No Doubt will enter a recording studio next week to pound out a version of the Clash's "Hateful" for an upcoming benefit tribute album to the punk pioneers.
The band joins the Indigo Girls, Korn, MXPX, Cracker, the Urge, Face To Face, Unwritten Law, and Ranking Roger of English Beat/General Public fame as the latest artist to sign on for the tribute. They will join previously announced acts Ice Cube & Mack 10, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, 311, Rancid, silverchair, and Moby.
Jason Rothberg, Joe Strummer's manager and the man assembling the album, said that Third Eye Blind, Everclear, and the Deftones are also expected to contribute tracks, but that their involvement has not been confirmed yet.
It's been a long road for the album, which currently carries the utilitarian title "Tribute" and will benefit the High Risk Youth Program at Children Hospital Los Angeles.
We first reported on the album exactly one year ago (see "Bush,
311, Rancid To Work Over The Clash"), and since then a number of artists originally attached to the project have had to bow out for various reasons.
The artists who do appear serve as a testament to the flexibility of the Clash's music. In addition to the straightforward ska-punk renderings by the Bosstones, Rancid, and MXPX (with help from Social Distortion's Mike Ness), the album boasts a folky acoustic version of "Clampdown" courtesy of the Indigo Girls, a country take on "White Riot" by Cracker, and a lilting ambient rendition of "Straight To Hell" from Moby and Heather Nova. The album will also feature a you-have-to-hear-it-to-believe-it version of "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" featuring Ice Cube, Mack 10 and Korn as remixed by Danny Saber.
This album is gonna take everybody on a ride," Rothberg said.
My first ever musical performance was in a junior high talent show doing covers of (the Clash's) 'Protex Blue' and 'Police and Thieves,'"
311's Nick Hexum said in a commentary that will be included in the album's liner notes. "My band was extra hip because we were doing a song ('Protex Blue') that was only available on the import version of the Clash's debut album and was also about a type of condom. After our performance, we went into an unplanned 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go?' encore which caused our 400 lb. music teacher to run out on stage and unplug our musical instruments, leaving only the drums going. It was hilarious.
The Bosstones' Tim Burton told of a similar deep-seeded affinity for the Clash in explaining his band's involvement in the project. "The familiar horn intro to 'Rudie Can't Fail' blurted through the speakers, and we all went, 'Yeah!," Burton said. "The tune instantly became our unofficial theme song, and to this day when somebody asks me what it was like in our early days when nobody was mixing ska and punk, I think back to the band that did it first and best.
the original members of the Clash are currently putting together an album of live material culled from the band's heyday that it hopes to release later this year. Rothberg said that all four members of the group are involved in selecting the songs for the live album, which is being organized by Trish Simonon, the wife of Clash bassist Paul Simonon.
While the track listing for that live album is far from complete, the tribute album is shaping up nicely. When "Tribute" arrives on August 25, here's what you'll find:
- The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (produced by X's John Doe) - "Rudie Can't Fail"
- MXPX (w/Social Distortion's Mike Ness) - "Janie Jones"
- Ranking Roger - "Rock The Casbah"
- Ice Cube, Mack 10, and Korn (remixed by Danny Saber) - "Should I Stay Or Should I Go"
- No Doubt - "Hateful"
- The Urge - "This Is Radio Clash"
- 311 - "White Man In Hammersmith Palais"
- Rancid - "Cheat"
- silverchair - "London's Burning"
- Cracker - "White Riot"