Rum Sodomy & the Lash
|Rum Sodomy & the Lash|
|Studio album by|
|Released||5 August 1985|
|Recorded||Elephant Studios, London|
|Genre||Celtic punk, folk punk, new wave|
|Label||Stiff (UK & Europe)|
MCA (US & Canada)
Philip Chevron (track 7)
|The Pogues chronology|
|Singles from Rum Sodomy & the Lash|
Rum Sodomy & the Lash is the second studio album by the London-based folk punk band The Pogues, released on 5 August 1985. The album reached number 13 in the UK charts. The track "A Pair of Brown Eyes", based on an older Irish tune, reached number 72 in the UK singles chart. "The Old Main Drag" later appeared on the soundtrack to the film My Own Private Idaho.
The album's title is taken from a quotation attributed to Winston Churchill: "Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash." The title was suggested by drummer Andrew Ranken, who said "it seemed to sum up life in our band".
Critical reception and accolades
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Irish Times|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||A|
Rum Sodomy & the Lash received positive reviews from critics. Melody Maker's Adam Sweeting said, "The brightest, most intense moments of Rum ... aren't about particularities of style or delivery. This is, apart from anything else, music to hang on to other people by to stave off brutal fact and the weight of history. While The Pogues make music for drunks as well, probably, as anyone has they're also dragging an oft-ignored folk tradition into the daylight with an altogether improbable potency ... Rum ... has soul, if not a great deal of innovation, and somewhere among the glasses and the ashtrays lie a few home truths." Sounds' Jane Simon called Rum Sodomy & the Lash "the finest slice of story-telling your heart could wish for". David Quantick of NME described the record as "a collection of free-ranging stuff to be sure; from the funereal folk ballad to the near spaghetti-western instrumental, raucous celebration to brown study, cheerful melody to downright strangeness. It's never sentimental, it's rarely polite, and it's certainly not ordinary ... Rum Sodomy and the Lash is more than the best record The Pogues could be expected to make at this time. It's more than a brilliant example of a band using its resources in an imaginative manner. It's probably the best LP of 1985." Robert Christgau of The Village Voice wrote that "none of it would mean much without the songs—some borrowed, some traditional, and some proof that MacGowan can roll out bitter blarney with the best of his role models."
In a retrospective review, Mark Deming of AllMusic stated that Rum Sodomy & the Lash "falls just a bit short of being the Pogues' best album, but was the first one to prove that they were a great band, and not just a great idea for a band." Daniel Bristow of the Irish music website CLUAS awarded the album an eight out of ten, calling it "a record that will never cease to delight, always a pleasure to hear and highly, highly recommended if you're not familiar with it already". Q described the record as "a proud, defiant bruise of an album that manages to be both profoundly bleak and immoderately romantic and it remains MacGowan's and The Pogues' finest hour". Uncut's Jon Wilde wrote that "the most startling thing about their second album was the steep ascendancy of MacGowan's songwriting", while Spin's Jon Dolan called McGowan's lyrics "some of the purest toothless lyricism in punk rock history".
In 2000, Q placed Rum Sodomy & the Lash at number 93 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2012, the album was ranked number 440 on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. Pitchfork Media named it the 67th best album of the 1980s. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
A remastered and expanded version of Rum, Sodomy & the Lash was released for compact disc by WEA in the European market on 11 January 2005; this reissue was released on September 19, 2006, by Rhino Records in the United States. The remastered disc added six bonus tracks, including the entirety of the Poguetry in Motion EP and the b-sides to "Dirty Old Town" – "A Pistol for Paddy Garcia" on seven-inch and "The Parting Glass" on twelve-inch singles. The reissue included liner notes by David Quantick and a poem about the Pogues by Tom Waits.
|Standard edition – Side one|
|1.||"The Sick Bed of Cúchulainn"||Shane MacGowan||2:59|
|2.||"The Old Main Drag"||Shane MacGowan||3:19|
|3.||"The Wild Cats of Kilkenny"||Shane MacGowan, Jem Finer||2:48|
|4.||"I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day"||traditional||2:55|
|5.||"A Pair of Brown Eyes"||Shane MacGowan||4:54|
|6.||"Sally MacLennane"||Shane MacGowan||2:43|
|Standard edition – Side two|
|1.||"Dirty Old Town"||Ewan MacColl||3:45|
|4.||"Billy's Bones"||Shane MacGowan||2:02|
|5.||"The Gentleman Soldier"||traditional||2:04|
|6.||"And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda"||Eric Bogle||8:10|
|Bonus tracks (2005 reissue)|
|13.||"A Pistol for Paddy Garcia"||Jem Finer||2:31|
|14.||"London Girl"||Shane MacGowan||3:05|
|15.||"Rainy Night in Soho"||Shane MacGowan||5:36|
|16.||"Body of an American"||Shane MacGowan||4:49|
|17.||"Planxty Noel Hill"||Jem Finer||3:12|
|18.||"The Parting Glass"||traditional||2:14|
- Shane MacGowan – vocals
- Spider Stacy – tin whistle; vocals on "Jesse James"
- James Fearnley – accordion
- Jem Finer – banjo
- Cait O'Riordan – bass; vocals on "I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day"
- Andrew Ranken – drums
- Philip Chevron – guitar; mandolin on "The Parting Glass"
- Additional personnel
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
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- "British album certifications – The Pogues – Rum, Sodomy and the Lash". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Rum, Sodomy and the Lash in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.