June 16, 2011

25 Years: Has the world changed, or have I changed?



25 years ago today, The Smiths released their finest proper studio album - there were only four! - The Queen Is Dead. In hono(u)r of the occasion, Andy Gill did a piece for The Independent in which he wrote:
If you were a teenager in 1986, no other record better reflected the febrile mixture of loneliness, contempt, self-pity, petulance, sexual confusion, juvenile intellectual superiority and general emotional turmoil that characterises most adolescents' experience of life.
Beautifully put. Of course, Morrissey carried that tradition on for many years. The voice of a sexually confused, whipsmart generation. Here is the full set of album lyrics and scans of the various pressings.

Xolondon's Top Ten Plus One Smiths Songs:

Asleep
Ask
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Please Please Please
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Oscillate Wildly
Back To The Hold House
Girlfriend In A Coma
I Know It's Over
A Rush And A Push
Panic

The titles in bold are on The Queen Is Dead

Smiths resources on the web:

Vulgar Picture (amazing Smiths discography site)
True To You (a Morrissey-approved site)
Morrissey Solo (definitive resource)
Some Dizzy Whore (Moz fan blog)
Extra Track and A Tacky Badge (for completists)
Passions Just Like Mine (lots of stuff, well done)

UPDATE: Second Disc has done a fantastic "Reissue Theory" post on what a proper Queen Is Dead reissue would look like.

2 comments:

countpopula said...

How amazingly random that I was listening to this album just yesterday then. That's what I call retaining your cultural significance and relevance.

I also was enjoying Suede's recent remaster of Dog Man Star, another absolutely brilliant and historic album (along with their debut) that found a band with similar ambitions, superlative writing and playing skills, and the confidence level on par with that of the Smiths, a rarity in any time period. Suede acknowledge the Smiths as a huge influence when it came to releasing singles between albums, and paying attention to releasing excellent B-sides. I cannot think of another band doing this regularly at the moment...Arctic Monkeys maybe? Anyway, Suede's 20th anniversary of the debut is coming up in a year or two as well.

There are so many great Smiths songs, so I'll shout out love for Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me from their oft-maligned final record.

D'luv said...

I first heard "Bigmouth Strikes Again" on a mixtape my friend's cousin gave him (which I subsequently borrowed) in 1987. In the fall of '88, ate age 14, I bought the full The Queen Is Dead album (on cassette) from my friend Laura on the school bus... and thus began a life-long affair with the Smiths.

Actually, that affair began earlier that summer when I obsessively played Strangeways to death on my walkman.

I actually just bought The Queen Is Dead on vinyl last month.

How very dare you leave "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore,""Shoplifters Of The World Unite" and "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby" off your list!