Shit Street

The Pagans

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Shit Street Review

by Ned Raggett

The first of two CD reissues (the other being The Pink Album Plus) from 2001 that cover the Pagans' existence as thoroughly as can be, Shit Street is almost evenly divided between studio takes from 1977 to 1979 and a slew of live cuts, almost all from an August 1979 show. Concentrating on the earliest and for many best incarnation of the group, the disc brings together all its four singles plus every last rarity and demo one could imagine, including a slew of covers that show the band's varied roots in everything from the Rolling Stones to Johnny Rivers and Benny Spellman. Unsurprisingly "What's This Shit Called Love" kicks everything off, and if for many it'll be all the Pagans they'll ever want, it's still one hell of a monster, as perfect a bridge between disaffected heartland American punk and later twists as could be imagined. That Hudson sounds exactly like Mark Arm would later sound isn't a surprise at all in retrospect. If nothing else quite stands up to that supreme moment, there's still plenty to enjoy, including the aggro sneers of "Haven't Got the Time" and "Not Now No Way" and enjoyable enough reworkings of the old psych nugget "The Little Black Egg" and the Stones' "Heart of Stone." Meanwhile, the live cuts make for a great bit of late-'70s crash and bash, concluding with some help from Cheetah Chrome and Jimmy Zero of the Dead Boys, sitting in on covers of Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now" and the Stooges' "Search and Destroy." The sound quality of the studio tracks varies as it goes, with some being noticeably more tinny and trebly than the others, while the live songs suffer a bit from an unbalanced mix but otherwise come through well. Exhaustive liner notes from Hudson, rare photographs, useful website links, and more complete this well-assembled collection.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Pagans 02:39 Amazon
2 The Pagans 01:39 Amazon
3 The Pagans 02:42 Amazon
4 The Pagans 01:56 Amazon
5 The Pagans 02:00 Amazon
6 The Pagans 02:11 Amazon
7 The Pagans 02:46 Amazon
8 The Pagans 02:00 Amazon
The Pagans 03:37 Amazon
10 The Pagans 02:36 Amazon
11 The Pagans 01:45 Amazon
12 The Pagans 01:27 Amazon
13 The Pagans 02:39 Amazon
14 The Pagans 02:29 Amazon
15 The Pagans 02:35 Amazon
16 The Pagans 02:35 Amazon
17 The Pagans 01:26 Amazon
18 The Pagans 01:35 Amazon
19 The Pagans 01:08 Amazon
20 The Pagans 02:25 Amazon
21 The Pagans 01:52 Amazon
22 The Pagans 02:25 Amazon
23 The Pagans 02:40 Amazon
24 The Pagans 01:25 Amazon
25 The Pagans 02:24 Amazon
26 The Pagans 02:14 Amazon
27 The Pagans 02:32 Amazon
28 The Pagans 01:57 Amazon
29 The Pagans 02:52 Amazon
30 The Pagans 01:36 Amazon
31 The Pagans 02:41 Amazon
32 The Pagans 03:41 Amazon
33 The Pagans 02:45 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick