The Pogues

The Pogues

Highest Rated: 88% Sid & Nancy (1986)

Lowest Rated: 88% Sid & Nancy (1986)

Birthday: Not Available

Birthplace: Not Available

The Pogues weren't the first band to combine rock with Irish folk, but they were the ones who put the hybrid on the map. Forging that mixture in the crucible of punk, Shane MacGowan formed the group in 1982 after his punk band The Nips broke up. Drawing on his Irish heritage, the British-born singer/guitarist partnered with accordionist James Fearnley, banjo player Jem Finer, and tin whistle player Spider Stacy to play a mixture of traditional Irish folk tunes and MacGowan-penned originals that brought the raw energy of punk to a folk-based format. By the time the band released its 1984 debut album, Red Roses For Me, they had added the rhythm section of bassist Cait O'Riordan and drummer Andrew Ranken. The record didn't do much commercially, but with Elvis Costello producing and Philip Chevron taking over guitar duties from MacGowan, the band unleashed its classic Rum Sodomy & the Lash in 1985. Putting more focus on MacGowan's increasingly sophisticated songwriting, the album found its way to the Top 20 in the British charts. Alcoholic wild man MacGowan's unpredictable behavior was already putting a strain on the band by this point, during which O'Riordan left the band to be replaced by Darryl Hunt, and multi-instrumentalist Terry Woods (ex-Steeleye Span) came aboard. But The Pogues managed to turn out another gem with 1988's If I Should Fall From Grace With God. The Pogues' collaboration with Kristy MacColl on the album's holiday-themed song "Fairytale of New York" turned into one of the U.K.'s most beloved Christmas songs. Following 1990's Hell's Ditch album, produced by Joe Strummer, MacGowan's behavior finally got him booted from the band. Strummer filled in temporarily but by the time they released 1993's Waiting For Herb Stacy had taken up the frontman role. After one more album, 1996's poorly received Pogue Mahone, the band split up. Though they never made another album, MacGowan rejoined The Pogues for several reunion tours over the years, starting in 2001.



88% 76% Sid & Nancy Original Music $2.7M 1986


No Score Yet No Score Yet Saturday Night Live Music Performer 1990


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