The Pogues, from the early raucos and raw punk folk/punk to the later heartfelt anthems of tragic desperation, never failed to disappoint. Undoubtedly Shane MacGowan is a better lyricist than Lennon and McCartney could ever to be. The homage to the life of Brendan Behan, Streams of Whiskey, was his first ever song and imcapsulates the pure riotness that the early Pogues had. The fact the album kicks off with A Rainy Night In Soho, perhaps MacGowan's finest tune, shows how his reputation for drunken self-destruction is a mere distraction for his sensitive brilliance. The famous Fairytale Of New York and Irish Rover still sound as good as ever despite being nearly twenty years old. It is also worth noting the writing of the other Pogues, notably Thousands Are Sailing by Phil Chevron, which shows that all the genius in the band was not just down to MacGowan. However it certainly is MacGowan that made the band what it was, and wrote all the greatest songs, dominating this album with his writing. With songs such as Sunnyside Of The Street we see the way the Pogues changed to a more Eastern style in later years. Overall this album must rank as one of the greatest compilations of the last few decades, or even ever. The only disappointment is the alck of Sayonara, surely one the great Pogues songs.
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