This set collects the seven studio albums from 1984′s Red Roses For Me to Pogue Mahone from 1996 and adds a previously unreleased live album The Pogues with Joe Strummer Live In London (recorded in December 1991). There have been Pogues reissues before of course, notably in 2004 when the albums were re-released on CD with bonus tracks. Rhino also issued an Original Album Series collection in 2009 that brought together the five Shane MacGowan albums in the usual card slipcase packaging. So while in some ways 30 Years treads familiar ground, there is still much to recommend it. First off the band were involved in the project, and were keen to have their say. The decision to revert back to ‘just’ the albums and lose the 2004 bonus tracks was theirs, for instance. Another example of the band’s input was the cover design of the box. The literary types amongst you might notice that the typesetting and design is ‘inspired by’ an edition of James Joyce’s landmark work Ulysses.
Of all the early rock & rollers, Fats Domino was the easiest to take for granted, since he made it all seem so easy. Even when it rocked hard, his music was so relaxed, so friendly that it sounded effortless and natural, which was part of the reason that his classic recordings for Imperial in the '50s were so consistently enjoyable. All the hits, many of their flips sides, and most of his album cuts were flat-out fun – maybe not as revolutionary as work by Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and the Everly Brothers, but his body of work for Imperial not only stands proudly next to theirs, but is just as influential. This much is clear after years of hindsight, but in the late '60s he was as passé as any of his peers, even if there were legions of new rockers, from the Beatles to Randy Newman, who were raised on his music.