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23 October 2020

The Pogues Reissue Their Fifth Album, ‘Hell’s Ditch’ On Exclusive Orange Vinyl

the pogues circa 1988
Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
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The Pogues have announced a special, limited edition reissue of their fifth studio album, Hell’s Ditch which will be available on orange vinyl on 6th November, marking exactly 30 years since it was released.

The album, which was the last to feature Shane MacGowan as front man, was produced by The Clash’s Joe Strummer at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales. The record marked a move away from the band’s traditional Irish sound and into new ideas of rock and folk. Despite ongoing struggles, MacGowan can be heard here at his lyrical best, showcasing his love for Asian themes on tracks such as Summer In Siam, The House Of Gods, and Sayonara, and Latin themes on Lorca’s Novena – a nod to the Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca. Aslo featured is the song The Wake Of Medusa, inspired by the painting The Raft Of Medusa, by Theodore Gericault. The same painting was also an inspiration to Shane MacGowan earlier in The Pogues’ career: as it was used by the band for the cover of their second album, Rum, Sodomy And The Lash (1985).

With tensions in the band beginning to mount, The Pogues still managed to bring together new sounds and ideas with renewed vigour, creating a diverse album with almost every song a step into new musical territory. Joe Strummer would later go on to fill in for MacGowan briefly on tour, before Spider Stacy took over the role in 1991.

The album has proved a fan favourite, and this special, limited edition will prove an exciting addition to The Pogues’ catalogue; Hell’s Ditch only having been reissued on vinyl once before.

The exclusive orange vinyl can be preordered here, directly from the Dig! store ahead of its release on 6th November 2020.

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