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The Ultimate Collection – The Pogues

The Ultimate Collection - The Pogues Artist: The Pogues
Album: The Ultimate Collection
Release Date: April 5, 2005
Duration: 02:32:27
Genre: Pop/Rock, Folk
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, British Folk, Celtic Rock, College Rock
Recording Date: December 22, 2001 & December 23, 2001

For those who only know the Pogues from their duet Christmas hit with Kirsty MacColl, “Fairytale of New York,” or don’t know anything about the Irish group at all, this album is an excellent place to start.

Featuring 23 highlights from the group’s catalog — with three tracks from Red Roses for Me, eight from Rum Sodomy & the Lash, five from If I Should Fall from Grace with God, three each from Peace and Love and Hell’s Ditch, and just one track from Waiting for Herb, recorded as Shane MacGowan sank deeper into alcoholism — Ultimate Collection is a fair summary of the band’s output over a period of nearly 20 years. They were never a singles band — in fact, their only Top Ten hits were the aforementioned Christmas single and a duet with the Dubliners on the traditional Irish jig “The Irish Rover” — but the Pogues nevertheless became one of the most successful traditional Irish folk bands, with their defining points consisting of Shane MacGowan’s distinctive slurring vocals and working-class political lyrics. They had released hit collections previously, but both the 1991 albums The Best of the Pogues and The Essential Pogues were condensed 14-track albums, and 2001’s The Very Best of the Pogues contained 21 tracks on a single CD. This double CD is a revamped version of the latter album, but also includes a bonus disc featuring a full show recorded at the Brixton Academy in 2001, featuring live versions of many of the tracks featured on disc one. As the years go by, the Christmas hit “Fairytale of New York” appears to get more and more popular, originally peaking at number two in 1987, number three in 2005, number six in 2006, and number four in 2007, as the tale of two sparring aging partners has consistently topped the U.K.’s polls of the nation’s favorite Christmas records, and inclusion of this one track does The Ultimate Collection no harm at all.

Title/Composer Performer Time
Rainy Night in Soho / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 4:44
Sally MacLennane / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 2:42
The Irish Rover / Joseph Crofts The Pogues 3:39
Dirty Old Town / Ewan MacColl The Pogues 3:43
Fairytale of New York / Jem Finer / Shane MacGowan The Pogues feat: Kirsty MacColl 4:32
Streams of Whiskey / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 2:31
If I Should Fall from Grace with God / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 2:19
Fiesta / Jem Finer / Lindt Kotscher / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 4:10
Body of an American / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 4:48
Misty Morning, Albert Bridge / Jem Finer The Pogues 3:00
Repeal of the Licensing Laws / Spider Stacy The Pogues 2:09
Boys from the County Hell / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 2:54
The Sunnyside of the Street / Jem Finer / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 2:42
A Pair of Brown Eyes / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 3:40
Summer in Siam / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 4:06
The Sickbed of Cuchulaínn / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 2:59
London Girl / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 3:04
Tuesday Morning / Spider Stacy The Pogues 3:28
White City / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 2:29
Hell’s Ditch / Jem Finer / Shane MacGowan The Pogues 3:02
Young Ned of the Hill / Ron Kavana / Terry Woods The Pogues 2:44
Thousands Are Sailing / Philip Chevron The Pogues 5:26
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