The Pogues’ third studio album including big hits such as Fiesta, Thousands Are Sailing and the Christmas classic Fairytale of New York featuring Kirsty MacColl.
What’s the hook?
Combining the spirit of Punk with traditional Irish Folk music, The Pogues were one of the most radical bands of the 1980’s. Their instantly recognizable and politically tinged music helped them achieve 5 consecutive top 20 albums in the UK as well as producing the hit single ‘Fairytale of New York’ which is widely regarded as the greatest Christmas song of all time.
It took around two and a half years for The Pogues to follow up from their second album Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, and the result was the band’s highest charting album, peaking at number 3 in the UK. There were a number of personnel changes in the run up to this album’s creation. Steve Lillywhite came onboard to produce If I Should Fall From Grace With God, following on from Elvis Costello who produced the previous album. The band’s membership also changed, with bassist Cait O’Riordan (who married Costello) departing, and three new members joining; multi-instrumentalist Terry Woods, bassist Darryl Hunt, 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 Kirsty MacColl on “Fairytale Of New York,” a massive hit in the U.K. and U.S. Originally the other vocals were to be Cait O’Riordan, but after her departure from the band, Steve Lillywhite worked with acclaimed singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl, who were both married to each other. They worked tirelessly and meticulously at the home studio to perfect Kirsty’s vocals, which when presented to the band, blew them away.
The expanded edition’s six bonus tracks 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.”
1. If I Should Fall From Grace With God
2. Turkish Song Of The Damned
3. Bottle Of Smoke
4. Fairytale Of New York
6. Thousands Are Sailing
8. Medley: The Recruiting Sergeant/The Rocky Road To Dublin/The Galway Races
9. Streets Of Sorrow/Birmingham Six
10. Lullaby Of London
11. Sit Down By The Fire
12. The Broad Majestic Shannon
14. The Battle March (Medley)
15. The Irish Rover
16. Mountain Dew
17. Shanne Bradley
18. Sketches Of Spain
19. South Australia