If I Should Fall from Grace with God
|If I Should Fall from Grace with God|
|Studio album by The Pogues|
|Genre||Celtic punk, folk punk|
|The Pogues chronology|
Previous Pogues albums had focused on an Irish folk/punk rock hybrid. On If I Should Fall from Grace with God, jazz, Spanish folk and Middle Eastern folk were added to the mix. The addition of Spanish and Middle Eastern sounds was a sign of things to come; on 1990's Hell's Ditch these would become more prominent. On this album, however, it was very much Irish folk to the fore, especially on songs such as the title track, "Bottle of Smoke", "Lullaby of London", "Sit Down by the Fire", and the rendition of the traditional jig "The Lark in the Morning" as the coda to "Turkish Song of the Damned". These songs were more typical of earlier Pogues albums, mostly fast and heavily textured. The album was also the first by the band to utilize a complete drum kit.
Also prominent were the ballads "Thousands Are Sailing", "The Broad Majestic Shannon", and the Christmas hit, "Fairytale of New York", a duet with Kirsty MacColl. "Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six" showed the political side to their music, the first part being about the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the second half about the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, two groups of men wrongly imprisoned for terrorism offences and held in jail. The song also makes a passing reference to the Loughgall Martyrs with the line "while over in Ireland eight more men lay dead, kicked down and shot in the back of the head".
The album marked the most substantial line-up change to date for The Pogues, as it was the first full-length album on which multi-instrumentalist Terry Woods and bassist Darryl Hunt appear. It also marked the departure of one of the original members, bassist Cait O'Riordan.
The alternative album cover is a collage of faked photos of the group's members, in which their faces have been superimposed onto a shot of Irish author James Joyce. The picture of Joyce appears fourth from the left.
Due to time restriction of a vinyl LP the two tracks "South Australia" and "The Battle March Medley" have been omitted and can be found only on the CD release.
If I Should Fall from Grace with God was well received by critics. Kurt Loder of Rolling Stone stated "obviously the Pogues can do it all. And it sounds as if they've only just begun." Robert Christgau gave the album a B+ and said that "neither pop nor rock nor disco crossover stays these groghounds from the swift accomplishment of their appointed rounds." Allmusic has since awarded the album four and a half out of five stars and its reviewer, Mark Deming, called it "the best album the Pogues would ever make."
- "If I Should Fall from Grace with God" (Shane MacGowan) – 2:20
- "Turkish Song of the Damned" (MacGowan, Jem Finer) – 3:27
- "Bottle of Smoke" (MacGowan, Finer) – 2:47
- "Fairytale of New York" (MacGowan, Finer) – 4:36
- "Metropolis" – 2:50 (Finer)
- "Thousands Are Sailing" (Phil Chevron) – 5:28
- "South Australia" (Traditional)† – 3:27
- "Fiesta" (MacGowan, Finer) – 4:13
- "Medley: The Recruiting Sergeant/The Rocky Road to Dublin/The Galway Races" (Traditional) – 4:03
- "Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six" (MacGowan, Terry Woods) – 4:39
- "Lullaby of London" (MacGowan) – 3:32
- "The Battle March Medley" (Woods)† – 4:10
- "Sit Down by the Fire" (MacGowan) – 2:18
- "The Broad Majestic Shannon" (MacGowan) – 2:55
- "Worms" (Traditional) – 1:01
- † – CD bonus track, not on vinyl LP or cassette editions
- 2005 reissue
- "If I Should Fall from Grace with God" (MacGowan)
- "Turkish Song of the Damned" (MacGowan, Finer)
- "Bottle of Smoke" (MacGowan, Finer)
- "Fairytale of New York" (MacGowan, Finer)
- "Metropolis" (Finer)
- "Thousands Are Sailing" (Chevron)
- "Fiesta" (MacGowan, Finer)
- "Medley: The Recruiting Sergeant/The Rocky Road to Dublin/The Galway Races" (Traditional)
- "Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six" (MacGowan, Woods)
- "Lullaby of London" (MacGowan)
- "Sit Down by the Fire" (MacGowan)
- "The Broad Majestic Shannon" (MacGowan)
- "Worms" (Traditional)
- "The Battle March Medley" (Woods)
- "The Irish Rover" (Joseph Crofts/Traditional)†
- "Mountain Dew" (Traditional)†
- "Shanne Bradley" (MacGowan)†
- "Sketches of Spain" (The Pogues)†
- "South Australia" (Traditional)
- † – bonus track, not on original release
- Shane MacGowan – vocals, guitar
- Spider Stacy – tin whistle, vocals
- James Fearnley – accordion, piano, mandolin, dulcimer, guitar, cello, percussion
- Jem Finer – banjo, saxophone
- Andrew Ranken – drums, vocals
- Philip Chevron – guitar, mandolin
- Darryl Hunt – bass, percussion, vocals
- Terry Woods – cittern lute, concertina, strings, banjo, dulcimer, guitar, vocals
- Ron Kavana – banjo, spoons, mandolin
- Kirsty MacColl – vocals on "Fairytale Of New York"
- Siobhan Sheahan – harp
- Brian Clarke – alto saxophone
- Joe Cashman – tenor saxophone
- Paul Taylor – trombone
- Chris Lee – trumpet
- Eli Thompson – trumpet
- Deming, Mark. "If I Should Fall from Grace with God – The Pogues". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2005.
- Christgau, Robert (May 24, 1988). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: The Pogues: If I Should Fall from Grace with God". The Village Voice. Retrieved 13 January 2012. Relevant portion also posted at "The Pogues: If I Should Fall from Grace with God > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- Loder, Kurt (February 25, 1988). "The Pogues If I Should Fall from Grace with God > Album Review". Rolling Stone (520). Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
- Q August 2006, Issue 241