
You people will get weak
Ohh-oh-ohh x2
They will throw you in a cell where you can barely breathe
Ohh-oh-ohh x2

Repeat chorus

Joe Strummer and Latino Rockabilly War-Love Kills (Live at the Electric Ballroom, 1988)

{MRML Readers: Leave us a comment; Is this the first Great Post-Clash Song? If not, what is?}

Download Love Kills 12'' (Three versions)

Download Love Kills 7" (b/w "Dum Dum Club")

A different rip and scan is available at Punk Friction


  1. Link not working for Kills 12"

  2. You're not wrong, but an argument could be made that 'This Is England' was the first great post-Clash recording. Many thanks for posting!

  3. Hey Jeffen, another great one.

    I'm going to have to watch Sid & Nancy again.

    I only had the soundtrack, so if you have any additional info on this song beyond Joe singing, Mick being erased from it, and E.T. Thorngren producing, I'd appreciate it. (And anything about the girl in the video, who was she?)

    Now, about those lyrics:

    Walking out of England thinking you were the king tough guy of this world

    On that bus that goes to Mexico, a killer often finds a sweet Mexican girl

    But in Mississippi we rushed you to the rope, yow!
    Down in Dixie you were crying for dope
    Down in Alabama they like home cooked fare yea
    So we are going to strap you to the fryin´ chair yea

    Well I don't know what love is,
    But there is somethin' else, giving me the chills
    But if my hands are the color of blood,
    Then I can tell ya, sure I can tell ya

    Love kills, kills (x2)

    Do you wanna hear the sirens, hear the sirens of the city howling out your name?
    Here on Riker´s Island where the population is bored,
    They don't care about your frame


    On the Rio Grande they will tie you to a tree
    Ooh-oh-ohh x2
    And you can't call your lawyers ´cause the whorehouse is asleep
    Ohh-oh-ohh x2
    You evil little (censored?)*
    Ohh-oh-ohh x2
    They'll throw you in a cell where you can barely breathe
    Ohh-oh-ohh x2


    * Not sure about this line, but "creep" is what I've sung/heard the past 20+ years...


  4. Great post Jeffen. Believe it or not I've never heard the 12'' of this before.

  5. I must say I much prefer "Love Kills" by the Ramones. Then again, I always did have a much softer spot for Dee Dee's attempts at Hardcore in comparison to, well, anything by either solo Strummer or B.A.D. Jones.

    Of course in a rap battle The Clash would crush Dee Dee King hands down!

  6. I may be an imbicile but I can't find any links in this post

  7. Anon

    I'm not sure what you mean, the 12" has been d/l 61 times.


    As per my rambling post about that track, I consider "This is England" the Last Great Clash Song (and it does appear on the Essential Clash CD).

    Thanks for the good words.


    No other info yet but I'll dig about. Thanks for the lyrics, I really need an accurate source of Strummer/Clash lyrics.

    I'd hear the Sid and Nancy S/T version a few times (and kinda dismissed it) and only dug into the 12' while readying all these Clash/Strummer posts.

    Time for you to buy Animal Boy, my friend. As a proud owner of said album though I'd say the Strummer song is a better piece of work (and don't get me started on the Circle Jerks song of the same name - maybe Alex Cox should have kept that phrase as the title instead of changing it to Sid and Nancy).

    Hmmm... see answer to 1st anon. comment
    (I did enlarge the text on the d/l, if that doesn't work search the site by using ctrl-f and type in "download"...

  8. Alex Cox had requested quite a few submissions from bands with the title "Love Kills" at the time. I remember reading somewhere Glen Matlock wrote one as well (...he's thanked in the liner notes, along with Mick Jones...) but is only known to play on "I Wanna Be Your Dog".

    Now the main reason for getting the Sid & Nancy soundtrack (aside from Strummer) was the Pogues' song "Haunted" -a truly great song.

    With it's wistful Shangri-La stylings, part lament, part love song, Cait O'Riordan's vocals were amazing. Contrast that with the totally punk "Hot Dogs With Everything" on the B-side
    of the 7", and you'll understand what a damn good band the Pogues were.

    And for any other Circle Jerks completist out there, this "Love Kills" is a slightly slower, more driving version than the one on the VI album.

    Thanks again Jeffen!

  9. I really don't understand. There's a clear and prominent download link at the bottom of every post EXCEPT the Love Kills one. The link is just not there. I did search and no download link appears. I brought the post up on its own page, still nothing. Are you sure you don't mean that the "12' mixes" file in the prior post has been dl'd 61 times? I don't see how the LK singles could have been downloaded because, as I said, there is no download link anywhere in the Love Kills post.

  10. Anon.

    Hmmm, if underneath each of the smaller images following the lyrics, you cannot see the "download the love kills" link then in your browser you are seeing a different post from what I see when I open it in Firefox.
    This is an unpleasant possibility as I do not know how to fix a problem I can't see.

    Readers: Is anyone else having troubles with download links in this post?


  11. Bio

    Yeah Cox did get a few people to write possible title tracks before he changed the title of the movie (funny there are no songs called "Sid and Nancy" written for the movie.

    By the way, when you start your own blog (you clearly have all the qualifications), you better keep leaving comments here - smart feedback is what keeps bloggers in business.

  12. Thanks!

    I opened this post in both Safari & Firefox. For some reason in Safari the post ends with the YouTube video (the 'better version of the video' link isn't even visible). Nothing below is loaded in Safari. None of your other posts look any different.

    Wanted to let you know.
    Thanks for the great music and edjamacation.

  13. The links appeared on callpastorbob's computer.
    So maybe it's a Safari problem...?
    Thanks for helping out and saying good things, hopefully everyone ends up getting to hear this song.

    If not, message me and I'll see if I can figure something else out.

  14. Yes, that's it -- those links do not show up on Safari but they do on Firefox! The post cuts off after the YouTube video. I thought about trying another browser last night but didn't until this morning. How strange. Thanks for being patient with me. I know many say Firefox is way superior to Safari but there are some features of Safari I do like better. But I wonder what else I might be missing on the web?!

    Anyway, thanks for everything you post here, and thanks again to you and the other commenters for not dismissing my difficulties out of hand.

  15. 'Sid & Nancy' -- a perfect example of a great soundtrack to a terrible film. The film did for historical accuracy what the Luftwaffe did for town-planning. Meanwhile, no idea if it was the first or the last great post-Clash track, but 'Trash City' scoops the prize in the Greatest Post-Clash Song Stakes every time for me!

  16. Mark, well we've come through for you on the "Trash City" front. (Now if only they'd released "Baby the Trans" as a single...)

  17. I don't care what anyone else says - i think this is a fucking great song!!

  18. Can you re upload this please? =)


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