10 Smiths Songs

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Gen 29 2008, 15:23

I did something similar to the Beatles last month, but considering how much I love The Smiths, I figured that I should make for one too. Just like before, these songs aren't necessarily my favorites of their vast discography. That's why I'm doing something like this anyway instead of a top ten favorite list (an ordeal that would prove to be impossible for me anyway). All this thing intends to do is to highlight some particular bright spots on the discography of what I believe to be the best band that the world has ever (and probably will ever) see; document the songs and the impressions that had me drooling and turning in my bed of feverish love for this charming band.


Cemetry Gates (The Queen Is Dead)
She never had a chance. With Wilde on his side, Morrissey can never be beaten. A humorous tale of literary plagiarism and the explicit shame of being caught. A valuable lesson is to be learned then: If you must write prose or poems,
the words you use should be your own. What's funny is the amount of literary 'shoplifting' Mozza does himself all throughout his songwriting time with The Smiths. Well, that's probably why they say that talent borrows and genius steals.

Girlfriend in a Coma (Strangeways, Here We Come)
I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't like this song. The rhythm itself is irresistible, yet what the song really boasts would be its simple yet poignant words. Morrissey, being the eternal skeptic of all things related to romantic love, draws us a vulgar picture of something he indeed believes; that love and death go hand in hand.

Panic (Louder Than Bombs)
I would hate to be some elitist prick (and in fact I'm not one of them at all), but sometimes the things I see on TV, read on magazines and plastered billboards, and most of all hear on the radio insults me. Morrissey always believed that it was "their" fault for always assuming that everyone else is an idiot that would gobble up anything and everything. But as I see it, people really do uncritically absorb a huge percentage of what pop culture feeds us. So much for hanging the DJ when everyone seems to have their jaws ajar and brains turned off. Perhaps my over-cynicism has its own positive effects.

I Know It's Over(The Queen Is Dead)
The first track I loved from the band. The first time I heard it was a real shocker for me -- it was the song that really made me understand what The Smiths were all about. How? Well, before I really listened to what each and every word had to say to the point of memorization, I felt what it was trying to say. How to define heartbreak without using the dictionary.

Well I Wonder (Meat Is Murder)
One of those songs where the instrumentation is louder and more potent than the actual words themselves. The interplay between the guitars and how they fully complement each other is really breathtaking. It only goes to show how Marr's music can be as powerful as Morrissey's lyrics. There's no better word to describe it than beautiful.

I Don't Owe You Anything (The Smiths)
The music to this song flows effortlessly, but the song itself as a whole embodies struggle. The struggle to love. The struggle against rejection. The struggle to impose one's love. The struggle of unrequited sacrifice. The struggle to take what you think you deserve and tackling the frustration of imminent disappointment. The struggle of knowing what to do but never getting the chance to do it. Oh, life is never kind.

Ask (Louder Than Bombs)
Infectious and delectable. I find this song very unique because it has a different texture to it, if you will. Layered with upbeat backing vocals, a very jumpy and festive sound and a very optimistic message, all without losing their style and flair. The video to this might just be my favorite video of all time.

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (The Smiths)
I think this would count as one of the greatly written songs. An amazing mixture of hope and despair, strength and weakness, power and helplessness, redemption and regret. The humor in every reassurance strengthens as well as undermines. But in the end, it will always be the sweetest thing a father can say to his child. "And your mother she just never knew... I did my best for her".

Back to the Old House (Hatful of Hollow)
Simply a testament of how Morrissey and Marr combined can simply create a song of pure melancholy that can melt even the hardest of hearts. Man against his bitter past is hardly a new theme, but it never sounded this good.

Still Ill (Hatful of Hollow)
I personally prefer the HOH version to the self-titled version. Just to get it out of the way, if I were to have just one song from The Smiths, this would probably be it. I think this song showcases Marr's best work wit The Smiths (making it the best work of his life). I think there are times when I listen to the song as a whole and there are times when I just zone in to Marr's jangly guitars and it's all just great. I can even just listen to Rourke or Joyce and I'd still be blown away. That's reason why I like the HOH version better, it's slower and clearer that it allows me to absorb everything together or separately. I just can't even full describe the feeling this song invokes in me.

Commenti

  • maddsurgeon

    The story I've heard about this song is that the band was appalled by an incident in which a radio DJ reported the Chernobyl disaster and then callously played a Wham single after revealing the catastrophic news...hence the lyrics: panic on the streets...the music they constantly play says nothing to me about my life... The story seems to sum up how the entertainment industry(especially in the Reagan/Thatcher years) has consistently distracted people with contentless crap instead of addressing the actual issues we're presented with...

    Gen 30 2008, 20:42
  • curtainthief

    i like you. let's be friends.

    Gen 31 2008, 4:20
  • pvmnt

    hell yeah.. you totally rekindled my affection for The Smiths. haven't listened to them in a while :)

    Feb 2 2008, 4:21
  • jonbenet

    this made my day, thank you :)

    Mag 7 2008, 9:23
  • andychea

    Brilliant list mate i agree with most of it :)

    Mag 22 2008, 19:10
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