Acclaimed Albums – The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 216/250Title: The Queen is Dead
Artist: The Smiths
Year: 1986
Position: #22

Much like LCD Soundsystem last week, the latter half of this week has been dominated by multiple listens of The Queen is Dead. When I first started listening to it and got to the second track ‘Frankly Mr. Shankly’, I got a bit nervous that I had switched on an album that was on the wrong side of twee. Like an ultra Belle and Sebastian kind of album. Obviously I was wrong about the whole album, but I stand by that song be incredibly twee.

There is something very different about The Smiths that you don’t really see replicated (at least not well) by other acts. The pairing of Marr’s new wave music with Morrissey’s unique voice and lyrical content have really hit their zenith with this album. Nothing quite shows this off as ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’. I get why this song is so revered by musical critics of this era, it is utterly gorgeous and ultimately tragic. Actually makes sense that this is the penultimate track and it is followed by one of their more humorous songs.

It’s nice to find an album that you can get properly lost in. It doesn’t happen too often, but both this and Sound of Silver have been able to supply me with the right landscapes to get lost in. With The Queen Is Dead it is just a lot of fun to relisten and just get more and more of Morrisey’s references or to pick up on something subtle in the music. ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ and ‘Cemetry Gates’ are two tracks that have especially benefitted from repeat listens – especially as his over the top line about knowing how Joan of Arc felt makes me snicker.

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