Most Helpful First | Newest First
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st Pogues Masterpiece,
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash is a great album. It contains "A Pair of Brown Eyes," arguably Shane MacGowan's first masterpiece. It was recorded long before the album sessions took place, and was released as the band's third single. A slow ballad, it does not tell a story as much as it vividly recreates a few depressing moments in a bar. The singer, trying to drink away the memory of a brown-eyed ex-lover, is subjected to the ramblings of a drunken veteran of the Great War. The old-timer graphically relates how he endured the horrors of battle only to return home and find that his own brown-eyed girl had not waited for him. Following the time honored folk process, MacGowan set his lyrics against a backdrop of traditional Irish music. The album includes two more MacGowan classics: "The Sickbed of Cuchulainn" and "The Old Main Drag."
Replete with allusions to Irish history and culture, "Sick Bed" is a MacGowan tour de force with references to the mythical Irish hero Cuchulainn, Irish singers John McCormack and Richard Tauber, Irish Republican Frank Ryan, and Cloughprior cemetery where many of MacGowan's family are buried. "The Old Main Drag," a slow poignant number, is a seamy slice of life tale of a 16 year-old immigrant's attempts to cope with London's underbelly. MacGowan has claimed that the song isn't autobiographical, not surprising given the teenager's involvement with male prostitution, but the lyrics' power are surely born of experience. Nearly 25 years after its release "The Old Main Drag" had lost none of its power and remained a concert favorite.
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash contains several other fine tracks. A traditional Scottish song, "I'm a Man You Don't Meet Everyday," featuring Cait O'Riordan's finest recorded vocal, is one. MacGowan's vocals on three cover tunes, however, are even better. "Navigator," an excellent song about immigrants building the railroads was written by the Nips' manager Phillip Gaston. "Dirty Old Town," the Ewan McColl classic, is nearly perfect. But best of all is MacGowan's flawless interpretation of Eric Bogel's anti-war masterpiece, "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda." Otis Redding once said that Aretha Franklin stole his song, "Respect." Indeed, most fans associate the song with Franklin despite Redding's outstanding recording. The same can be said of "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda." Bogel's version is fine, but with the release of Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash the song became MacGowan's.
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash is a classic that no fan of Irish music should be without. Rake at the Gates of Hell: Shane MacGowan in Context
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live and party forever,
Probably the greatest album you'll ever own, with excellent bonus tracks to boot. If you enjoy life you'll enjoy this record. The Pogues at their maddest (and sometimes saddest).
Listen with a beer in your hand..sing, shout, laugh and cry, to the Pogues at their magnificent best!
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Move over U2,
I've seen all sorts of lists of the 100 finest albums, and cry into my Guiness that this one hardly ever features. In my book it's No.1.
Every song tells a story, some funny, many sad, all historically accurate and none with any bias....19c navvies may have suffered harsh conditions, but at least they were tough enough to cope so no need to feel sorry eh Shane ?
The instrumentals are of the highest standard, but of course it's McGowans sly, rasping drawl that spits in yer eye and spills yer pint.
(Feel free to mail your own opinion)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Best Album Ever,
After all of these years this remains my best album ever! The raw energy changed the way i looked at music and from start to finish there is not a weak track on here. It is like a journey through life, through the thick & thin, taking life as it comes. It's great & should be in everyones collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would Mr MacGowan please switch off the lighht on his way out,
Steeleye Span bounced into Auckland about 1975 and hit the stage playing GLAM ROCK! Bugger. Folk kind of hit a bad patch about then. Except for a bit of Roy Harper-folk kind of repackaged and safe. Enter (or shamble) stage left the Pogues. Anarchy returned with rotten teeth, unchanged underwear and enough attitude to fall off stage, pick a fight with his own leg, as the band see-sawed along-and was that a mandolin being played up on stage. Yes this is one exceptional recording. For me, it was the first and best of the Pogues. I liked a whole lot of other things they did but more in bits. This was one seething whole or hole depending on the night or time it was played. Dirty old town was on an early (and decent)Rod Stewart solo but it was kind of poppy. The Pogues made it what it is, a working class song of celebration. Other stand outs were 'I'm a man you dont meet every day'. Reminded me of an Irish publican I once worked for and believe me I would not have wanted to meet him in a dark alleyway-short and mild in appearance as he was. And 'A pair pf brown eyes'-bit scatalogical for the young juvenile male in me who still stalks the hallways of maturity and grey hair. But I guess the one I sing along to still-thanks Mr MacGowan for letting me vocalise with you in shower and bath, in drunkeness (mostly drunkeness) and in the contained confines of the car roaring along, is 'And the band played Waltzing Matilda'. Eric Bogle's very moving tribute to those who survive war but are maimed or changed forever and nothing quite as innocent again.Seriously good musicians and a fun time to be had. Folkies but responsible for putting fire back in the belly of an old whale.George Orwell would have loved you boys.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! Poguetry in Motion,
This is a welcome rerelease of "Rum Sodomy and the Lash," the Pogues' second album. The sound is much brighter than on the 1994 CD release. It was probably remastered.
Even better, the disk includes four tracks from the 1980s EP "Poguetry in Motion." For some reason, the several "greatest hits" anthologies managed to overlook these gems: "Rainy Day in Soho," "London Girl," "Body of an American," and "Planxty Noel Hill." The last named is an instrumental jig; the other three are classic Sean Macgowan songs.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the ghosts are rattling at the door and the devil's in the chair,
The Pogues were a bit of a life-saver for me in the desert of the London music scene of the early 80's. After punk disappeared up its own bottom and with the onset of the dreaded New Romantics they were a breath of fresh air (well, when I say fresh, more like a breath of overflowing ashtray and stale, spilt beer air, but you know what I mean). Their roots may have been in Irish music but their audience were the London Irish, the children of the immigrants of the 40's, 50's and 60's, who occupied great swathes of North London. Shane MacGowan's songs were about us, not some bloke in Dublin or Cork.
This was their second album produced (not very well, if you ask me) by Elvis Costello. It opens with two of MacGowan's greatest songs, the fantastic drunken, deathly rant of `The Sickbed Of Cuchulainn', and `The Old Main Drag' a bitter but beautiful song about the terrible fate of a rent-boy. It couldn't possibly keep this standard up and, truth be told, didn't. `Pair Of Brown Eyes' and `Sally Maclennane' are two more terrific MacGowan songs but there's a few others on here which aren't up to much.
There's a few covers too. `Jesse James' and `Navigator' are fine but I've never been a fan of `Dirty Old Town' and while their version of `The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' is sincere, it's not really a patch on Eric Bogle's original. Allied with Costello's dull, flat production the original album is, in my opinion, just about worth four stars.
But this re-issue comes with the addition of the `Poguetry In Motion' EP and as this contains `Rainy Night In Soho', possibly MacGowan's finest song, as well as three other good 'uns, five stars are definitely called for.
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw Irish adrenaline,
What can one say that hasn't been said before? The Pogues (with Shane McGowan) have created a trademark blend of raucous Irish punk rock and poetry. The music and words come from the heart and stir the soul; the band performs with a simple ferocity that belies the deep and complex emotions behind the words. Yet it's not just Emerald Isle Ramones. The Pogues know how to do slow numbers too - full of wit, cynicism and anger. My favourite tracks on this album (with 6 bonus tracks) are Rainy Night in Soho, Sick Bed of Cuchulainn, Old Main Drag, A Pair of Brown Eyes, Sally MacLennane and The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. But there isn't a single bad track on the album although some tracks are definitely better than others. For me, Jesse James and London Girl are not the Pogues quite at their best though they're catchy and good fun. Overall, strongly recommended. A masterpiece.(Make sure you buy the digitally remastered version with the 6 bonus tracks that are not present on the original album.)
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild and free,
That's how I felt when i first heard the ribald tunes on this record. It galavants all over the mythical lore of the Irish Rover and his environs; that involves a lot of drinking and the aftermath.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent,
again a great album can't fault it really great value for money with bonus tracks included a steal! one of their best albums
Most Helpful First | Newest First