Joe Strummer - Filibustero [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Joe Strummer

Filibustero [12-inch] (1987)

Virgin Records

Walker is secretly one of the best Joe Strummer albums. Anchored to an astoundingly uncommercial Alex Cox movie and released fresh from the Clash's dissolution, it isn't discussed quite as much as it probably should be. But its Latin folk songs still hold up all the same. "Filibustero," a choice song, was even given the single treatment. People who really, really like the song can pick up three alternative versions via this 12" single.

First up is the "freestyle mix," which compared to the album version runs just shy of a minute longer. But the overall energy is still the same: The song is propelled by the samba piano line and those big, brassy horns. Percussion and guitars add all sorts of extra flourishes, but it's the piano solo midway that really gives the songs its breezy feel.

The B-side offers up the "short" and "long version." "Short" shaves everything down to sub-three minutes, oddly enough giving the drums a bigger presence and pushing up a different piano solo. "Long version" is actually the album take, not that it in any way negates its presence here.

The "Filibustero" single is definitely a diehard-only release, if only because it's three slightly tweaked versions of the same instrumental song. It's doubtful Strummer even plays on any of the versions, given that he was more of an arranger on this project than a performer. But it still remains a choice single all the same, and is another beautiful artifact from Strummer's wilderness years in between the Clash and the Mescaleros.