2007-05-14

The Smiths' 25th

Two events have profoundly impacted my life. Meeting my beautiful wife, and sitting in a friend's bedroom in 1987, summer before high school started, and hearing "Frankly Mr. Shankly" come over the speakers. I had never heard anything like it, and it blew the lid off a world of music I didn't know existed. The album I had bought previous to the Queen Is Dead (familiar colors?) was Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet". If you asked virtually any kid what alternative music was back then, the answer would have been Run DMC. Can the uniqueness of the Smiths be appreciated by those too young to remember the mid-eighties? Could an internet-ready world where you can hear as many new bands as you can possibly click on understand the magnitude of finding something like this in a sea of 80's mediocrity? I hope. Until 120 Minutes started coming on MTV around that time, there was simply no way for a kid with no cool connections to find non-mainstream music. Sean O'Hagan (not the musician) writes in Guardian Music:

"To put the extent of their achievement into context, you need only remember that they arrived at a time in the early-to-mid Eighties when punk's rupture had long been papered over, when the new synthesised pop of Boy George and Wham! ruled the charts, and, more importantly, when sample-based dance music first began crossing into the mainstream and rock music seemed to be fighting a desperate rearguard action. ...the Smiths almost single-handedly reclaimed and revitalised the ailing tradition of the guitar-driven, four-piece rock group"

The article highlights the fact that it was twenty-five years ago that Morrissey and Marr first met. And twenty years since they caused my musical awakening. This show is from a bootleg called "Reel Around The Fountain", it's their ninth ever show and first outside Manchester or London. I have untracked, remastered, and tracked it (for smoother transitions between songs), here's how it sounded before and this is how it sounds now. This was a month after their very first single, "Hand In Glove", and still six months from their first album. Enjoy.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't seem to get these to download, but I'd give my right arm to add them to my collection. Great to meet another Smiths disciple... ;O) Please email me (tim@echomusic.com) if you get the links worked out... thanks for the great post!

funeralpudding said...

Sometimes my server takes a second or several to get the link going, but they do let me archive all of my mp3s forever for a pretty good price. And sometimes there's just a lot of traffic. Should be working, and thanks! You should have everything now ;)

sfenn said...

Thanks!

Urban Gypsy said...

This is incredible- lots of lesser known tracks I've been looking for for ages! God bless you!

Monkey Bastard said...

Amazing stuff as always. You sure don't update a lot, but it's always worth the wait.





http://monkeybastard.blog.com

LSMelo said...

Incredible show. I am a fan of The Smiths and discovered yestersay your webpage. I listened the show a lot of times last night. They are a part of my life (in my 20... years). From Portugal, many thanks to you.

Luís