This is the soundtrack to Alex Cox's 1987 western spoof starring Dennis Hopper, The Clash's Joe Strummer and Elvis Costello. Many of the 11 tracks are exclusive. Features five cuts by The Pogues, two from Strummer, two from Pray For Rain, and one apiece by The MacManus Gang and Zander Schloss.
The London Irish Trust (LILT) is a voluntary group of London Based Artists, Musicians, Poets, Actors etc. LILT was formed in 1985 to work for Peace in Northern Ireland.
All profits from sales of this album will be directly donated to the Belfast Charitable Trust for Integrated Education (B.E.I.T.I.E.)
The two year gap between the Oktuary 1986 release of the 'Poguetry In Motion' EP and the November 1987 release of 'Fairytale Of New York' was a period of frustration and evolution for the Pogues as a recording act. The tedious legal saga of our transition from the ailing Stiff Records to ZTT/Warners in Europe and Island Records in North America seemed endless, and in all that time, we managed only some peripheral recording projects. One of these, the 'Irish Rover' single with the Dubliners, gave us our first Top 10 hit in the UK.
But if we were deprived of an outlet for the work, the period was nevertheless also characterised by some fertile creativity. As musicians and writers we responded compulsively to our environment and, with the almost constant touring against an ever-changing backdrop, we were rarely far from the next source of stimulation, the next element to be tested against our sound and duly absorbed. And you thought we just hung out in bars with Tom Waits and his mother?
Well, we did that too. But mostly, like all well-travelled groups, we hung out in the bandwagon, the tour bus which, when it was not a sanity-threatening sarcophagus, was a hub of experimentation and musical ambition. It's hard to escape the possibility that between "Rum, Sodomy And The Lash" and "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" there may be a missing Pogues album floating around some parallel universe.
Thanks Zeus for Alex Cox then!
Alex, who had directed the promo for 'A Pair Of Brown Eyes', hired us to write some music for his Sid And Nancy movie, including Shane's song 'Haunted', which we cut with Ramones producer Craig Leon as a one-off single for MCA Records. He then booked us, along with Joe Strummer and Elvis Costello, for a four-week Solidarity Tour of Nicaragua. The financial end of that tour collapsed, leaving Cox with a bunch of expensive musos and a blank diary. But Alex is nothing if not recourceful and within days he had instead raised, from Island Records, enough money to make a movie with his rag-tag repertory company. And that is how we found ourselves melting in the desert of southern Spain, near Almeria, in the Mad Dogs and Irishmen days and nights of high Summer 1986.
If there is ever a place to discuss the relative merits of the Pogues as actors
[for some reason, I was personally never offered another picture after Straight To Hell] this is not it. in any case, once the novelty of the clapper-board wore off we reverted to from, getting 'splattered' [thank you Kathy Burke] on vino tinto and heading into town to clean out the local Spanish guitar store. If not all the musicians working on this picture were natural actors, certainly the reverse was not true, and the musical atmosphere on and off the Blanco Town location was robust, competitive even. Much of the Straight To Hell score - the pieces written by Dan Wool excepted - seems to have been at least partly written in Spain. With the Pogues' contributions, we further developed our ideas back in London's Elephant Studios with our trusty recording squad of Paul Scully, Dave Jordan and Nick Robbins.
The original Straight To Hell album, released by Stiff in 1987, was more a souvenir than an actual soundtrack recording, which explains why no less than nine Pogues tracks from the film make their public debut on this CD. We always liked these pieces and are delighted they've been released at last.
For the real deal on how it was in Almeria that Summer, though, you have to got to 'Fiesta' on the "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" album. By Oktuary 1988, when that album came out, we'd had enough of keeping our stories to ourselves.