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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Gems From My Collection - The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead

25 years ago today The Smiths released their 3rd album, 'The Queen Is Dead' on Rough Trade Records. Ten songs, 37 minutes and 7 seconds of pure pop class. Now, I'm not be any stretch of the imagination a massive fan of The Smiths. There are many singles of theirs that I think are quite remarkable but I recall going to see them not long after their debut album was released and I have to admit I didn't really get it. All these dudes waving flowers around and looking like their hearts had been shattered into a million tiny pieces, a tragic sight indeed! But I kept on listening and I couldn't deny just how brilliant songs like 'Hand in Glove', 'What Difference Does It Make', 'How Soon Is Now', and 'Bigmouth Strikes Again' (to name a few) were.

Their previous album 'Meat Is Murder' (released in 1985) didn't really appeal to me at all. I'm not a Veggie and no amount of listening to the six minute & six seconds of the title track was going to make me one! I recall getting a free EP in NME I think it was that had a storming live version of 'What She Said' and that was about all I could bring myself to like on that album. Hard to believe that 'Meat' actually went to #1 in the UK album charts!

So when 'The Queen Is Dead' came out I wasn't really expecting anything different. The single that was released prior to the album I didn't think was up to much 'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side')..

But once hearing the opening and title track I was hooked! Here's a wee trip through the whole album.
 01. The Queen Is Dead (Album Track)

02. Frankly Mr Shankly

03. I Know It's Over (Live)

04. Never Had No One Ever (Live)

05. Cemetry Gates (Live)

06. Bigmouth Strikes Again/08 Vicar In A Tutu (Old Grey Whistle Test)

07. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (Promo)

09. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Album Track)

10. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (Album Track)

With the exception of 'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side' I think that all in all it's a brilliant album. Morrissey & Marr favour 'Strangeways, Here We Come'.

The album has had a lot of praise heaped on it over the years since its release and in 2006 the NME named as the 2nd Greatest British Album of All - Time! That's a bit of a stretch but it still sounds good today.
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