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Encyclopedia > The Smiths (album)
The Smiths
The Smiths cover
Studio album by The Smiths
Released February 20, 1984
Recorded Late 1983 in London and Manchester, England
Genre Alternative rock
Length 45:36
Label Rough Trade
Producer(s) John Porter, The Smiths
Professional reviews
The Smiths chronology
The Smiths
(1984)
Hatful of Hollow
(1984)

The Smiths is the eponymous debut album of the band The Smiths, released on February 20, 1984. The album was well received by the critics as well as the public, and it established the Smiths as a prominent band in the 1980s music scene in the United Kingdom. Cover for album The Smiths by The Smiths. ... A Studio Album is an album of regular studio recordings. ... The Smiths were an English rock group active from 1982 to 1987. ... February 20 is the 51st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ... Manchester is a major city in North West England, historically notable for being the worlds first industrialised city, and its subsequent central role in the Industrial Revolution. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A music genre is a category (or genre) of pieces of music that share a certain style or basic musical language (van der Merwe 1989, p. ... Alternative rock (also called alternative music[1] or simply alternative) is a genre of rock music that emerged in the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Rough Trade on 130 Talbot Road (nearby Notting Hill station) Rough Trade Records is a British independent record label. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the performers, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes . ... John Porter is a British musician and record producer. ... The All Music Guide (AMG) is a metadata database about music, owned by All Media Guide. ... Image File history File links 5_stars. ... Robert Christgau (sometimes abbreviated in print to Xgau), born April 18, 1942, is an American essayist, music journalist, and rock critic. ... Q is a music and entertainment magazinepublished monthly in the United Kingdom. ... Image File history File links 4_stars. ... This article is about the music magazine. ... Image File history File links 4_stars. ... The Smiths were an English rock group active from 1982 to 1987. ... Hatful of Hollow is a compilation album by The Smiths that features BBC Radio 1 studio recordings and two contemporary singles with their B-sides. ... An eponym is the name of a person, whether real or fictitious, which has (or is thought to have) given rise to the name of a particular place, tribe, discovery or other item. ... The Smiths were an English rock group active from 1982 to 1987. ... February 20 is the 51st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 2003, the album was ranked number 481 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Rolling Stone is an American magazine devoted to music, politics and popular culture. ... The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time was the cover story of a special issue of Rolling Stone magazine published in November 2003. ...

Contents

About the album

The album was particularly important and influential because it went against the grain of the popular music of the time. Its sound stood in stark opposition to the synthpop or post-punk genres, coming off as 60s melodic guitar rock made unique by Johnny Marr's layered, note-intensive playing and Morrissey's superficially despondent but wit-filled lyrics, unique voice, and contrary song structure. It has been suggested that Modern synthpop be merged into this article or section. ... Post punk generally refers to the particularly fertile and creative period following the initial punk rock explosion. During the first wave of punk, roughly spanning 1976-1983, bands such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones and The Damned began to challenge the current styles and conventions of rock... The 1960s, or The Sixties, in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... Johnny Marr in 2002 Johnny Marr with ex-Smiths cohort Morrissey Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 in Ardwick, Manchester) is an English guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player and singer, and is best known as the man behind the music of The Smiths. ... Steven Patrick Morrissey (born May 22, 1959) is a singer and songwriter from Stretford, Greater Manchester, England. ...


Cover

The sleeve for The Smiths was designed by Morrissey. It features American actor Joe Dallesandro in a cropped still from Andy Warhol's 1968 film Flesh. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Andy Warhol presents: Joe Dallesandro in Paul Morrisseys Flesh 1968 Joseph Angelo (Joe) Dallesandro (born December 31, 1948 in Pensacola, Florida) is an Italian American actor known for his voluptuous physical beauty, on-screen nudity and openly stated bisexuality. ... Andy Warhol, photographed by Helmut Newton. ... Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. ... Flesh or Andy Warhols Flesh is a 1968 film directed by Paul Morrissey. ...


In a 1993 interview with Mike Joyce he recalls being told by Johnny Marr about the cover of the album: "Johnny said to me, 'Uh, I've got the cover of the new album. And it's a picture of a bloke going down on another bloke.'" Some may say that this is another example of the band's (and particularly Morrissey's) homosexual undercurrent.


Song-by-song description

"Reel Around the Fountain" is the opening track. Though the music is written in the style of a love song, the lyrics detail lust and the loss of innocence. It features piano and organ playing by Paul Carrack. Reel Around the Fountain is the lead-off track on the Smiths landmark debut album. ... Paul Carrack, 2003 Paul Carrack (born April 22, 1951 in Sheffield, England) is a British keyboardist, singer and songwriter. ...


"You've Got Everything Now"


"Miserable Lie"


"Pretty Girls Make Graves" is a song about the inability of an adolescent (some have speculated homosexual) man to fulfill his culture's stereotyped sexual/relational expectations: I could have been wild and I could have been free / but nature played this trick on me / She wants it now and she will not wait / but she's too rough and I'm too delicate, sings Morrissey. The stunning falsetto of the chorus is complemented by a powerful and effective barrage of tom drums, while the verses see a prominent bassline being supported by excellent guitar work. The strong musical and lyrical components of the song make it one of The Smiths' best remembered. Since its coinage, the word homosexuality has acquired multiple meanings. ... Theli34 11:30, 19 November 2006 (UTC) 11:29, 19 November 2006 (UTC) This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the issues and phenomena pertaining to human sexual function and behavior. ... Interpersonal relationships are social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. ...


"The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" a song that some believed was about child molestation (an accusation vehemently denied), follows. Although it features a looping guitar part, the song adds or amplifies instruments to keep it interesting throughout. Morrissey's lyrics contain no verse-chorus structure, giving the song the feel of a poem set to music, which somehow makes it strangely beautiful. At one point, it was considered to name the album after this track but in the end they went with the simpler The Smiths instead. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is a song by British rock group The Smiths. ... Verse is a writing that uses meter as its primary organisational mode, as opposed to prose, which uses grammatical and discoursal units like sentences and paragraphs. ... A refrain (from the Old French refraindre to repeat, likely from Vulgar Latin refringere) is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse; the chorus of a song. ... Poetry (ancient Greek: poieo = create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. ...


"Still Ill" and "Hand in Glove", a remix of the band's debut single follow. They are more traditional pop tunes made interesting by Marr and Morrissey's unique style. The former sees the singer ruing the attraction of a person with whom he desires no relationship, while "Hand in Glove" is, in Morrissey's words, "the most important song ever written". It appears to be an us-versus-the-world love song, until the song's last lines reverse the feeling into doomed romanticism. Hand in Glove was the first single from British band The Smiths, released in 1983. ... A remix is an alternate version of a song, different from the original version. ... A collection of various CD singles In music, a single is a short recording of one or more separate tracks. ... This article is about the general concept. ... Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ...


"What Difference Does It Make?" is a punk-influenced rock track that became the album's best selling single. "I Don't Owe You Anything" is a swaying track about a particularly forceful relationship. What Difference Does it Make? is a 1984 single by British band The Smiths. ...


"Suffer Little Children", a song about the Moors Murders, closes the album. With a similar structure and subject matter to "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle", the song is sung from the perspective of the children who had been murdered. Its poetic nature and subtle musical backing make it a memorable closer. "Suffer Little Children" was the first song that Morrissey and Marr wrote together on that memorable day in 1982 when they first met. The Moors murders were committed around the Manchester area, England, between 1963 and 1965 by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. ...


The American edition of the record, released in April, 1984, by their American record company, Sire Records, included the 1983 single "This Charming Man". When in 1992 WEA bought the entire Smiths back catalogue, the album was re-released in its American configuration. Sire Records Company is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group and distributed through Warner Brothers Records The label was founded in 1966 as Sire Productions by Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer. ... This Charming Man is a song by British rock band The Smiths, released as their second single in October of 1983 on the indie label Rough Trade. ... Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) is one of the four major record labels. ...


Track listing

LP

Side 1

  1. "Reel Around the Fountain"
  2. "You've Got Everything Now"
  3. "Miserable Lie"
  4. "Pretty Girls Make Graves"
  5. "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle"

Reel Around the Fountain is the lead-off track on the Smiths landmark debut album. ... The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is a song by British rock group The Smiths. ...

Side 2

  1. "This Charming Man" (some editions only)
  2. "Still Ill"
  3. "Hand in Glove"
  4. "What Difference Does It Make?"
  5. "I Don't Owe You Anything"
  6. "Suffer Little Children"

This Charming Man is a song by British rock band The Smiths, released as their second single in October of 1983 on the indie label Rough Trade. ... Hand in Glove was the first single from British band The Smiths, released in 1983. ... What Difference Does it Make? is a 1984 single by British band The Smiths. ... Suffer Little Children is a song by the British band The Smiths that was included on their eponymous debut album. ...

Compact disc

Same as LP. A gramophone record, (also phonograph record - often simply record) is an analog sound recording medium: a flat disc rotating at a constant angular velocity, with inscribed spiral grooves in which a stylus or needle rides. ...


"This Charming Man" did not appear on the UK and European releases of The Smiths. It was, however, included on the American release because it hadn't been released as a single in the States, and was also on the original cassette release of the album. When WEA re-issued all Smiths albums in 1992, the American format was used. European redirects here. ... Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) is one of the four major record labels. ...


Troy Tate sessions

The first recording sessions for this album were produced by Troy Tate from The Teardrop Explodes. Unsatisfied with his work as a producer, the Smiths re-recorded their debut with producer John Porter, and it was these recordings that formed the finished album. Most of the shelved Troy Tate recordings are available only in bootleg form, although the Tate-produced versions of "Jeane" (which the Smiths did not re-record with Porter) and "Pretty Girls Make Graves" were used as B-sides on official Smiths releases. The Teardrop Explodes (L to R) Alan Gill, Julian Cope, Gary Dwyer and David Balfe The Teardrop Explodes was a British New Wave/Neo-Psychedelic band formed in Liverpool in 1978. ... The common English name John Porter can refer to: John Clinton Porter -- California politician, mayor of Los Angeles John Edward Porter -- Illinois politician, state Representative John Porter (politician) -- Pennsylvania politician, US Representative John Porter (musician) -- guitarist, bassist, producer for Roxy Music, among others John Porter (sociologist) -- Canadian sociologist John Porter...


Personnel

The band

Steven Patrick Morrissey (born May 22, 1959) is a singer and songwriter from Stretford, Greater Manchester, England. ... Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, which is often contrasted with speech. ... Johnny Marr in 2002 Johnny Marr with ex-Smiths cohort Morrissey Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 in Ardwick, Manchester) is an English guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player and singer, and is best known as the man behind the music of The Smiths. ... Different kinds of guitars The guitar is a fretted and stringed musical instrument, used in a wide variety of musical styles, and is also widely known as a solo classical instrument. ... Wikibooks has a book on the topic of Harmonica A harmonica is a free reed musical wind instrument (also known, among other things, as a mouth organ or mouth harp, Hobo Harp, French harp, tin sandwich, lickin stick, blues harp, simply harp, or Mississippi saxophone), having multiple, variably-tuned brass... Andy Rourke (born 17 January 1964) is a bass guitarist and guitar player from Manchester, England. ... Martin EB18 Bass Guitar in flight case. ... Mike Joyce (born Michael Joyce on 1 June 1963) is a drummer from Fallowfield, Manchester, England. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ...

Additional musicians

Paul Carrack, 2003 Paul Carrack (born April 22, 1951 in Sheffield, England) is a British keyboardist, singer and songwriter. ... Piano, a well-known instance of keyboard instruments A keyboard instrument is any musical instrument played using a musical keyboard. ...

Technical staff

The Smiths
Morrissey - Johnny Marr - Andy Rourke - Mike Joyce
Craig Gannon - Dale Hibbert
Discography
Albums: The Smiths | Meat Is Murder | The Queen Is Dead | Strangeways, Here We Come | Rank (live)
Singles: Hand in Glove | This Charming Man | What Difference Does It Make? | Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now | William, It Was Really Nothing | How Soon Is Now? | Shakespeare's Sister | That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore | The Boy with the Thorn in His Side | Bigmouth Strikes Again | Panic | Ask | Shoplifters of the World Unite | Sheila Take a Bow | Girlfriend in a Coma | I Started Something I Couldn't Finish | Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me | There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
Band-assembled compilations: Hatful of Hollow | The World Won't Listen | Louder Than Bombs
Other compilations: Stop Me |Best...I | ...Best II | Singles | The Very Best of The Smiths
Related
Rough Trade Records

  Results from FactBites:
 
Adrian's Album Reviews : The Smiths (5743 words)
The album is not as euphoric musically as the highlights on The Queen is Dead ('Boy With the Thorn in His Side', 'Bigmouth' and 'There is a Light') but this is probably my fave Smiths album overall.
Obviously, any Smiths album has more depth, quality, thought, humour, passion, intelligence and musicality than 95% of the competition but in their canon this is not as strong an album as either THE SMITHS or MEAT IS MURDER.
The album its self is probably one of the most complete album is modern popular music history, its a bit like The Stone Roses "The Stone Roses" in way that when listening it feels like every song couldn't have been wrote better or arranged any differently.
The Smiths (album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (650 words)
The Smiths is the eponymous debut album of the band The Smiths, released on February 20, 1984.
The album was well received by the critics as well as the public, and it established the Smiths as a prominent band in the 1980s music scene in the United Kingdom.
The album was particularly important and influential because it went against the grain of the popular music of the time.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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