Joe Strummer was not a very popular guy when 1986 rolled around. The year previous, he, alongside a new crew of imposters, had taken a nice healthy dump all over the Clash name by releasing the “final” Clash album, “Cut the Crap”, picking a name that filled critics with glee, all headline pun-ready. At this point, the Clash was down to Strummer and sorta Paul Simonon (he only plays on a few cuts). “Cut the Crap” was execrable, just awful – witness the “Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees” vibe of track three, titled “We Are the Clash”. Yes, it was really that bad.
So when Strummer was asked to provide theme song for Alex Cox’s largely fictional “Sid & Nancy” biopic, no one expected too much. Diminished expectations aside, “Love Kills” was fantastic – a raw yet well produced number that would have fit nicely on “Combat Rock”. It may have been the most accessible Clash song ever, barring “Train In Vain”. Unfortunately, it was attached to a piece of trash.
Ah, “Sid & Nancy”…where to begin? How about with the overriding theme of the film, which was, who cares if they were two murderous junkies? THEY WERE IN LURRRVE. Wasn’t it sweet that after Sid stabbed his lover to death in a heroin haze that he was magically reunited with her in the afterlife and they took a taxicab straight to heaven? Awwwww…
Just awful. Luckily, Strummer escaped unscathed and continued his solo career, even reuniting with Mick Jones at one point to do work on some Big Audio Dynamite stuff. Unfortunately, we lost Strummer in 2002 to a heart attack, but what a body of work the man left behind. “Love Kills” should have been a big crossover hit, but hey, here it is for us today. Enjoy.
Just don’t bother with the film.
Download "Love Kills" by Joe Stummer."Love Kills" did not chart.