. . .
Yes, I know that by the time the Pogues recorded Hell’s Ditch, Shane MacGowan was a fucked-up mess, and yes, I know that they’d pretty much abandoned the Irish music that was their early mainstay.
And yes, I know that — unlike Elvis Costello and Steve Lillywhite — producer St. Joe Strummer didn’t really add anything to the mix, though he did serve as the only possible alternate frontman on the Hell’s Ditch tour after MacGowan quit or was sacked or both.
But man, do I love this record, and the moody and dark “Lorca’s Novena” is a huge part of it.