Shane MacGowan, the gravelly-voiced leader of The Pogues who popularized punk rock and traditional Irish folk music, died at the age of 65. His wife Victoria Clarke formally announced his death on November 30 in a statement.
Here are some of MacGowan’s memorable songs–
- Fairytale of New York
A moving song co-written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan, “Fairytale of New York” is played by the Pogues, a band based in London. Singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl contributes her vocals to the tune. Created as a duet, this Irish folk-style ballad features MacGowan, the lead vocalist of the Pogues, as the male character, and MacColl as the female.
- A Rainy Night in Soho
The Pogues’ 1986 single “A Rainy Night in Soho” was first included on their Poguetry in Motion EP.
Two different versions of the song and several mixes were made in the studio during the recording process. Producer Elvis Costello and songwriter Shane MacGowan got into a fight over the song’s final mix. MacGowan favored a mix that incorporated a cornet, while Costello leaned towards a version featuring an oboe.
- A Pair of Brown Eyes
The Pogues released their song “A Pair of Brown Eyes” on March 18, 1985. Notably, they peaked at number 72 on this album, which also represented their maiden foray into the UK Top 100. The song, which is a noteworthy addition to “Rum Sodomy & the Lash,” the band’s second album, was written by Shane MacGowan, frontman of Pogues.
- Summer in Siam
The Pogues’ single “Summer in Siam” is taken from their 1990 album “Hell’s Ditch.” Produced by the mysterious leader Shane MacGowan, the song peaked at number 64 in the UK Top 100. The narrative of the song was given a visual twist by Don Letts and Nick Verden for Radar Films in the accompanying music video.
- Sally MacLennane
The Pogues’ 1985 single “Sally MacLennane” debuted at number 54 on the UK Top 100, becoming their second entry. The song, which was written by the talented Shane MacGowan, is a standout cut from the group’s second album, “Rum Sodomy & the Lash.”