- 05 Aug 20
35 years ago today, The Pogues released their second studio album, Rum Sodomy & The Lash. The album, produced by Elvis Costello, won the approbation of everyone from David Byrne to Tom Waits, who opined that the motley combo played “like sailors on shore leave.” To mark the occasion, we're revisiting Phil Chevron's reflections on the classic album – originally published in Hot Press in 2004.
"I came in half way through Rum, Sodomy And The Lash so I have a peculiar relationship with it. As an album it was really the point where all this expected greatness of Shane MacGowan as a songwriter, came to fruition. Shane allowed his songwriting to define the record pretty much. That was an essential.
"With Costello producing, it was also interesting. You know he was producing the album while at the same time falling in love with The Pogues’ bass player. So there was all that energy going on. It made for a positive environment. That’s not to say there wasn’t tension. Elvis’s vision of what The Pogues should sound like wasn’t always the same as The Pogues’ vision. I think though why Elvis was right for the job at the time was because he recognised that the best way to do it was to record the band live with minimal production. His view was to get the performances out of the band. It’s kind of extraordinarily un-produced in its sound but that’s exactly why. He didn’t impose any production shit or gimmicks on it. He just got the right performances out of the band."
Happy 35th Birthday to 'Rum Sodomy and The Lash'! Released August 5th 1985 - The Clobberer suggested the title as it "summed up life in the band"😂🏴☠️💚 Here's a pic of me winning a bet at the launch party #happybirthday #pogues #OTD pic.twitter.com/1vf6fDszIA
— Cáit O'Riordan (@rockyoriordan) August 5, 2020