Archive | Dec 10, 2018

Certain Songs #1396: The 101ers – “Keys To Your Heart”

Single, 1976

In late 1982, I bought a punk rock history compilation album called Burning Ambitions. It wasn’t particularly comprehensive: nothing from the Sex Pistols, Clash or The Jam were featured, and the only Americans featured were Dead Kennedys and The Heartbreakers. But it did turn me on to a bunch of songs I’d only hitherto read about: “I’m Stranded” by The Saints, “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” by The Adverts, “Baby Baby” by The Vibrators, and most crucially, “Keys to Your Heart” by The 101ers.

I can’t imagine anybody reading this who doesn’t already know, but The 101ers was the band that St. Joe Strummer was in prior to The Clash, and while “Keys To Your Heart” was hardly punk rock — the 101ers were firmly ensconced in the pub rock scene — it is totally Strummer, and remains one of my very favorite songs he ever did outside of the context of The Clash.