Both of today’s contenders have shown up already in Round One in other incarnations: The Smiths’ frontman Morrissey showed up as a solo act, while Ben Folds showed up in the form of his band, Ben Folds Five.
We’ll celebrate the 4th of July with a randomly selected song from across the pond, written and performed by a gay icon: ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ from The Smith’s classic album The Queen is Dead.
Given that my first ever Song of the Day post was about The Smiths, it’s only fitting that they find a spot on this desert island list.
I was surprised to see that, unlike every other song I’ve featured over the past two weeks, I have never written about today’s song. ‘There is a Light That Never Goes Out’ is one of the band’s most beloved songs, a highlight of their best album, The Queen is Dead.
I can also make a strong case for the ‘Pure Pop’ category. Those who are only passingly familiar with the band’s discography might associate them only with self-pitying mope rock and remain unaware of guitarist Johnny Marr’s peerless knack for shimmering pop hooks.
The Queen is Dead – The Smiths (1986)
I think I just heard Dana’s head explode. Yes, more Smiths!
The Smiths released only four studio albums (among many compilations) and The Queen is Dead is by far the best of them. On this record, they tied everything together perfectly: the pathos, the humor, Johnny Marr’s shimmering guitar and Morrissey’s incomparable vocals.