Sunday, 11 July 2010

My Favourite 350 Songs of All Time. #335

The Smiths - Rubber Ring/What She Said (live)

I'm ashamed to say I didn't get the Smiths until a few weeks or so after they split up. Living in a derelict cottage in mid-Wales was hardly the perfect arena for a musical education and that, combined with a radio reception that amounted to getting Radio 1 if there was the right amount of fog in the air, was mainly my excuse. Late eighties two things happened round about the same time, radio 1 went FM and suddenly I could listen to Peel amongst other things. Two, I went to sixth form where much cooler people than myself introduced me to, amongst other things, The Smiths.

I'd seen them a couple of times on ToTP but I just didn't get it. Now, in majestic stereo at my mate John's house, I got it. A couple of blissful summers ensued and at every single party we went to, this live version of two of my very favourite Smiths songs was met with a soon to become traditional removal of shirts and spinning them Moz-style around our pigeon-chested torsos.

Pisses me off when people write off the Smiths as weak, limp miserable bedsit student wankery. It's a bit more substantial than that, and this proves they could rock out with the best of them.

Johnny Marr was on the radio this afternoon, talking about his musical education's reference points. He talked about the Shangri-La's, glam rock and 70s disco. The man's got style...

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