Ministry’s 2001 greatest hits album (appropriately titled Greatest Fits) received its first vinyl release via means of Run Out Groove last month. Double, colored, 180g vinyl, this 13-track monster is considered the only vinyl pressing to include the band’s contribution to Steven Spielberg’s A.I. film, What About Us?. Over the past several months we’ve seen Ministry do a fantastic job of releasing limited, and very often first-time albums on vinyl. Certainly, nobody is complaining here.
It’s rather interesting, and a bit scary, how well time can erase memories. This flier is to the Metro in Chicago, circa: 2001, and it was preserved because our music-hoarding clan jotted down to the windy city to attend the August 23rd Please for Peace tour featuring Hot Water Music and Alkaline Trio, among others. Chicago was only a hop, skip, and a jump away from our humble dwellings off Lake Michigan in brew city, Milwaukee. I can’t say as that I remember much (anything) from this show, but it must have been good enough to keep the flyer. Other notable additions to the Metro in the summer of 2001 include Jimmy Eat World, Pedro the Lion, Good Riddance w/ Death by Stereo, and Rilo Kiley. Sometimes, and they’re not often, I miss the Midwest.
Ironically, it was after How I Spent My Summer Vacation that I actually took a vacation from these New Jersey mooches. Looking back, I think it was my palette that shifted and not the band’s, because when I spin HISMSV now, it really doesn’t anger me that much. It’s certainly not as good as Maniacal Laughter or their self titled album, but now that I’m older, and presumably wiser, I’m happy it is a part of my collection.
The words “Joe” and “Strummer” have always been synonymous with “inspirational” and “brilliance,” yes, even dating back to his 101’ers days. This Turkish rock God, originally christened John Graham Mellor, headed the phoenix rise and fiery fall of The Clash, dabbled in a bit of soundtrack work, sang a duet of Redemption Song with Johnny Cash, and during his untimely death, helmed the magnificent Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros. Global A Go-Go, the band’s 2nd offering, can be best described as emotional, acoustic punk for the retired generation too set in their ways to set down the bottle or empty the overflowing ashtray. It’s greasy-haired adult contemporary with a twist of stubborn jam-rock, but with decades of recording history under its belt. It’s heavily layered, often rambling (in a good way), and demands constant and consistent spins. 50 is a frighteningly young age to die. Joe Strummer, and his creative brilliance are greatly missed.