LOS ANGELES-- Soulful and soused, usually in equal parts, The Pogues' music combined the youthful spirit of punk with anicent Celtic melodies to create a sublime racket that's been described as the Sex Pistols setting fire to The Cheiftains. Rhino Records raises a pint in one hand and a fistful of Pogues in the other with remastered and expanded versions of the band's first five studio albums--Red Roses for Me, Rum, Sodomy & The Lash, If I Should Fall From Grace With God, Peace & Love, and Hell's Ditch. Each reissued album will be available September 19 at all retail outlets and at www.rhino.com for a suggested retail price of $11.98.
The Pogues--vocalist Shane MacGowan, Spider Stacy on tin whistle, accordian player James Fearnley, Jeremy "Jem" Finer on banjo, drummber Andrew david Ranken, and bassist Cait O'Riordan--made their debut in 1984 with Red Roses for Me. The album's 13 songs established the band's unique sound as it mixed MacGowan originals--"Transmetropolitan" and "Poor Paddy." The expanded edition's six bonus tracks include "Whisky You're The Devil," "Muirshin Duirkin" and a foot-stomping version of the traditional Irish song "Wild Rover."
Produced by Elvis Costello, The Pogues' sophomore release, 1985's Rum, Sodomy & The Lash, brought the band's talents into sharp relief with 12 tracks. Featuring new guitarist Philip Chevron, the album included some of the band's best work-- "A Pair Of Brown Eyes," "Navigator," and the righteous anger of "The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn." The expanded edition includes four bonus songs from the 1986 EP, Poguetry In Motion--"London Girl," "Rainy Night," "Body Of An American," and the traditional "Planxty Noel HIll"-- along with "A Pistol For Paddy Garcia" and "The Parting Glass."
Steve Lillywhite produced back-to-back classics for the Pogues, starting with 1988's If I Should Fall From Grace With God. The album peaked at #3 in the U.K. and featuring three new memebers- multi-instrumentalist Terry Woods, bassist Darryl Hunt, who replaced O'Riordan (who married Costello), and guitarist Philip Chevron. The album's 13 songs represent a high water mark in the band's career and capture The Pogues at the peak of their powers on "Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six," a withering political track that got the band blacklisted by the British Independent Broadcasting Authority, along with MacGowan's duet with Kristy MacColl on "Fairytale Of New York," a massive hit in the U.K. and U.S. The expanded edition's six bonus trakcs include the traditional Irish song "Mountain Dew," arranged by The Pogues and The Dubliners, "The Battle March (Medley)," penned by Woods, and MacGowan's own "Shanne Bradley."
The second Lillywhite production -Peace and Love- was released in 1989 and reached #5 on the U.K. Album chart. Its 14 tracks include MacGowan originals--"White City" and "London You're A Lady"--augmented with remarkable contributions by other members including Finer's "Misty Morning, Albert Bridge," Chevron's "Lorelei," and Woods' "Gartloney Rats." The expanded edition features six bonus tracks, including the title track from the 1990's EP, Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah, a Top 20 Modern Rock hit in the U.S., "Star Of The Country Down," and a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman."
Produced by Joe Strummer of The Clash, The Pogues' final stuido album with MacGowan--Hell's Ditch-- was released in 1990. The 13-song collection includes th dreamy blues waltz of "Sumer In Siam," as well as a pair of songs inspired by literary legends Jean Genet and Federico Garcia Lorca--the title track and "Lorca's Novena," respectively