Waiting for Herb

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Waiting for Herb
Waiting for herb.jpg
Studio album by
Released19 October 1993
StudioElephant Studios, Wapping, London
Harrovian Studios
Producer Michael Brook
The Pogues chronology
Essential Pogues
Waiting for Herb
Pogue Mahone
Singles from Waiting for Herb
  1. "Tuesday Morning"
    Released: 1993
  2. "Once Upon a Time"
    Released: 1993
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Review scores
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Waiting for Herb is the sixth studio album by the Pogues, released in 1993, and their first without lead singer Shane MacGowan.



The album saw the band continue to expand their musical reach past the traditional Irish roots it had been founded on, and was only their second full-length album without a single traditional song. The album featured the track "Tuesday Morning", which was the band's first Top Twenty hit since "Fairytale of New York."

With MacGowan departed, his singing and songwriting duties fell to the other members. While Spider Stacy took the role of lead vocalist, much of the songwriting fell to Jem Finer, who along with Terry Woods had previously been the most prolific songwriter apart from MacGowan. However, the album saw contributions by other members who had not written songs for the band previously, including James Fearnley, Andrew Ranken, and Darryl Hunt. Ranken also sang lead vocals on "My Baby's Gone".

The song "Smell of Petroleum", with its refrain "The secret of the universe is hidden in this song", references the following anecdote from Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy:

William James describes a man who got the experience from laughing-gas; whenever he was under its influence, he knew the secret of the universe, but when he came to, he had forgotten it. At last, with immense effort, he wrote down the secret before the vision had faded. When completely recovered, he rushed to see what he had written. It was: "A smell of petroleum prevails throughout."

It was the last Pogues album to feature Terry Woods, James Fearnley and Philip Chevron, all of whom left the group after the album's release.

Track listing

Standard edition

  1. "Tuesday Morning" (Spider Stacy) – 3:30
  2. "Smell of Petroleum" (Jem Finer) – 3:13
  3. "Haunting" (Terry Woods) – 4:04
  4. "Once Upon a Time" (Finer) – 3:55
  5. "Sitting on Top of the World" (Finer, James Fearnley, Woods) – 3:37
  6. "Drunken Boat" (Fearnley) – 6:38
  7. "Big City" (Darryl Hunt) – 2:41
  8. "Girl from the Wadi Hammamat" (Finer, Andrew Ranken) – 4:53
  9. "Modern World" (Hunt) – 3:55
  10. "Pachinko" (Finer) – 3:09
  11. "My Baby's Gone" (Finer, Ranken) – 2:24
  12. "Small Hours" (Finer) – 4:31

Bonus tracks (2004 reissue)

  1. "First Day of Forever" (Philip Chevron) – 3:20 (B-side to "Tuesday Morning")
  2. "Train Kept Rolling On" (Ranken) – 3:18 (B-side to "Once Upon a Time")
  3. "Paris St. Germain" (Stacy, Woods) – 3:07 (B-side to "Once Upon a Time")


Credits are adapted from the album liner notes. [2] [3]

The Pogues
Additional musicians

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  1. David Jeffries (19 October 1993). "Waiting for Herb - The Pogues | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  2. Waiting for Herb (Media notes). The Pogues. WEA. 1993.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  3. "Waiting for Herb". Discogs . Retrieved 13 March 2021.