The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead (1986) (1 Viewer)

therealjohnny

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I thought Frankly Mr Shankly was reminiscent of the quirkier Beatles or Kinks songs. Not saying it's any good but I wouldn't consider it to be in Black Lace territory.

Are we due a new reocord any time soon?
 

Benny Cake

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the queen is dead - it starts off promising enough - and then the vocals start. Trying to ignore them. Failing.

frankly mr shankly - no. just no.

i know it's over - i wish. mopey shite. musically adequate, vocally painful. had to skip through to the end of this one since it was going nowhere on its own.

never had no one ever - best so far. vocals are bearable at least.

oh, spotify crashed.
I didn't realise you write such bloody awful poetry.
 

Lili Marlene

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Right so, the album. Below is a bit of a ramble I'm afraid, won't be submitting it to 33 and a third this week:

It's impossible to like what can broadly be called pop music and not hear some Smiths, either indirectly through some hideously embarrassing rip off merchants, or, and probably more likely, directly through that mate of yours whose interest in all things culture is taken from the Smiths. And that's ok, I was as bad with the Clash as a teenager, we all need our heroes. As it is, for whatever reason*, I've never managed to bring myself to bother getting into the Smiths. I've always felt like I know what it is I'm missing and I'm ok with that; fact is I already know what it feels like to be a sad white guy, I don't need it explained to me.

Having listened to the album a few times now my opinion hasn't changed that much, although there were definitely a few surprises.

The title track is great, just great. The guitars remind me a little of Top-era Cure, the drum intro sounds like Rasputin, and Morrissey sounds, well, sounds like Morrissey not being an eejit. But then... no other track on the album sounds like this one! I was almost ready to be converted when the rest of the album seems to be mainly acoustic songs with some bells and whistles over it. Oh well...

Straight into Frankly Mr Shankly. The hardest thing here is the jarring change from the opener into this, what were they thinking? You don't throw on Yellow Submarine 2 tracks into your album! It's alright though, the only bit in the music I don't like is how the the guitar kind of sounds like a broken version of 2-Tone 5. Nothing wrong with a bit of a knees up imho

Continuing with the controversial songs, Cemetery Gates I really like, I think it's possibly my fav song musically aside from the title track. The lyrics don't seem so bad to me at all, yeah he's referencing some writers, so what? The chorus to the first Dexys single is just a list of writers and no one ever gives them stick for it.

How was this album played live? Was it jangled up a lot? The Smiths sound I was expecting (i.e. This Charming Man and problem no other Smiths song ever) isn't really to be found, most of the rest of the album seems to be based on acoustic guitar tracks. Not a bad thing, but unexpected to me. The rhythm section is fantastic throughout anyway, it's great to hear a pop band who are so clearly a band. I like a lot of studio only stuff but hearing good players playing together is hard to beat. Whathisname on drums sounds so joyful towards the end of I Know It's Over in particular, clearly just loving being allowed to let loose a bit as the song climaxes. Great stuff!

My own bit of controversy is that I really don't like There is a Light That Never Goes out. Can't stand it. It's the kind of thing that's become so wrapped up with the 500 Days of Summer kids of this world I can't see anything past that. I feel like i've been asked to have a personal connection with a song after going to 5 weddings in a row where it was the first dance. Also, is that a synth flute?? FFS

What else we got? Boy with a Thorn in his side, Never Had No One Ever and Bigmouth Strikes Again fairly pass me by. I don't reach to change the track or anything and they're more than listenable but they're not doing loads for me.

Vicar in a tutu is great, it's a bit rockabilly without being pure anachronistic. I don't see the issue here.

Some Girls are Bigger Than Others is a weird one. It sounds great but I don't really know what to make of it as a song: it fades in and then fades out and then fades back in, never really goes anywhere for a while, sounds a little like Sultans of Swing, and then suddenly it's fading out again? And I don't even mean that as a complaint, it's just strange.

What else, what else... Morrissey voice is a huge thing isn't it? So distinctive. It's hard to come to it fresh with 25+ years of parodies and pisstaking in the way but I really like it, he sounds great throughout. You can hear how he's really thinking about the phrasing on each word on each track.

Overall then... I dunno, an 8 out of 10? There's a lot of pleasant-ness and some really great bits but it feels a little more slight than I was expecting. As an album I don't think it ever builds to anything, it does fairly fly by when listening to it though. Possibly one has to buy into the lore of the Smiths and Morrissey to be really blown away by it all?



*That reason is Morrissey.
 

rettucs

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Some Girls are Bigger Than Others is a weird one. It sounds great but I don't really know what to make of it as a song: it fades in and then fades out and then fades back in, never really goes anywhere for a while, sounds a little like Sultans of Swing, and then suddenly it's fading out again? And I don't even mean that as a complaint, it's just strange.
great read. On the fade in/out thing, that appears in a few in Smiths songs. It occurred to me to mention this on here during the week but I never did for some reason. Ryan Adams, whom I like (but don't love), is a massive, massive Smiths/Morrissey fan (just listen to the first track on the Heartbreaker album). Anyway, I bring him up cos he used that fade in/out thing, but cant remember for the life of me which song it was on.

It was also the inspiration for this garbage


Edit: I don't know that it actually inspired that song. I'm guessing. But I'm probably right.
 

chris d

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Ryan Adams...used that fade in/out thing, but cant remember for the life of me which song it was on.
Rock N Roll version of Anybody Wanna Take Me Home. He's gone full Smiths on that tune, can't find that version on youtube.
 

dunderhead

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This was generally a good experience. like a lot of folk here, knew some of the hits, couldn't be arsed with this band. so to have to give this the three courtesy listens this week was worthwhile.

Listened to it first with it playing in background. didn't really grab me. 3 of the first five or six tunes did absolutely nothing for me but ears perked up a bit for second half. left it alone for a few days. second listen, headphones lying on the couch job. not a much different experience except was reading some of the lyrics on screen while he was singing. yeah, they're witty in places and what not and I can see how some folks would connect with them. lyrics are a pretty distant second for me anyway so understandably not gonna be the maker or breaker on whether any album is good or bad. Unless of course the lyrics are bad. but they're not bad, that much I know, i think. So tonight got it's third listen. headphones, walking in the fucking rain. Yup, much more enjoyable listen. Even the ballady songs that I hated I warmed to a bit. as has been said by others, second half of this is really strong. bit of tinkering with the tracklisting might have made the two sides a bit more balanced. Will listen to it again, might even listen to another Smiths album! the current rating of 3.88 is pretty much spot on for what I feel about this thing. was hanging around a 3.2 before my third listen though. kudos to scutter once agin, great thread idea. (didn't see the slayer thread until some time this week...)
 

hydromancer

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I gave it another listen this time I used some earphones instead of the crapy speaker on the phone ,it sounded allot better.
 

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