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Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Smiths - self titled

[(Brian) - another shuffling of an old post. It used to be a "best Smiths ever" post, but all that was still alive was the debut album.]

Seated next to Patti Smith (yesterday) on my shelf, we have one of the most consequential bands of the 1980's here, and I know/knew people who simply despised this bunch, and not a little bit... again, like some others (I cited the Jam recently), so overwhelmingly "British" that some of my fellow yanks couldn't really take them... lots of good stuff here, though, some good albums, especially good singles, and some rare and live stuff there for the taking if one is inclined.

The Smiths were guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke, drummer Mike Joyce, and vocalist Morrisey (no joke, when I was a kid I knew another lad, right here in Ohio, whose name was REALLY Morrissey... why he never took a hatchet to his parents I will never know, but you can imagine how much he loved being compared to the "real" Morrissey once the band got popular)... their sound was a unique rock/pop melding, quite simple actually, and their lyrics were often beyond bizarre, moping stuff which at times could make Joy Division sound like "The Ramones Leave Home".

The debut album (1984) was controversial in that the lyrics to some of the songs, notably "Rally Round the Fountain" as well as "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" seemed to deal with the topic of pedophilia (kind of sounded that way to me as well, you judge for yourself)... this was followed with a string of exceptional singles, most notably "How Soon Is Now" and "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", which for the most part are collected on "Louder Than Bombs", "Hatful of Hollow" is another singles collection from around the same era.

THE SMITHS-01 Reel Around the Fountain/02 You've Got Everything Now/03 Miserable Lie/04 Pretty Girls Make Graves/05 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle/06 This Charming Man/07 Still Ill/08 Hand in Glove/09 What Difference Does It Make?/10 I Don't Owe You Anything/11 Suffer Little Children



  1. Fantastic! Really appreciate this.

  2. RANK



  3. I really loved their first album when it came out. I remember that both The Smiths and R.E.M. had their debuts come out around the same time. Both had "odd" singers and guitarists who chimed and rang their guitars, but didn't solo. I thought of them as very similar at the time.

  4. Always interested to see how those outside the UK perceive The Smiiths. I am fortunate to have seen The Smiths live twice, firstly at The Hacienda in Manchester, before the 1st album released, and then at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on the Meat is Murder tour. In both cases memorable performances. It is also worth noting that singles were very important to The Smiths, especially 12 inch singles, where the B-sides were as good as the A. For example the classic "How Soon Is Now" was originally a b-side.
    Also somewhere in a box, I have a 12 inch with two remixes of This Charming Man by Francois Kevorkian - not entirely sucessful, but of interest nonetheless

  5. Very cool stuff. I had 'meat' when it came out and wore it out (cassette) and later 'years of refusal' this is a nice filling-in!

  6. Thanks Scott. Time to have another good listen to these. I appreciate all the effort you put it.

  7. Nice post. Accidentally I was at the Paris show. Can't wait to hear it. Hope the quality is better than the one I got back in '97... Thanks you a lot for these great memories. Check out this other Paris show (not in Versailles but Porte de Versailles)

  8. I can't wait to hear the demos, I've been a Smiths fan for well over 5 years now (21 now) and although I'm more partial to Morrissey's solo albums since I've like others have worn out these albums, I'm going to visit all these albums again. Bought the Smiths boxset of all their albums but can't find the damn thing, so thank you again.

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