Happy Boxing Day! Even if you are not particularly familiar with the catalog of the Pogues (and if you aren’t, what is wrong with you?) you have most likely heard their song “Fairytale of New York” – in fact, you’ve probably heard it in the past month or so, as over the past twenty-five years it has gradually become the official Dysfunctional Secular Christmas Song. I hope Shane MacGowan and co. are living comfortably off the royalties from this well-deserving classic. It’s possible the band didn’t realize at the time that they had released not only a brilliant album (If I Should Fall From Grace with God), but one that included at least one song for the ages, or perhaps they were just on a tear and didn’t want to stop to catch their breath. Whatever the reason, they turned around and released the standalone single “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah” and the album Peace and Love the very next year.
Since the Pogues own Christmas now, I thought it appropriate to take a look at “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah” this week. It may only be a single, but KEXP has two different copies of it in the library, each with different comments, making for probably the highest DJ-review-per-song count of any album here.
“They’ve metamorphosed into the Motown rhythm section. Sounds more like late period Jam than the Jam ever did. This song should be coming out of every radio in the country, dammit. 1-2 is back to trad Irish material.”
“1.2 is prime evidence of why they should part company with Lillywhite ASAP! No, No, No, No, No to 2.1 to boot.”
“Beyond Shane’s voice, ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ sounds nothing like the Pogues – kinda mid-’60s pop? The execution is great, though – I love it! Likewise, I love the very Pogues-like remake of H. T. Women [“Honky Tonk Women”]. 2-1, 2-2 are more what we’ve come to expect from the Pogues, and [illegible] a hell of a lot better than anything from Peace and Love. What’s the story with the release date – how old is this?”
“Yeah Yeah was a single in Europe before Peace and Love, w/Honky Tonk as one of the b-sides (I think in US also). ‘Jack’s Heroes’ and ‘Whiskey in a Jar’ was a single 6 mo ago for an Irish world cup sort of anthem with the Dubliners.”
“They have a new Europe single right now called ‘Summer in Siam’ so I don’t know why they are reissuing this. Anyway I like it but what the hell do I know.”