For a song as famous as this song, it sometimes shocks me that it doesn’t get too highly valued in lists or publications: more often now, it’s the fodder for “witty” headline material (see also: “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and all you can spin out of that). Regardless of this more undesirable (at least in my view) connotation, the song is another (yes, another) top tier Smiths number. From the irresistible chiming guitar strums at the curtain rise, which lead magnificently into the runaway train rhythm section - Joyce is pounding at the snare, while Rourke anchors the piece with another robust, melodic bassline, that brings an element of terse funk back to the proceedings also.
Morrissey’s lyrics are superb here: once again, the message is simple, but the punchlines and one-liners are hilarious enough to elevate that beyond simple kitsch or novelty - instead, it becomes more like a twisted Carry On film, with the same humour filtered through an increasingly more violent and bitter edge.
“Sweetness, I was only joking when I said by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed”
Marr gets his chance to “rock out” with a scorching guitar line that doesn’t seem at all incongruous, and the way the song continues at the same throttling (pun absolutely intended) pace is certainly impressive for a quote-on-quote “indie band” (I think I threw up in my mouth a little having to subscribe to those stereotypes, but hey, we have to do things we’re not proud of, don’t we?)
A breathtaking single, a breathtaking album track - what more can you ask for?