But if you’re looking for an introduction to the music of The Pogues – or want to freshen up the collection with some mighty fine remasters – then you have come to the right place, my friend: The Very Best Of The Pogues is just what you need.
The Pogues brought the world a cool blend of punk and Celtic folk music thickly layered with all sorts of things with strings, percussion (both hand and stick-wielding), squeezeboxes of various sizes, horns, keys, and that tin whistle we mentioned earlier. Instrumentally, The Pogues were a band of killer players while MacGowan’s rough-and-raggedy vocals were fueled by a mix of pathos and liquor – never pretty, but always real as hell. (MacGowan’s first tour of duty with the band ran from their formation in 1982 until 1991 when he was booted for simply being too drunk; he returned to the fold in 2001 – having successfully avoided sobriety during the decade he was gone.) All in all, The Pogues managed to make everyone that crossed their musical path wish they were Irish, if not actually believe they were, as long as the music played. Sure, Mumford & Sons are pulling off their own version of that same trick these days – but wind the clock back 20 or 30 years and see what you find. These boys were the originals.
And the name, in case you didn’t know? Maybe that explains things best of all: the band originally formed as Pogue Mahone, which is Gaelic for “Kiss my arse.” That harmless little inside joke didn’t play well with BBC censors – thus the abbreviated version. Keep that little bit of trivia in your pocket and you might win a pint at the pub sometime. Don’t thank me – it’s my job.
Click HERE to read the conclusion of my Jambands.com review