Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say...Pogue Mahone Box set, Import, Best of
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Remarkable 2008 five CD box by The Pogues, at least three quarters of which comprises previously unreleased material while the remainder is made up of decidedly hard-to-find Pogues' rarities. Compiled by The Pogues with track by track annotations from Phil Chevron, there are a bountiful 111 tracks from 1983 demos (pre-dating their first recordings for Stiff Records) through to live recordings from 2001 Just Look Them Straight In The Eye is an absolute treasure trove of unreleased recordings for all Pogues' fans, spanning their entire career and featuring rehearsal recordings, B-sides, out-takes, rare mixes, BBC sessions plus recordings with Steve Earle, Joe Strummer and, of course, Kirsty MacColl. Alongside these are unreleased soundtrack recordings from Sid and Nancy, Garbo and Straight To Hell, alternate versions of Pogues' classics like "Fairy Tale Of New York" and "Rainy Night In Soho" and a generous selection of live recordings. Rhino UK.
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Top Customer Reviews
Any serious Pogues fans will want this album, but I'd recommend newcomers start with the first five Pogues albums. Rake at the Gates of Hell: Shane Macgowan in Context
Less fervent fans would be better served by one of the many "Best Of" collections.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is no "best of" box set, recycling the same stuff you've already got in your collection...I own just about every official and unofficial recording the Pogues have ever released, and this compilation is almost entirely new to me. Live tracks. Demos. Peel Sessions. Remixes.
More than just a box set, this is archival stuff - the recorded history of one of the best (and most influential) bands in the history or rock music.
The sound quality is almost as impressive as the content itself - really wonderful remastering work.
Just buy it...assuming amazon ever gets it back in stock.
The remastering on many of the cuts is spectacular. You can tell this music isn't just enjoyed, it's loved.
Phil Chevron's notes are well worth the read and give many insights into the madness that is The Pogues.
This box set is well priced and worth twice as much.
Holy ****ing &%$#!!! If you've never been to a Pogues show, but know the material, listen to the live cuts of Sally MacLennane, Dirty Old Town, and The Sickbed of Cuchulainn first. These will confirm what Macgowan has always said, says on the rambling docu-bio "If I Should Fall From Grace. . .", that the Pogues should be recorded live. The energy on those tracks, from the band and the audience is truly extraordinary, and takes me back to New York in the late 80's when I first heard some of this music (at McSorley's Pub on E. 6th St; a night on which I was almost beaten for something unkind a companion said about the Irish). It's raw, it's warm, it's grrrreat fun, and it's a lasting beauty that attends little in popular music, say maybe Bob Dylan and a very few others.
Everything has been said in the other reviews about this set. I can only echo: "when will the other five discs be released"? And: "how about a tour of the US (not just the Northeast)?!" The fact that Shane MacGowan is still alive (look for a prediction of his imminent death to appear in print at least twice a year) is a marvel, and though I do actually say a prayer now and then that he will get sober (at 51 how much longer can he last?), his persistence in breathing the air is a testament to the energy and vitality of the music that flows through him and the band. I enjoy all of this, including the slurred singing from Shane-O (which, incidentally, has as much to do with his very poor dental health as the drinking). The variety, the new stuff, the old stuff in new versions, even the cinematic instrumentals are all a joy. Buy this if you like the Pogues, The Popes, and the genre they spawned, even a little bit. A keeper, a joy, a marvel. Thank you Phil Chevron for this great labor of love. May the Pogues (and Shane) be around and playing another 25 years!
I have all of The Pogues albums (except for Red Roses and the last two without Shane McGowan). Buy this box set. You won't be disappointed! I had no idea there were so many great Pogues gems that never made it on their albums. The production value is also a HUGE PLUS! There are at least 3 Pogues albums worth of stuff you've probably never heard of before.
Reasons to buy this box set:
1. "NW3" Arguably one of the BEST Pogues songs I've ever heard!
2. All the different demo's of "Fairytale Of New York" simply fabulous! I love Demo #2 BETTER THAN the one with Kristy MacColl! (and I love Kristy MacColl's voice)
3. Unreleased songs of The Pogues with Kristy MacColl (all 3 of them) are terrific, especially "Miss Otis Regrets" and "Tears That I've Cried"
4. The 12 inch version of "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" is AWESOME!
5. There are countless demos and outtakes from "Hells Ditch" and "Red Roses..." which are fabulous. (Just check out: "The Black Dogs Ditch" and "The Last Of McGee" that were cut from Hells Ditch).
6. The demos from "Red Roses" and "Peace and Love" are in my opinion better than what you get on the actual albums, especially the demos from "Red Roses.."
7. I Love the covers: "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" "Do You Believe In Magic" and "Maggie May" and I never cared for Rod Steward's music but when Shane sings it, it's so much better!
8. Demo of "Haunted" from The Sid and Nancy soundtrack is terrific!
9. Awesome production value on the 3 live songs with Joe Strummer. In the past they were only available on bootleg and didn't have decent production value.
10. Liner notes, packaging, and booklet are fabulous with many great stories of The Pogues!
All you Pogues fans will be happy with this Pogues box set. Trust me there's no buyers remorse with this set of treasures!
Hearing "NW3", the different versions of "Fairytale of New York", the live stuff and the Pogues version of Shane's solo songs like "Aisling", "Victoria" and "Dunigal Express" was worth the money. On the other hand most of the songs are duds, I mean come on who wants to hear Shane sing "Do you believe in magic" and "Eve of Destruction" all of the time!? I did want to hear them once or twice to see their creative motivation at the time but that is good enough for me. What's really sad was to hear Shane go downhill in the songs especially in "Aisling" he mumbled half of the time because he couldn't keep up with the song, his solo version from "The Snake" album is way better. And as a good little Pogues fan I have the songs from Sid and Nancy and from Straight to Hell so that's another disk I won't listen to.
I just picked out about an CD's worth of studio stuff and a CD worth of live stuff to listen to all of the time and the rest I'll enjoy maybe once a year.
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