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The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead Review

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

In my opinion, the Smiths’ 1986 masterpiece still stands as a testament to England in the ’80s, the complex relationship between performer and fan and the ecstasy of emptiness.

Unfortunately for The Smiths, there weren’t that many believers when they started.

Imperial in their own minds, the Smiths could never convince enough of the pop public to agree with them that they were a crucial group of their era. It’s now so common to bracket the Smiths and the Beatles together that you forget just how marginal Morrissey and his minions were in their time.

I have always been a fan and think their music will be listened to for many generations 🔥

The Queen Is Dead is when the Smiths begin their imperial moment. Morrissey’s words and delivery were never more skillfully delivered. Whilst Johnny Marr’s guitar overflows with melody.

Morrissey can be unbearable. But when Morrissey’s vocals are caressed by Marr’s peaceful, synthesized strings on “There Is a Light,” or “Boy with the Thorn,” there’s something special about the way their textures mix.

It’s a great musical tragedy that barely a year after releasing “The Queen Is Dead”, this odd couple went their separate ways, for reasons that still feel not fully explained. These lads were made for each other—and surely deep down they still know it.


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