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  • Rob


I’m off to Liverpool tonight to watch The Smyths (a fantastic Smiths tribute band) so I thought it was as good a time as any to give this a blast.

I was a little too young to experience The Smiths when they first came out so I got into them via the Best…I and Best…II CDs. It didn’t take me long to fall hard for Morrissey, Marr, Rourke and Joyce and once familiar with the hits I started working my way through the albums.

‘The Queen Is Dead’ is arguably their best album, it is certainly my favourite although, I admit, the title track grates on me a bit, I find it too long even if the lyrics are so sharp you could almost cut yourself on them.

On the plus side, the record does include some of my absolute favourite Smiths songs including ‘Cemetery Gates’, ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’, ‘The Boy With A Thorn In His Side’ and ‘Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others’.

The cherry on the cake is the fabulous ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’. It's heartbreakingly good and made even better when played live, if you get a chance watch the version on YouTube at Manchester where the band leave the stage one by one until there is just the keyboard player holding the entire Arena in the palm of his hand - fantastic.

Elsewhere, ‘Frankly Mr Shankly’ is a swipe at their former record company boss, ‘I Know Its Over’ is about the end of unrequited love, ’Never Had No One Ever’ is a track I’ve always struggled with, and then there is ‘Vicar In A Tutu’ a track about a kinky, cross-dressing priest that Morrissey spy’s while stealing lead off the roof off his church - pure Carry On!

This is 37 minutes of pure pop perfection. It is a band at its peak and Morrissey is poignant and pervy in equal measures. It has absurd frothy pop songs, tales of despair and loneliness, defiant rants and, in ‘There Is A Light…’, one of the greatest songs ever recorded - “the pleasure, the privilege is mine”.

If you fancy a copy the 2011 remastered version is available for about £22 all over the place. Honestly, I’d pay that for ‘There Is A Light…’ alone.

Tracks To Try: ‘Cemetery Gates’, ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’, ‘The Boy With A Thorn In His Side’, ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’, ‘Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others’.


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