Hail Mary Records Distributed through Crashed/IML in Ireland - Hail Mary Records Distributed through IRL/Proper in Great Britain
Love will tear us apart - available on iTunes

The first single from the greatest hits album "The Whole Affair" available on iTunes.

Mary, with her naked honesty makes every song her own and her new single only testifies to this unique gift. In covering this Joy Division classic, Mary Coughlan has managed to expose the essence and beauty of the song while remaining respectful to the emotional core of the original. Selected as the first single release from her greatest hits "The Whole Affair", IML are delighted to present this digital relase on the 6th of July on iTunes.
The Whole Affair: The Very Best of Mary Coughlan
Available Friday 1st June 2012 (Ireland) / 24th September 2012 (UK)
in stores nationwide, in our online shop, CelticNote.com, IrishMusicShop.ie and on Deezer.

A lot has been written and a lot has been said, whispered, recounted, alleged, supposed and presumed. It’s all quite forgotten now and the songs remain the same, they remain a testament to Mary Coughlan’s seemingly timeless and endless talent. Her smoky, bluesy, boozy drawl has always been a seduction, no matter what the subject. The vocal marrying of sardonic wit, visceral rage, orgiastic between the sheets passion, the tenderest of sorrowful regrets; this is Mary’s talent. Regardless of the elements she chooses to manipulate with flawless ease, Mary’s voice has always been an unforeseen, sudden seduction. This is why she is so loved. Throughout the over 25 years of her quite extraordinary recording career Mary has drawn heavily from her legendary heroes; Billie Holiday’s grievous, teary outpourings, the husky flirtations of Peggy Lee, Van Morrison’s soulful wails, the defiant chanteusery of Edith Piaf. All are present and correct in her delivery. Even so, Mary, with her naked honesty makes every song her own; they belong to her and nobody else. Who else could possibly present “Double Cross” or “Magdalen Laundry” or “The Ice Cream Man” with such dedication and effortless zeal?

The casual listener may know something of “Ancient Rain”, “Invisible To You” or maybe “Man Of The World”. These may well be among the greatest of Mary’s many great hits, however there is so much more to the story. How about an entire double album dedicated to her love of Billie Holiday. Billie died at 44, the age at which Mary performed songs from the album to sold-out venues and enraptured audiences at her “Lady Sings The Blues” shows staged in Dublin and London in 2001.

How about “Live In Galway”, Mary’s triumphant, if anxious, return from the brink to the stage in 1995. At the time she pleaded the venue to host the gig, having to repent for previously letting them down a little too frequently. She had become the “no-show”. Mary sold out 8 gigs in a row. How about “Live At The Basement”. Recorded in Sydney among an intimate audience in 2003, this is the ultimate in down and dirty jazz club renditions. It’s hard to imagine a more succinct demonstration of both the raw and refined nature of Mary’s talents.

The stage is where Mary survives. From a small square footage of venue real estate in front of a handful or a thousand or ten thousand people, she emotes, purges, atones, reminisces, eulogises and laments. That is why there is a full disc of live recordings included in this collection, because this is the very best of Mary Coughlan and you can’t hear the very best until you’ve heard her story recited in every note.


  • Tired And Emotional (1985)
  • Under The Influence (1987)
  • Uncertain Pleasures (1990)
  • Sentimental Killer (1992)
  • Love For Sale (1993)
  • Live In Galway (1995)
  • After The Fall (1997)
  • Mary Coughlan Sings Bille Holiday (2000)
  • Long Honeymoon (2001)
  • Red Blues (2002)
  • Live At The Basement (2003)
  • The House of Ill Repute (2008)
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