This five disc box set consists of studio outtakes, rehearsal recordings, live recordings, and hard to find B-sides. Of the set's 111 tracks, three-quarters consists of unreleased material. Like most "posthumous" collections culled from recordings that had been left on the shelf, there are no long lost masterpieces here. Still, there are many good tracks and several hidden gems. "NW3," (a precursor to "Mother Mo Chroi") "Something Wild," and "Driving Through the City" are all worthy additions to Shane's body of work. The set's most outstanding track, "Aisling," was recorded for Hell's Ditch but inexplicably failed to make the cut. Subsequently MacGowan rerecorded the song with the Popes and released it on The Snake, his first solo album. The Pogues' acoustic version is softer and considerably slower than the recording Shane did with the Popes. Another delight is a portion of a fantastic live set, six songs in all, recorded in Scotland's Barrowlands in 1987.
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