Saturday, October 5, 2013

Video Of The Week: The Pogues

As the quintessential ''Irish sound'' rock band, The Pogues have written and covered pretty much the entire cannon of what Westerners identify with the Celtic sound. Chief among their compositions are two of the best ballads of the past 75 years Fairytale Of New York, and this one, Rainy Night In Soho:

Soho has one of the best lines in rock ballad history with ''You're the measure of my dreams'', one that shows both the depth and humility often found in singer/composer Shane MacGowan's lyrics.

One weird twist with this song is that it was almost never released. Originally recorded during the sessions for Rum, Sodomy & The Lash (1985), over a dozen versions float around various bootleg recordings and studio vaults, primarily because of a rift between MacGowan and the album's pdoducer, Elvis Costello: Costello preferred a mix that featured an oboe, while MacGowan liked one with a cornet. Various versions were created mixing both to a certain extent to try to make them both happy, but the song was ultimately shelved and not put on the album.

It took until 1991 to released, on the Poguetry In Motion EP. Who won? You could say that MacGowan did, as the cornet version appeared on most versions of the release... except in Canada, where the oboe mix made the cut instead.

The Poguetry In Motion tracks were re-released, remastered and included in the 2004 re-editions of Rum, Sodomy & The Lash, and yet another version of Rainy Night In Soho was also included on the 2004 re-releases of 1990's Hell's Ditch.

The songs is also featured on every compilation of the band's music, with multiple versions making their way to the Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say... POGUE MAHONE!! box set, from 2008.

Nothing is ever easy with The Pogues, even releasing their best songs.

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