READER REPORT:

Album I couldn't live without: The Smiths

DAVID FINLEY
Last updated 05:00 25/03/2013
Morrissey
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EARLY DAYS: The Smith's 1984 debut introduces Morrissey before he became obsessed with himself.

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OK, I just want to get one thing straight, this band, bar a couple of dodgy cover versions, never did a bad track. Each one of their albums is special and I treasure them all, but for me one stands out above all and is unjustly underrated.

The Queen Is Dead is perfect and Meat Is Murder is arguably the most accessible, but I think The Smiths' 1984 debut has their strongest set of songs and Morrissey's finest lyrics, before he became obsessed with being Morrissey.

It kicks off with the beautiful 'Reel Around The Fountain'. As I've already said, Morrissey's lyrics were never better than on this album, pure poetry especially on tracks like 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle', pretty dark stuff like the album's closer, the surprisingly touching and tasteful account of the 60s Moors murders.

It isn't all doom and gloom though, you have the classic singles 'This Charming Man', 'Hand In Glove' and 'What Difference Does It Make' to pick up the pace and lighten the mood. My personal favourite is 'I Don't Owe You Anything' which has a great 60s vibe and was later covered by Sandie Shaw.

This wasn't the first Smiths' album I bought, like a lot of first generation fans my intro was the compilation Hatful Of Hollow and I bought The Smiths soon after. I didn't get it at first but like all the great albums it grows on you and for that reason is all the more rewarding.


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