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

Mormon Nailer

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"Being a Smiths fan during the band’s actual lifetime felt like an aesthetic protest vote signaling your alienation from both the ’80s pop mainstream and the political culture it reflected."
Smiths fans are as bad as Morrissey.
Spend every day with a classroom of people who think a one armed drummer is the coolest thing ever and you'll think the same.
 

Lili Marlene

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Did everyone just miss that? Or overlook it because he was good? Or a bit of both...?
Neil Kulkarni wrote about it (and also the ganging up against Morrissey) pretty eloquently here, maybe i quoted it earlier in this thread, i can't remember, but it's worth thinking about:

Morrissey - Greatest Hits album review, Plan B Magazine 2010

there are moments in Smiths tunes that are magical and that the Smiths reveal an essential of pop even more lucidly than Blur or U2: that the frontman is ultimately what changes cognizance to love, and can just as easily turn admiration into loathing... for the first few singles (when the mystery was still intact) I was in love.

Then I heard & read deeper, and I realised that this band simply weren’t on earth for me – were in fact eyeing me with suspicion and faint repellence every time I even approached. So by the time I knew that Morrissey hated rap, black pop, “dislikes Pakistanis immensely” (his own words), by the time of ‘Asian Rut’ and ‘Bengali In Platforms’ and ‘National Front Disco’ (none of which are included here of course), I knew that his dreams didn’t include me, that me and my kind were a problem, an(other) obstacle in his vision of English pop progress/regress, his love of the sanctified suedeheads and po’ doomed trash that populated his perspective and mark the limits of his compassion.
 
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Bernie Lomax

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Do people see racist subtexts in his Smiths work? I don't. Some of the solo stuff is dodgy but I can't hear anything like that in the Smiths songs. Did the rest of the band keep his worst traits in check?
 

Lili Marlene

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Do people see racist subtexts in his Smiths work? I don't. Some of the solo stuff is dodgy but I can't hear anything like that in the Smiths songs. Did the rest of the band keep his worst traits in check?
I think it's more the spirit of the thing. Even if you think the Clash's attempts at 'world' music (for serious want of a better phrase) on Sandinista! are hamfisted and embarrassing, at least they were acknowledging that the rest of the world exists; The Smiths kind of turned their back on all that. Yeah, Johnny Marr might have been mad into all sorts of music but Morrissey just wanted white music by white people for white people and none of those modern synthesizers or rapping or reggae or anything that just coincidentally was linked to people of different skin colours. It's a far cry from 2-Tone.

Its interesting to see that the year or two before the Smiths came along if you look at NME (or any music magazine) the very idea of a 'band' is being challenged; The Fun Boy Three, Bananarama and Wham! are turning up, who plays what in these bands? Groups are appearing on Top of the Pops without even pretending to play their instruments, even future king of dadrock himself, Paul Weller, looks dangerously close to be having fun. Thank God The Smiths came along with their guitars and bass and drums and British take on the Disco Sucks campaign.

To make a terrible modern analogy Morrissey could be painted as kind of like an 80's version of Trump speaking up for the white people who feel left behind because all the press want to talk about is Michael Jackson and lads in makeup.

(of course this leaves behind the whole playing with his sexuality side of Morrissey, not to mention how much his crywanking-into-a picture-of-himself lyrics reflect the lives of most teenagers more than day-glo pop probably ever will)
 

Bernie Lomax

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I think it's more the spirit of the thing. Even if you think the Clash's attempts at 'world' music (for serious want of a better phrase) on Sandinista! are hamfisted and embarrassing, at least they were acknowledging that the rest of the world exists; The Smiths kind of turned their back on all that. Yeah, Johnny Marr might have been mad into all sorts of music but Morrissey just wanted white music by white people for white people and none of those modern synthesizers or rapping or reggae or anything that just coincidentally was linked to people of different skin colours. It's a far cry from 2-Tone.

Its interesting to see that the year or two before the Smiths came along if you look at NME (or any music magazine) the very idea of a 'band' is being challenged; The Fun Boy Three, Bananarama and Wham! are turning up, who plays what in these bands? Groups are appearing on Top of the Pops without even pretending to play their instruments, even future king of dadrock himself, Paul Weller, looks dangerously close to be having fun. Thank God The Smiths came along with their guitars and bass and drums and British take on the Disco Sucks campaign.

To make a terrible modern analogy Morrissey could be painted as kind of like an 80's version of Trump speaking up for the white people who feel left behind because all the press want to talk about is Michael Jackson and lads in makeup.

(of course this leaves behind the whole playing with his sexuality side of Morrissey, not to mention how much his crywanking-into-a picture-of-himself lyrics reflect the lives of most teenagers more than day-glo pop probably ever will)
Interesting
 

travispickle

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Does it bother you that Morrissey's 'problematic' nature was evident from day one?
I didn't see it as much as I did later, if I'm honest. During the Smiths period, he had some quotes such as "all reggae is vile" for example, but his attitude didn't seem as problematic as it later became. My own first real awareness was on the Your Arsenal album - then looking back at this solo debut and realising, yes ok, this guy has got some issues with those who aren't white and British. I was in my middle teens when The Smiths came along and I just loved the music and the band and what they stood for. For me, they stood out when set against the other "pop" acts of their day and seemed to have more depth and intelligence that your average pop stars. And I do think that Morrisssey made some credible statements in the band's music about the politics of the time and the way life was for most people, mainly those from the working class. Still, I'm appalled and saddened by how rancorous, racist, bitter, misguided and cruel he has become. It's a terrible shame.
 

Lili Marlene

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That pitchfork review makes the good point that at the time they weren't that big, they'd grace the top 30 for a week and then drop out. They definitely deserved better than that, they deserved number 1's.

Thing is, with the passing of time they have achieved this. The charts all work so differently now. Take a random ubiquitous 80's track, Kajagoogoo's Too Shy, and you'll see it has 11 million plays on Spotify, There is a Light that Never goes Out has 83 million, This Charming Man 65 million, How Soon is Now 41 million etc.

Even a non novelty (arguable) band like Duran Duran - their most streamed track is Hungry Like the Wolf with 59 million streams.

True by Spandau Ballet has 61 million streams.

If there's a chart war then the Smiths have won!
 

Lili Marlene

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Funnily enough with my random sleuthing around Spotify it seems the only other big British band i can find who can compete are the other big cultists, The Cure!
 

travispickle

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That pitchfork review makes the good point that at the time they weren't that big, they'd grace the top 30 for a week and then drop out. They definitely deserved better than that, they deserved number 1's.

Thing is, with the passing of time they have achieved this. The charts all work so differently now. Take a random ubiquitous 80's track, Kajagoogoo's Too Shy, and you'll see it has 11 million plays on Spotify, There is a Light that Never goes Out has 83 million, This Charming Man 65 million, How Soon is Now 41 million etc.

Even a non novelty (arguable) band like Duran Duran - their most streamed track is Hungry Like the Wolf with 59 million streams.

True by Spandau Ballet has 61 million streams.

If there's a chart war then the Smiths have won!
That's interesting, crikey, they're huge numbers!
 

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