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The Pogues

Number of songs: 2 | Total weeks on charts: 3
Appearing in a total number of: 2 charts | Total period running: 7 days

The Pogues were an English or Anglo-Irish Celtic punk band fronted by Shane MacGowan and others, founded in King's Cross, London, in 1982, as Pogue Mahone - an anglicisation of the Irish phrase p�g mo th�in, meaning "kiss my arse". Fusing punk influences with traditional Irish instruments such as the tin whistle, banjo, cittern, mandolin and accordion, the band started off playing in London pubs and clubs. After gaining wider attention as an opening act for The Clash on their 1984 tour, and shortening their name to the Pogues - to circumvent BBC censorship, following complaints from Scottish Gaelic speakers - the band released their first studio album, Red Roses for Me, in October 1984. Named after the 1942 play by Irish dramatist Se�n O'Casey, the album featured a mix of traditional Irish songs and original compositions by MacGowan, including "Dark Streets of London" and "Streams of Whiskey".

Produced by Elvis Costello, the Pogues' second studio album, Rum Sodomy & the Lash - titled after a quotation attributed to Winston Churchill - was released in August 1985, including the songs "A Pair of Brown Eyes", "Sally MacLennane", and "Dirty Old Town". In 1986, they released the EP Poguetry in Motion, also produced by Costello, containing the songs "The Body of an American" and "A Rainy Night in Soho". In 1987, their arrangement of the folk song "The Irish Rover", a collaboration with The Dubliners, reached number one in Ireland and number eight in the UK; the two bands performed the song on Ireland's The Late Late Show and the UK's Top of the Pops. Later in 1987, the Pogues released the Christmas single "Fairytale of New York", featuring Kirsty McColl, which reached number one in Ireland and number two in the UK. The song remains a perennial Christmas favourite in the UK and Ireland; in December 2022, it was certified quintuple platinum in the UK, having achieved three million combined sales. It featured on the band's critically acclaimed and commercially successful third studio album, If I Should Fall from Grace with God (1988), which also included "Thousands Are Sailing", "Fiesta", and the political protest song "Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six". The Pogues recorded two more albums featuring MacGowan - Peace and Love (1989), including "White City" and "Misty Morning, Albert Bridge", and Hell's Ditch (1990), featuring "Sunny Side of the Street" and "Summer in Siam" - before sacking him during a 1991 tour as his drug and alcohol dependency increasingly impacted their ability to perform live.

The band continued after MacGowan's departure, first with Joe Strummer and then with longtime band member Spider Stacy as frontmen, releasing new material on Waiting for Herb (1993). They broke up following the critical and commercial failure of their seventh and last studio album, Pogue Mahone (1996). The band - once again including MacGowan - re-formed for a reunion tour in late 2001. They continued playing regularly across the UK and Ireland, and on the East Coast of the United States; they also toured in Europe in 2012. To mark the 30th anniversary of their founding, they released the live album and concert video The Pogues in Paris: 30th Anniversary and the box set Pogues 30, containing remastered versions of all their studio albums, plus a previously unreleased live album. Longtime Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron died in October 2013. The band played its final live shows in summer 2014, before dissolving. Longtime bassist Darryl Hunt died in August 2022 and MacGowan died in November 2023.

Red Roses for Me (1984)
Rum Sodomy & the Lash (1985)
If I Should Fall from Grace with God (1988)
Peace and Love (1989)
Hell's Ditch (1990)
Waiting for Herb (1993)
Pogue Mahone (1996)
Sources: Wikipedia, Editorial team

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