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Rum Sodomy & The Lash (Remastered / Expanded) Extra tracks

4.8 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 8 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Wea U.k.
  • ASIN: B0007OKONM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,890 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Sickbed of Cuchulainn
2. Old Main Drag
3. Wild Cats of Kilkenny
4. I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day
5. Pair of Brown Eyes
6. Sally MacLennane
7. Dirty Old Town
8. Jesse James
9. Navigator
10. Billy's Bones
11. Gentleman Soldier
12. Band Played Waltzing Matilda
13. Pistol for Paddy Garcia [*]
14. London Girl [*]
15. Rainy Night in Soho [*]
16. Body of an American [*]
17. Planxty Noel Hill [*]
18. Parting Glass [*]

Product Description


One sad irony of Shane MacGowan's life is that by the time he was accepted into the pantheon of Irish poets, he'd already passed his peak. Back in 1985, he was reviled by his compatriots as a corrupter of the noble folk tradition--however, MacGowan knew that any tradition which valued Val Doonican as one of its upholders needed corrupting. All of which might help exlain just why Rum, Sodomy And The Lash was so important. Harder to put into words though, is its brilliance. Put simply, it beggars belief that MacGowan was getting drunk in order to spin tales as heartrending as "The Old Main Drag" and "A Pair Of Brown Eyes"--surely the lyrical equivalent of drinking ten pints to improve your driving. Yet it worked: allied to his colleagues' poignant accompaniments and Elvis Costello's masterful production, the result was an album that irrevocably transformed Irish folk. --Peter Paphides --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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 depressing encounter 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.
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Format: Audio CD
The Pogues and the Mekons proved that punk was more attitude than anything. Just as the Mekons blended punk with country and produced something that was as edgy as anything that had come out before, so the Pogues, playing what on many levels seemed to be traditional Irish folks music. But unlike much Irish music (which I nonetheless love), there is no nostalgia at work here. There is no longing for a largely demised culture here, but traditional forms expressing contemporary experience. Moreover, the Pogues dealt with subject that more traditional Irish bands were have preferred to ignore: prostitution, dissipation (as opposed to mere drunkenness), and hopelessness. From first to last this album proclaims that life ain't pretty.
Although the Pogues were a great band down to every last member, the heart of the band was Shane MacGowan, who managed to convey a down-and-outer just this side of the DT's and death. His vocals drive every song he sings upon, and he is remarkable for the way he can sound utterly dissipated and yet still sing with remarkable emotion. Although he writes many of the album's songs, his finest moments are on songs written by others, such as their version of Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town" and Eric Bogle's "The Band Played Waltzing Maltida." MacColl's version is lovely and only slightly melancholic, sounding almost more like a tin pan alley number than the haunted version that the Pogues would produce. MacGowan doesn't remake Eric Bogle's great anti-war song to the same extent, but the way he passionately tortures every syllable creates one of the most amazingly vocal performances on record.
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By A Customer on Oct. 22 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'll try not to re-hash the other reviews.
If I had to describe this album in one word, it would be "depth." The only thing "punk-ish" on "Rum, Sodomy" is attitude, and even that is a stretch. While the Pogues' preceding and following albums feature more riotous songs, about half of this album are slow ballads/dirges. Fine by me-- the slower numbers really reveal the infinite beauty and majesty of the Pogues' music, both lyrically and sonically. While all of the slow songs are great, the pinacle has got to be A Pair Of Brown Eyes, which is to emotion what the Parthenon is to architecture. But "Rum, Sodomy" is most definitely not a one-hit wonder. And don't worry-- there are enough raucous bone-crunchers in here too.
Some fans might dislike this album for its less polished feel, as opposed to later Pogues albums. But anyone who prefers "Peace & Love," "Hell's Ditch" (decent albums) and "Pogue Mahone" to this album most likely prefer White Snake to Led Zeppelin, John Mayer to Bob Dylan, and N'Sync to Simon and Garfunkel... ok, that's a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.
If any one album totally encapsulates the Pogues, this is definitely it.
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By A Customer on Sept. 24 2002
Format: Audio CD
when the album is titled "rum, sodomy and the lash," and gericault's painting 'le radeau de la medusa' serves as the cover art, you know you're in for a wild ride.
shane and the boys kick off this powerful release with "the sick bed of chuchulainn." bodhran drums roll as shane sets the stage when suddenly they sprawl into verse and his vivid tales ignite as accordians jump and tin whistles wail. the song tosses and tumbles like a ship hurled into treacherous waves. as expected, shane's lyrics are clever and course.
the swell subsides as the crew sails through the next few tracks. these tunes are rich and well constructed. while we sympathize with an unfortunate lad encountering harsh realities on "the old main drag," we are charmed with an invitation to have a drink with a "man you don't meet everyday," and take pity on a broken-hearted soul who is longing for "a pair of brown eyes."
the vessel soon docks and you wander into a pub filled with merriment and laughter. you sit back and drink while you listen to a tale of sweet "sally maclennane." this catchy drinking tune is laced with festive pipes, a bellowing accordian, and a steady beat occasionally throwing in marching measures. the sing-along chorus with suck you in and you'll be shouting with the rest.
the fiddles, uileann pipes, bass, and percussion on this album are reckless in the most orderly fashion. shane's lyrics are smart and shrewd, and either touching or abusive. his vocals are gruff and powerful and just plain great.
BUY THIS ALBUM. PLAY IT LOUD. SING ALONG. ...or billy will have himself a "bloody good fight."
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