The Pogues - Essential Pogues (Cover Artwork)

The Pogues

The Pogues: Essential PoguesEssential Pogues (1991)
Island Records

Reviewer Rating: 5

Contributed by: ChrisGorman2Chris Gorman
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ah, the Pogues. It's hard to imagine a better party band. The inlay card of this CD describes their music as "The Chieftens meet the Sex Pistols" and think that is an adequate description I suppose. The Pogues took the best elements of Irish folk and punk rock and created a sound that was revoluti.
iTunes StoreAmazon

Ah, the Pogues. It's hard to imagine a better party band. The inlay card of this CD describes their music as "The Chieftens meet the Sex Pistols" and think that is an adequate description I suppose. The Pogues took the best elements of Irish folk and punk rock and created a sound that was revolutionary at the time, and incredibly influential on bands of today such as Flogging Molly, The Explosion, The Dropkick Murphys and others. If its celtic punk, you can trace it back to the Pogues.

This collection covers the bands best work from their years with Island records. While this is good stuff, it doesn't cover any of their material prior to being on Island, which is really great too. Either way, this CD hits many high points, and is a good introduction to someone looking to see if they like the band's sound or not.

The album kicks off with two great tunes, "Sunny Side of the Street" and my personal favorite by the band, "If I Should Fall From Grace With God". These songs perfectly illustrate the perfection this band is capable of. Shane McGowan's slurred delivery, backed by Irish folk in over-drive makes for a sound that can't help but make you feel energized. On song 3, the album takes an interesting turn with the power-pop ballad, "Lorelei", a gorgeous song that will bring any lover of Irish music to tears. Track 6 is, I believe, the closest thing this band ever had to a mainstream hit. "Fairytale of New York" sounds more like something out of a musical, albeit a warped one. It's a great, edgy-romantic song, and another one of my faves on this disc. There are other great upbeat songs such as "Rain Street" and "Turkish Song of the Damned" and there are some other flavors as well, such as the piano ballad "Summer in Siam" and the calypso "Blue Heaven". Even the bands cover of "Honky Tonk Woman" found it's way on here.

All in all, this is a great collection of songs from a great band. Not many bands today can compare to the sheer poetry of McGowan's lyrics, and the pure energy that this band created. So, if you are a completeist, I would suggest you shy away from this one, but if you are just a casual fan, or someone looking to get into some new music, I HIGHLY recommend this disc. You will not be disappointed. Oh and incidently, the Pogues will be reforming briefly to tour England and Ireland in December. If you can somehow check that out, do so. It should be magic.


People who liked this also liked:
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Clash - The ClashBad Brains - Bad BrainsBlue Meanies - The Post WaveFlogging Molly - SwaggerThe Clash - London CallingGreen Day - DookieSamiam - AstrayDinosaur Jr. - Where You BeenSuperdrag - Head Trip in Every Key

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

1. Red Roses For Me (1984)

The Pogues debut sounded nothing else of its time. With songs like The Boys of the County Hell and Streams of Whiskey, the world came to know the sheer brilliance of Shane MacGowan's songwriting. A classic London-Irish album. (*****)

2. Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (1985)

Rum, Sodomy and the Lash is simply put brilliant from beginning of The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn to the end with And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. Elvis Costello produced this album, which brilliantly courts Irish drinking music and puts into the modern era. Shane MacGowan's originals A Pair of Brown Eyes and Sally MacLennane, proved he was a songwriter of major vision and talent. Outstanding record and the best album of the 1980's.

3. If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988)

Between 1985 and 1988, the Pogues became one of the best live acts in the world, their third album produced by Steve Lillywhite, again captures the sheer brilliance of MacGowan's songwriting and poetry. This album showed the Pogues music catalog expanding adding Middle Eastern and Spanish tunes to their already brilliant Irish Sound. How to Buy Lager Top, Along with R,S&L, this is the Pogues sound at its best

4. Peace and Love (1989)

Peace and Love is severly underrated, even by Pogues fans. What most people don't realize is that Shane had embrace acid rock by this point and was trying to add it to the Pogues mix. His songwriting abilities haven't diminished one bit with tracks like White City, Down All the Days, Boat Train, and London You're a Lady, in spite of his growing drug and alcohol dependence. Not the best album by the Pogues, buy a very good one.

5. Hell's Ditch (1990)

Hell's Ditch is the last album MacGowan would make with the Pogues until his departure in 1991. All in all Hell's Ditch has its moments, but it is overall a disappointing record. MacGowan, himself, even dismissed this album. Gone is the fast-paced Irish drinking music, that made the Pogue great, and in comes relaxed melodies. Although, Sunnyside of Street, Sayonara, Ghost of a Smile, Summer In Siam, Rain Street, Lorca's Novena, and Hell's Ditch still proved that MacGowan was very talented songwriter. All in all Hell's Ditch is a good album, but not as good as the Pogues pervious albums.

So FUCK U2, (fucking sellouts), if you want real Irish soul music, than look no further that the Pogues.

Anonymous (May 22, 2003)

Shane MacGowan is one of the fucking best songwriters of all time. Great Irish folk-punk sound.

Essential Pogues albums: Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash, Red Roses For Me, and If I Should Fall From Grace With God.

Anonymous (October 10, 2001)

fairytale of ny is the shit i gotta find a chick who know that song so we can get drunk and duet it up. i want her to sing "you're bum you're maggot you cheap rotten faggot." oh if one did unprovoked i'd marry her right there.

Anonymous (October 10, 2001)

Yes, Strummer did tour with this band for a while. I think he may have produced a CD or two also.

Anonymous (October 10, 2001)

does any one know if its true that Joe strummer was in this band or something?


AtomicGarden (October 9, 2001)

Never really liked these guys. Not a bad band though.

coldjuly (October 9, 2001)

The pouges rule.

Anonymous (October 9, 2001)

Not bad, but both of the European greatest-hits comps, "Best of the Pogues" and "The Rest of the Best," are consistently better (covering the band's whole career w/Shane MacGowan, not just the Island albums), worth shelling out for the imports... and still in print. this one is out of print, pretty difficult to find and not really worth the hassle.

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go