Very Best of...

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  1. Dirty Old Town
  2. The Irish Rover
  3. Sally MacLennane
  4. Fiesta
  5. A Pair Of Brown Eyes
  6. Fairytale Of New York
  7. The Body Of An American
  8. Streams Of Whiskey
  9. The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn
  10. If I Should Fall From Grace With God
  11. Misty Morning Albert Bridge
  12. Rain Street
  13. White City
  14. A Rainy Night In SoHo
  15. London Girl
  16. Boy's From The County Hell
  17. The Sunnyside Of The Street
  18. Summer In Siam
  19. Hell's Ditch
  20. The Old Main Drag
  21. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
The Pogues Singles Best Of CD
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Ireland's prodigal son, or whiskey-sodden tragedy case? As frontman for the Pogues, Shane MacGowan always managed to combine the two into one gloriously drunken whole. In the years between 1983 and 1991, the Pogues--their name derived from the Gaelic for "kiss my arse"--released five albums marrying the melodies of traditional Irish folk to the energy of punk-rock and rockabilly. It's the tracks on The Very Best Of, drawn from The Pogues' two most celebrated albums--Rum, Sodomy and the Lash and If I Should Fall from Grace with God--that find the band on top form; see the drunken Yuletime feud of "Fairytale of New York" featuring the late Kirsty MacColl, or the violent pint-downer of "The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn". A look beyond the drinking songs, however, and it may come as a surprise to many that MacGowan's lyrics touch on The Big Themes--romance, misery, pride and self-destruction--with a rare eloquence; the raw emotions played out in the likes of "The Old Main Drag"--a bare, honest tale of poverty and addiction, the young MacGowan "spat on and shat on and raped and abused"--are a reminder that the Pogues may have been seldom sober, but they were never anything less than utterly human. --Louis Pattison