The Smiths (eponymous)

Discuss each of the albums here.

Postby elko » Mon Sep 27, 2004 9:43 pm

Ok, just to get things going a little, a bit of more specific discussion. Starting with eponymous debut, I though I'd go through every album, finding people's favourite/worst tracks, etc.

So, for The Smiths - The Smiths...

Your favourite track:

Your worst track:

Best lyric:

Song/lyric/line you relate to most/has relevance to you:

Overall opinion of album, how it compares to others, etc.:

Feel free to add any other comments and that.
Last edited by elko on Mon May 15, 2006 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Still Ill » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:43 pm

That's a good one, elko. Will ponder it for a bit and write some thoughts down when I get a chance!
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Postby elko » Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:07 pm

Well I'll try it then...

My favourite track would have to be Reel Around The Fountain, although most people don't seem to like the John Porter's production on this album, for me this track come out really nicely. The piano (or whatever it is) really adds to the song, and gives it a completely different feel to the Hatful Of Hollow version.

Worst track, it's hard to say, but for me it's between Miserable Lie and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Miserable Lie just doesn't work as a song for me, and there's not much more I can say than that. THTRTC just gets tiring after the first couple of minutes, and the guitar in overly repetitive.

I would say Reel Around The Fountain also has the best lyrics, it just draws you in and tells a wonderfully odd and dark story that is never really explained, but makes you wonder. I actually think a lot of these songs don't have particularly great lyrics, but this one undoubtedly does.

There was a time when I though all of The Smiths and Hatful Of Hollow was about me, but now I realise they are about everyone, that the lyrics are general enough to invoke feeling of familiarity (sp) in everyone of a certain age. You've Got Everything Now still strikes a chord with me though.

I would say The Smiths is easily the worst of the studio albums, and is better by Hatful Of Hollow. I bought HOH first, and and after buying The Smiths, found the studio versions of songs slower and less interesting than the radio sessions. It's a great debut, but I'm sure it could have been better, given how incredible the songs sound when stripped down on Hatful Of Hollow.
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Postby girl_afraid » Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:30 pm

Oooh, LOVE this thread!

Your favourite track: Agh, this one is insanely difficult for me, because this album has some of my favourite ever Smiths songs... It's between Reel Around The Fountain, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (I think it's an absolutely beautiful song, it's just gorgeous!), Pretty Girls Make Graves, This Charming Man, and Still Ill, but I think if I had to choose (which I technically do), I'd have to go for Still Ill.

Your worst track: Miserable Lie. I love the first part, and it's not that I don't like the song as a whole, because I really do, and I think the urgency underlying the beginning is great, the way you can hear the faster part just waiting to come in. It just reminds me somehow of Death At One's Elbow, Morrissey's vocals seem slightly clumsier than normal.

Best lyric: I agree with you, Elko, Reel Around The Fountain. Some of the imagery in that song is just perfect. And the thing that strikes me most about that song is the way that although the heartache in it isn't as blatant as in some of the other Smiths songs, it manages to capture the spirit of it completely ("But 'take me to the haven of your bed' was something that you never said" and so on).

Song/lyric/line you relate to most/has relevance to you: Still Ill, without a doubt. There was a time in my life, only like a month ago, when this song just seemed to be the exact soundtrack to my life; it detailed exactly the way I was feeling. Although I'm not 'in that place' anymore, I can still remember exactly how I felt at the time, and it connected with me so much that just listening to it can make me burst into tears. What Difference Does It Make? has a similar effect...

Overall opinion of album, how it compares to others, etc.: I love this album, and although it has some relative low points, overall I think it covers so much ground, and there are so many different themes explored, but they still all link together... Like, it covers the Moors Murders, sexual repression, pain, heartache, lust, but, as Moz said, all the songs are about sex in some way. I think you can see all the bands Morrissey always said he was inspired by shining through most clearly on this album, and it's the darkest and most experimental of all the albums. I'd say it's the 3rd best of the studio albums, which is really harsh because I absolutely adore it, but if lists must be made...!
Last edited by girl_afraid on Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving
England is mine, it owes me a living
But ask me why and I'll spit in your eye
Oh, ask me why and I'll spit in your eye
But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore
No, we cannot cling to those dreams
Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?
I dunno...
Under the iron bridge we kissed
And although I ended up with sore lips
It just wasn't like the old days anymore
No, it wasn't like those days
Am I still ill...?
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Postby elko » Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:45 pm

<!--QuoteBegin-girl_afraid+Sep 29 2004, 07:29 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (girl_afraid @ Sep 29 2004, 07:29 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin--> I'd say it's the 3rd best of the studio albums, which is really harsh because I absolutely adore it, but if lists must be made...! <!--QuoteEnd--> </td></tr></table><div class='postcolor'> <!--QuoteEEnd-->
Out of interest, in front of what?
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Postby girl_afraid » Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:30 pm

Meat is Murder. I know it's your favourite (at least, I think it is), and even though it's my least favourite Smiths album, it's still my 4th favourite album ever. I think 'Barbarism Begins At Home' kinda drags the album down as a whole - again, it's not that it's a bad song (far from it!), but it's just a bit too long... Didn't Johnny Marr say something along the lines of that he thought it was cheesy? I feel so mean slating this album because I do absolutely love it (come on, Well I Wonder, Rusholme Ruffians, How Soon Is Now?, Nowhere Fast - all total gems!)

But yeah, put in context with the other three, I think the others fit better in themselves.
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I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving
England is mine, it owes me a living
But ask me why and I'll spit in your eye
Oh, ask me why and I'll spit in your eye
But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore
No, we cannot cling to those dreams
Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?
I dunno...
Under the iron bridge we kissed
And although I ended up with sore lips
It just wasn't like the old days anymore
No, it wasn't like those days
Am I still ill...?
girl_afraid
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Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:11 pm
Location: Southampton, England

Postby elko » Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:37 pm

<!--emo&:o-->Image<!--endemo-->

Meat Is Murder! Best album ever! <!--emo&:P-->Image<!--endemo-->

I agree Barbarism... goes on a little too long, but so does The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and Suffer Little Children IMO. I would put The Smiths below Hatfuul Of Hollow, and maybe even below The World Won't Listen/Louder Than Bombs. Too many songs just seem to drag.
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Postby mawkish » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:32 pm

Barbarism begins at home is according to med, one of the best songs. Too long perhaps.

Best song: This charming man. 97/100

Best album: dont know really, downloaded them all <!--emo&:o-->Image<!--endemo-->

Worst track: Headmasters ritaul

Best lyric: Reel around the fountain, Last night I dreamt that somebody loved me.

Song/lyric/line you relate to most/has relevance to you: Last night I dreamt that somebody loved me


hehe, what makes The Smiths the best is that they are so very deppresive.

I'm from Sweden. Just so u know.
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Postby elko » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:38 pm

Ah, thought you might be :)
Stick around.
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Postby mawkish » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:40 pm

are everyone of u guys english?
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Postby Still Ill » Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:07 pm

Nope! But it is gloomy and cold in southern California right now. Just the way I like it this time of year. Welcome, mawkish. Incidentally, I could loop Barbarism and would never tire of it! One of my favorite songs, I generally get scoffed at for making that statement. But how could you not like Headmaster Ritual?! Meat is Murder is my favorite, which I've posted before. Well I Wonder is a gem, imo. Gotta make the time to jot down some of my assessments of the albums. It's a great thread.
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Postby girl_afraid » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:59 pm

Yeah, I agree, great topic! Are we eventually gonna do all the albums, including The World Won't Listen, Hatful and Rank, or just stick with the studios?

Mawkish, you downloaded them all?! But, but... the sleeves are so good! And I agree with Still Ill, The Headmaster's Ritual is an amazing song, one of the best I think.

Just out of interest, what do you lot feel the hardest Smiths album to get into is? I think the first one probably, it is darker and more... um... 'dirgy' (in a good way!) than the others.

Oh, I'm English by the way <!--emo&:)-->Image<!--endemo--> Heh, that looks like I just said my name was English...
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I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving
England is mine, it owes me a living
But ask me why and I'll spit in your eye
Oh, ask me why and I'll spit in your eye
But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore
No, we cannot cling to those dreams
Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?
I dunno...
Under the iron bridge we kissed
And although I ended up with sore lips
It just wasn't like the old days anymore
No, it wasn't like those days
Am I still ill...?
girl_afraid
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Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:11 pm
Location: Southampton, England

Postby elko » Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:19 pm

I was thinking of just doing the studio albums for now.
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Postby shy guy » Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:45 pm

Favorite track: I'm probably one of the only Smiths fans who especially likes Miserable Lie. It's just so earnest and bouncy. It is pretty embarrassing to listen to it around other people though when Morrissey starts his falsetto rant. But truly it's the only song on The Smiths that gets me jumping around my room.

Worst track: Hand That Rocks the Cradle is very good lyrically, but musically it lags for me. I have nothing against repetitive stuff if it moves me and this just doesn't do it.

Best lyric: I think the lyric that gives the best imagery is in Suffer Little Children. "But fresh lilaced moorland fields cannot hide the stolid stench of death."

Song or lyric I relate to: A year ago I probably would've said, "nobody ever looks at me twice." Since then I have found a girl who says that I'm the most handsome man in the universe. I'm glad it's true for her. Anyways, now I think that You've Got Everything Now is the song I relate to the most. Lyrics like, "You are your mother's only son and you're a desperate one," and, "No I've never had a job because I'm too shy," fit me perfectly.

How it compares: Out of the studio albums I think that it is tied for second.
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Postby Still Ill » Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:17 am

Favorite Track: I'm torn between Hand in Glove and Still Ill, but I'll give it to Still Ill; I Just love the way the bass lines and guitar move up and down the scales, and the lyrics cover just about everything the Smiths stood for.

Least favorite: Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Musically it's just so very repetitive in a way that adds no additional merit to the song.

Best lyric: The opening lines to Still Ill. Morrissey just makes such a statement, almost a battle cry!

Song/lyrics I relate to: I have a fun memory about this song at about the time MIM came out. This guy at work about 15 years my senior (he was a Grateful Dead and Beatles fan, knew nothing about this new indie music), would hum the lines to this song, which he found funny and peculiar at the time and it became a kind of joke between us. Other people did not get it (or the Smiths, being pretty obscure to the general public at the time)

How it compares: I rate this third above MIM and QID. (The Smiths have said Strangeways was their best work. Beautifully produced, but I don't rate it above their first album).

Random thoughts:
This Charming Man showcases Morrissey's wonderful voice.
I remember reading that Mike was moved to tears halfway through an early live performance of I Don't Owe You Anything. <!--emo&:)-->Image<!--endemo-->
The singles also produced some awesome b-sides on this album.
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