I love the Libertines. Which makes the abrupt, highly publicized descent of co-founder Pete Dougherty into drug-dazed dereliction – a descent that led to the premature end of the band – all the more painful and frustrating.
Like the Beatles (Lennon/McCartney) and the Clash (Stummer/Jones) before them, the Libertines brought together two songwriters (Dougherty/Barat) who benefited from each other’s strengths. And just like the Beatles and the Clash, the solo efforts of said songwriters pale in comparison to their collaborative efforts (Dougherty’s Babyshambles and Carl Barat’s Dirty Pretty Things do little for me).
There is, however, one unfortunate area where the Beatles/Clash-comparison falls apart: The Libertines left us with a far-smaller catalog. Two albums and a handful of demo and EP tracks. As well as countless thoughts of what could have been.
Below are a few of my faves. I’ll begin with one of the earliest Libertines tunes – “What a Waster” – in which Dougherty ridicules a cocaine addict. Sadly and ironically, he could have been writing about himself.
[MP3] Libertines – “What a Waster” EXPIRED
[MP3] Libertines – “Up the Bracket” EXPIRED
[MP3] Libertines – “Last Post on the Bugle” EXPIRED
[MP3] Libertines – “What Became of the Likely Lads” (Dougherty and Barat take a final hard look at their own relationship) EXPIRED
Buy the Libertines