19 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Producer Steve Lillywhite came aboard for the Pogues’ third album to steady their ramshackle sound, capturing what is for many the band’s finest album. Elvis Costello’s production of the band’s previous album, Rum, S****y and the Lash, showcased their anarchic streak, whereas Lillywhite streamlines the group’s rhythm section into a more cohesive unit, smoothing over their bumps and freeing up the sonic space so the deep and varied instrumentation (tin whistle, mandolin, accordion, dulcimer, banjo, horns) never turns to overpopulation. “Turkish Song of the Damned” and “Thousands Are Sailing” motor along with an assurance uncommon to the Pogues up till this point. However, the album’s true centerpiece is the whisky-soaked piano ballad,  “Fairytale of New York,” a duet with Irish singer Kirsty MacColl (daughter of Irish legend Ewan MacColl and wife to Lillywhite) that swells with a string crescendo, while nostalgically recalling a Christmas Eve in Manhattan that sounds haunted by ghosts many decades past. The expanded edition adds several tracks of distinction, including the traditional “Mountain Dew” and “The Irish Rover.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Producer Steve Lillywhite came aboard for the Pogues’ third album to steady their ramshackle sound, capturing what is for many the band’s finest album. Elvis Costello’s production of the band’s previous album, Rum, S****y and the Lash, showcased their anarchic streak, whereas Lillywhite streamlines the group’s rhythm section into a more cohesive unit, smoothing over their bumps and freeing up the sonic space so the deep and varied instrumentation (tin whistle, mandolin, accordion, dulcimer, banjo, horns) never turns to overpopulation. “Turkish Song of the Damned” and “Thousands Are Sailing” motor along with an assurance uncommon to the Pogues up till this point. However, the album’s true centerpiece is the whisky-soaked piano ballad,  “Fairytale of New York,” a duet with Irish singer Kirsty MacColl (daughter of Irish legend Ewan MacColl and wife to Lillywhite) that swells with a string crescendo, while nostalgically recalling a Christmas Eve in Manhattan that sounds haunted by ghosts many decades past. The expanded edition adds several tracks of distinction, including the traditional “Mountain Dew” and “The Irish Rover.”

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