1986: “The Queen Is Dead”- The Smiths



Wow. 3 months since the last post. It turns out having a baby keeps you pretty busy.

Early 1986…

“Did you know that the president of America has got a big button on his desk, and if he presses it the whole world will blow itself up”. So said some 7 year old in my year 3 class (2nd Grade to anybody in America), thus plunging me into a blind panic for the first of many times based on what some kid at school said to me.

This is now one of my worries about having children. You can decide to raise them the way you want but you have absolutely no control over what other kids at school say to them. I was a worrying kind of oversensitive kid who would dwell on upsetting scary stuff I was told rather than just forgetting about it and getting on with playing football or whatever else might be going on. It’s probably a good thing that I was only young in the mid 80’s because had I been a teenager I would’ve probably been a nervous wreck.

The music of the time was obviously affected by tension being felt around the world but I was too young to realise it. But I was getting to an age where I was actually trying to find out stuff about music that was playing rather than it being just something that was on the radio.

My first memory of The Smiths is the song “Panic”. One of my cousins is 3 years older than me and used to bring Smash Hits magazine round to my house when she came over. I used to flick through it and mainly focus on the section which printed song lyrics. It seems weird now with the internet in existence, but that was the main attraction of the magazine to me at that time. I liked the song “Panic” and the fact that it mentioned Humberside which is where I’m from.

It was much later that I appreciated full albums by The Smiths. In my teens i was only a singles collection man. I’m by no means an ardent fan now really. In all honesty I find Morrissey to be a complete self righteous tit most of the time.But as the voice of The Smiths he makes sense.

“The Queen Is Dead” is easily my favourite Smiths album and contains all my favourite Smiths songs. The title track, “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side”, “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” and my pick for this year by year playlist, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”. From its opening chords (And what chords!) to the fade out, it’s a blast of pop perfection. The bassline is amazing too.



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