Red Roses for Me (Expanded Edition)
The Pogues’ 1984 debut album, Red Roses for Me, wasn’t the band’s ultimate statement – that would come with the next year’s Elvis Costello-produced Rum, Sodomy and the Lash – but it resonates as more than a blueprint. Both a punk-fueled plunder of Irish music and culture and an assertion that Shane MacGowan and friends’ racket was very much in the tradition, Red Roses offered a rich understanding that surely opened many ears. Placing traditional numbers alongside MacGowan’s evocative lyrics (“Transmetropolitan,” “Boys From the County Hell”), it lives up to its implication that the Pogues had something to say to the world. Among this edition’s six bonus tracks is an early cover of Eric Bogle’s “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” which would take its place among Rum’s stirring moments.