But I love it. ‘London’ is exactly the sort of track that makes this band, and the compilation album Louder Than Bombs in particular, a favorite of mine.
I just got in from seeing The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a lovely adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s 1999 novel (Chbosky wrote the screenplay and directed the film himself). The movie contains several references to the song ‘Asleep’ by The Smiths — the closing track of their 1987 singles compilation Louder Than Bombs.
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.
The Random Weekend gods have served up a meaty selection on this particular Saturday. ‘Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me’ is a fine song in its own right but also has a host of interesting associations to explore.
For example, it was the final single from the band’s final album, inviting interpretations that the heartbreak it explores is The Smiths’ own demise. Is the dream of love the doomed partnership between Morrissey and Johnny Marr? Probably not, but it makes for fun listening.
The Smiths’ The Queen is Dead is on my shortlist of favorite albums by any measure. It doesn’t have a weak song on it, it epitomizes its genre, it engages me both emotionally and cerebrally and it puts me in a specific time and place (freshmen year at the University of Florida). If I had to bring ten albums to the proverbial desert island, it’s a safe best this would be one of them.
I wonder what kids today would make of the desert island scenario. They have thousands of songs on devices no bigger than a stick of gum… the idea that they might be restricted to ten of anything is probably absurd.
And so I have arrived at the entry that marks one full year of Songs of the Day… my 365th song. And by some cosmic coincidence — and I swear, I did not plan this at all — it comes from the same album I featured one year ago when I started this series.
Yes, it was The Smiths’ ‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’ from their Strangeways, Here We Come album that kicked off the Songs of the Day. I chose it because I found the title particularly fitting considering the daunting task ahead. A year later, I’m surprised at how “easy” it was to come up with 365 songs. It took lots of time and effort, don’t get me wrong, but I never felt I was at a loss for songs, or for words.