Reason #405 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: The Smiths

smithsYet another oversight on my part. How could I have gone so far (94 entries) and not have mentioned one of the ’80’s best and most iconic bands? The Smiths were definitely one of my favorites growing up and I was lucky enough to even see them live…twice! I can remember buying the vinyl for this in a little, crappy mall in a place called Milton in Ontario Canada on the day of it’s release. I was with a friend, and being 15 at the time our mode of transportation was of the 2-wheel kind. We peddled back to his house and I got first dibs at the turntable. Quite frankly, I was a little stunned. Morressey’s croon was weird and warbly (if that’s not a word it should be!), the guitarist sounded fantastically clear, the drums and bass were loud and a little funky…but the subject matter, which consisted of molestation, child murders and homosexuality, was what made this album stand out, made it seem so alien and so unlike anything I had heard up to that point. The bonus was, of course, that Morressey and guitarist Marr could write some amazing pop songs, some of the very best of the decade. Their genius would come to full flower just a couple years later, but this debut remains my sentimental and very personal favorite record by the Smiths.