The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths
We are approximately one month away from the thirteenth anniversary of “The Queen is Dead” an album that is arguably considered the Magnum Opus of the Band,it came out only one year after the acclaimed album ”Meat Is Murder” that consolidated the smiths as one of the best new bands in the pop/rock scene(or indie or alternative or jangle pop or whatever do you wanted to call it), and was responsible for converting a portion of the fan base to vegetarianism.Ironically and for the disdain of the lead singer Morrissey, the queen isn’t dead yet.
Once more this is another album by the smiths loaded with the miserable yet witty lyrics of Morrissey and orchestrated by the beautiful melodies of Johnny Marr. The first track,The Queen is Dead is a perfect example of what Morrissey preaches in most of his interviews, a blind hatred for everything that is connected to the Royal family.Behind a solid baseline conducted by Andy Rourke,Morrissey goes on to announce proudly that the Queen is finally dead.
“Frankly Mr Shankly” is a upbeat song dissing the Head of their Label,the rhythm and Lyrics make a perfect contrast for the next song,”I Know It’s Over” it’s a mesmerizing ballad,one that stands in their entire discography,it’s a sincere and very real note to every teenager and young adult about the pains of relationships.
“Never Had No One Ever” is a solid ballad and a cry for love,another common Smiths theme and is probably autobiographic.
The admiration of Oscar Wilde by Morrissey is present in “Cemetry Gates” a discussion about poems and the lives of those who rest in the cemetery are completed by a decent bass and guitar strumming.
Morrissey was and still is now more than ever controversial, in his statements maybe predicting that fact the high pitched verse on “Big Mouth Strikes Again” tell us about the consequences of expressing our own opinions,and once again accompanied by a great strumming.
“The Boy with a Torn on his Side” is regarded by Morrissey as his favorite songs by the smiths,another song that very easily resonates with every human being,an endless quest for love that isn’t mutual,the fading in the end complemented by Morrissey’s yodeling just gives the song more character.
Another upbeat and ludicrous song in this album of schizophrenic ballads and silly lyrics,”Vicar in a tutu” well the title is self explanatory. Morrissey just gives wings to his imagination and exclaims in the end “I am a living sign!”.
One of the most covered and well known ballads of the smiths is “There is a light that never goes out” ranging from movie soundtracks to book titles this track is remembered by fans with a lot of affection, who hasn’t felt so critically in love that died would be something trivial?a catchy and chorus and strange guitar effects are the recipe for this beautifully crafted ballad.
“Some girls are bigger than others has the particularity of being played only once live and being that last song played by the smiths before their rupture.Once again a song with very silly lyrics and with a strange fade out in the beginning but accompanied with heavenly guitar riff,Johnny Marr show us once again that he is a guitar genius.
“The Queen is Dead” is a mark in the music scene of the Thatcher ruled grey and Great Britain of the 80’s,a album full of hymns crafted by the poetic mind of Morrissey and directed to the common people.