Album: If I Should Fall from Grace with God, 1988
Justification: Happy nearly St Patrick’s Day!
The Pogues have a very special place in my heart not because I like a drink or because I have any particular fondness for Celtic folkery, but because they were about the only band that my cousins and I could agree on. The tastes of the Adelaide- and Sydney-based Streets were very different but we all found common ground with the London-based Irish punk-folkers, and I was absolutely going to see the band at the Hordern with my cousins last year but it clashed with something else I went to instead. Damned if I can remember what, mind.
This is also the first album without bassist Cait O’Riordan, who had quit to work with her new husband Elvis Costello (who she’d met when he was producing the Pogues’ 1985 album Rum, Sodomy & the Lash).
She’s missed, but the band regrouped and expanded for what is probably their masterpiece – bringing in a bunch of new worldish musicish influences to their standard frenetic folk. However, the title track is heartland Poguery and proves that there’s more to them than the (admittedly brilliant) perennial number-one-song-in-heaven that is ‘Fairytale of New York’, which was also on this disc. And while you’re here, click through to this song by the late, great Kirsty MacColl, who was the duettist on that track.
And then when you get maudlin, come back to this – a truly rollicking celebration of damnation.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: The most underrated Pixies song ever: ‘Dig for Fire’.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: The Hold Steady’s jubilant ode to problem gambling: ‘Chips Ahoy!’.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…