heard on the wire

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After two near-misses, it’s about time The Smiths were featured in a song-from-each-year-of-my-life. 1987’s Strangeways Here We Come was the band’s swansong, their most ambitious record to date.

Whatever you think of Morrissey — and his less-than-charming public utterances — he’s clearly a rare talent. Even lumbered with the run-of-the-mill session musicians that comprise the band for his “solo” LPs, he still manages to crack out the odd cracking tune and typically witty lyric.

“Lumbered” with a genius guitarist and songwriting partner and a perfectly matched rhythm section, Morrissey was the focal point of the supreme guitar band of the 80s, producing several near immaculate LPs, while scarcely seeming to pause for breath. “Strangeways” is, to my mind, the finest, kicking off with a rush and a push and peaking halfway through with this track, which leaves you wondering what might have been had Morrissey and Johnny Marr not succumbed to that most pernicious enemy of pop, “musical differences”.

The Smiths :: Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me

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And here’s another gem from 87.

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