After instantly selling out in light of recent events, we’re happy to see the seminal Smiths’ record back in stock.
In all of its melodrama and jangle-rock glory, for better or for worse, ‘The Queen Is Dead’ remains a cornerstone of British music. Despite Morrissey’s efforts to make enjoying his art difficult, 1986 saw the Smiths in a place where everything worked. Whatever one could criticise the band for is present in spades on the album, but the hooks, humour and atmospheres are just too good to resist.
There’s an undeniable momentum to the record that makes its 36 minutes pass like a fever dream. There's the timeless opening medley of ‘Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty’ taking us into the title track with the swirling guitars and Joy Division-esque drums of Mike Joyce. Then, ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ is burned into our brains with the refrains of Morrissey showing his edge for writing earworms, which he does again and again on ‘Cemetery Gates’ and ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’.
Something that doesn’t get enough light though is how playful the record can be as it uses almost nursery rhyme qualities to ‘Frankly, Mr Shankly’ and ‘Vicar in a Tutu’ which border on absurdity. Regardless of whether you love them or hate them (I’ve been drifting towards the latter for years) (not me, Ed.), the charm of TQID remains a cutting force of that disdain and makes for a lovely listen every time.
It’s a testament to what makes the band great despite their shortcomings, and this album marks the perfect moment when it all came together.
‘The Queen Is Dead’ is available in the Store now.
The Queen Is Dead | Classic
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