Includes Strangeways, by Andrew Hall
Michael Jackson, George Michael, Prince and more: readers share their favourite albums turning 30 - The Guardian
The Smiths – Strangeways Here We Come
Both Morrissey and Johnny Marr consider the Smiths’ final LP to be their finest album, which is evidence that artists are rarely the best judges of their own work. Any release that includes something as “will this do?” as the terminal Death at One’s Elbow can’t be considered the finest anything (with Morrissey’s belch at the end of the track providing a succinct review). Unhappy Birthday possesses neither the wit nor the charm of similarly lightweight moments on The Queen is Dead. However, there is no denying the ambition of Strangeways’ ideas, the sophistication of its arrangements and the confidence and style with which the group pull it off. It’s the Smiths’ most diverse record – the swaggering glam-rock of I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish; Girlfriend in a Coma’s two-minute pop soap opera; whatever the hell the brilliantly bonkers Death of Disco Dancer is. When Morrissey finally bursts in – two minutes into Last Night I Dreamt That Someone Loved Me – may well be the most magnificently melodramatic moment in a catalogue full of them. I Won’t Share You is a beautiful, heartbreaking closer, which highlights a key difference between the two creative forces (Morrissey possessive, Marr collaborative) – a big reason why the Smiths weren’t long for this world.