Features The Smithereens, Camper Van Beethoven, Jon Langford & Sally Timms, Amy Rigby, Katrina Leskanich (Waves), Wreckless Eric, Willie Nile, Matthew Ryan, Stew, Sex Clark Five, Sid Griffin & Coal Porters and many more; profits to benefit two Clash-backed charities.

BOSTON, Mass. — Sandinista!, recorded by The Clash in 1980, was one of the most ambitious records in the history of rock 'n' roll. According to one of its biggest fans, author and journalist Jimmy Guterman, "It wasn't necessarily their best record, their best-selling record, or even their most enjoyable record, but it's an exciting, sprawling mess that I return to constantly." Guterman liked it so much, in fact, that he took it upon himself to amass a tribute as ambitious as the album itself — 36 tracks by nearly as many different artists.

On May 1, 00:02:59 Records — a label named after a lyric from the Sandinista! song "Hitsville U.K." — will release The Sandinista! Project as a two-CD set, with profits split between two charities — Amnesty International (heartily supported by The Clash) and the Joe Strummer Memorial Forest, which is a division of Future Forests, an organization fighting global warming.

In preparing the Herculean task of commissioning 36 songs to correlate with Sandinista!s own 36, album producer Guterman called upon artists with whom he'd admired over his years as a journalist. Initial reactions were generally along the lines of "That's the craziest idea I've ever heard." The second reaction, following a brief pause, was "I want in."

Guterman received enthusiastic commitments from such artists as The Smithereens, Camper Van Beethoven, Jon Langford & Sally Timms, Amy Rigby, Katrina Leskanich (Waves), Sid Griffin & Coal Porters, Willie Nile, Matthew Ryan, Stew, Sex Clark Five and many more. Some recorded faithful tributes, other nearly dada-esque abstractions of the songs in question. And many boasted their own organic thread to the Clash, the song in question or both.

For instance, Katrina Leskanich of one-hit wonders Katrina & the Waves, seemed a natural for "Hitsville, U.K." After all, her hit, "Walking on Sunshine," shared the same bass line as "Hitsville U.K." which was borrowed from Motown's "You Can't Hurry Love." Jon Langford & Sally Timms from the Mekons took "Junco Partner," originally a James Booker new Orleans R&B hit, and returned it Stateside as only two British punk expatriates can. Sid Griffin, a native of Kentucky who has since migrated to the U.K., tackled "Something About England," a powerful ballad about British deterioration, and turned it into a bluegrass stomp.

Singer/songwriter Matthew Ryan, who had already recorded "Somebody Got Murdered" on his 2001 album Concussion, donated the track intact. Labelmate Willie Nile's streetwise take on "Police on My Back" recorded for this project, also appeared on his own 00:02:59 album released in 2006. Steve Wynn, frontman for The Dream Syndicate and more recently the Miracle3, had been the subject of a double-disc charity record, and got into the spirit with a cover of "If Music Could Talk." And if you ever wanted to hear "The Call Up" performed on theremin, The Lothars provide you that opportunity.

There is even a track from a dedicated Clash cover band, London Calling of Chicago, whose "Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice)" displays what Guterman calls "a sharp, spirited cover by a sharp, spirited band."

And there are several more stories to be gleaned in The Sandinista! Project's 36 tracks — "Washington Bullets" by Phil Rockrohr & the Lifters, "Kingston Advice" by Camper Van Beethoven, "Silicone on Sapphire" by The Blizzard of 78 featuring original Sandinista! producer Mikey Dread — all chronicled by Guterman in the liner notes.

Guterman sums it up: "Joe Strummer once said that Sandinista! is 'a magnificent thing. I wouldn't change it if I could.' And now, join us on The Sandinista! Project, in which we change everything on that magnificent record."

The Sandinista Project! Track Listing

Disc 1
1. The Magnificent Seven, Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers
2. Hitsville U.K., Katrina Leskanich
3. Junco Partner, Jon Langford and Sally Timms with Ship & Pilot
4. Ivan Meets G.I. Joe, Jason Ringenberg and Kristi Rose
5. The Leader, Amy Rigby
6. Something About England, The Coal Porters
7. Rebel Waltz, Ruby on the Vine
8. Look Here, Jim Duffy
9. The Crooked Beat, Wreckless Eric
10. Somebody Got Murdered, Matthew Ryan
11. One More Time/One More Dub, Haale
12. One More Time (One More Time), Ted Harris
13. Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice), London Calling of Chicago
14. Up in Heaven (Not Only Here), The Smithereens
15. Corner Soul, Ethan Lipton
16. Let's Go Crazy, Storybox
17. If Music Could Talk, Steve Wynn
18. The Sound of the Sinners, Bill Lloyd

Disc 2
19. Police on My Back, Willie Nile
20. Midnight Log, Soul Food with Mick Gallagher
21. The Equaliser, Sunset Heroes
22. The Call Up, The Lothars
23. Washington Bullets, Phil Rockrohr and the Lifters
24. Broadway, Stew
25. Lose This Skin, Jim Allen
26. Charlie Don't Surf, The Crunchies
27. Mensforth Hill, Bee Maidens
28. Junkie Slip, Mark Cutler
29. Kingston Advice, Camper Van Beethoven
30. The Street Parade, Dollar Store
31. Version City, Tim Krekel
32. Living in Fame, Lou Carlozo
33. Silicone on Sapphire, The Blizzard of 78 featuring Mikey Dread
34. Version Pardner, Sally Timms and Jon Langford with Ship & Pilot
35. Career Opportunities, Sex Clark Five
36. Shepherds Delight, The Hyphens

[Published on: 2/28/07]

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fydo1974 starstarstar Wed 2/28/2007 01:31PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
Shineonsyd24 starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/28/2007 02:13PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


The world needs more CVB.....props for tributing such an influential band

willm1 Wed 2/28/2007 03:08PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
gOdWesSaTaN Wed 2/28/2007 09:18PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


The Clash was amazing RIP Joe Strummer

être Thu 3/1/2007 01:49AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I have yet to hear a "tribute" release that is worth the price of a CD or download. There are a few talented artists at work here but whatever.... Why not just rediscover the original Sandinista? I'm sure that you'll find an over abundance of the promo copies of this for sale as used at your local indie store. Whoo hoo...

breadloaf starstarstar Thu 3/1/2007 07:33AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

etre, I agree with you about tribute projects. Although there are usually a solid one, maybe two covers, the recordings generally suck, and they are so popular now that there must be at least dozens- Seems to me I even read about a Bon Jovi one. "Picking on Phish" was particularly lame. The reggae Dead one is weak as well, excepting a nice Michael Rose "Wharf Rat."

dedhed6111 Thu 3/1/2007 10:43AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


its true that a "tribute" to the clash can only lessen the power of their music, but I've got to stick up for the Fire on the Mountain Discs here. That was some great shit, man. those discs were real laid back, real experimental, and real dead. peace

Jill11 Thu 3/1/2007 04:51PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Everyone: You have to check out this band that I saw in Knoxville a few nights ago. Their name is G-Roc. It is a guy who plays electronic drums and a keyboard player who lays down loops. They are freakin' awesome! I am personally going to tell everyone I know to check them out. Peace!