The Smiths A-Z: "Bigmouth Strikes Again"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member






Our next track in the Smiths A-Z project is this song, released as a single in May 1986 and reaching #26 on the UK singles chart. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" was also included on The Queen Is Dead (released the following month), as well as being featured on the Rank live album.

The song was played live by the Smiths 46 times, in 1985 and 1986.

What do we think?
 

Ossie

Human Being






Our next track in the Smiths A-Z project is this song, released as a single in May 1986 and reaching #26 on the UK singles chart. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" was also included on The Queen Is Dead (released the following month), as well as being featured on the Rank live album.

The song was played live by the Smiths 46 times, in 1985 and 1986.

What do







Our next track in the Smiths A-Z project is this song, released as a single in May 1986 and reaching #26 on the UK singles chart. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" was also included on The Queen Is Dead (released the following month), as well as being featured on the Rank live album.

The song was played live by the Smiths 46 times, in 1985 and 1986.

What do we think?

Always makes me think of Morrissey’s note in Peepholism: Bigmouth is ONE WORD

Splendid 9/10
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
It doesn't get much better. The song, the look, the performance and I remember watching on TV when it first came out.
Craig Gannon really looked like a Smith and was a fantastic talent. He helped beef up the sound and free JM up a bit.
It's a shame that didn't work out.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
To me, this is pretty much Johnny's peak moment, just a staggeringly good composition over which Morrissey sings a hilarious, melodramatic lyric, the title of which has haunted him for decades.

I remember listening to the Top 40 countdown on Radio 1, the Sunday after "Bigmouth" came out, and was convinced there'd been a mistake when this was a new entry at 26. How on earth did it not get higher than that?

Also: does anyone else find the sped-up backing vocals kind of annoying? I'm just not sure they work.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
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?

10/10
 

Surface

Chilling in Cheshire.
To me, this is pretty much Johnny's peak moment, just a staggeringly good composition over which Morrissey sings a hilarious, melodramatic lyric, the title of which has haunted him for decades.

I remember listening to the Top 40 countdown on Radio 1, the Sunday after "Bigmouth" came out, and was convinced there'd been a mistake when this was a new entry at 26. How on earth did it not get higher than that?

Also: does anyone else find the sped-up backing vocals kind of annoying? I'm just not sure they work.

I think it must be one of his favourites as it features in his live set at most gigs, he also played it last night on Radio 2's evening with Johnny Marr at Maida Vale.
 
Just as my contributions to the solo a-z were a boring list of negatives, my contributions towards the smiths a-z are just going to be a boring list of superlatives.

This song is incredible from start to finish. It's mini solo at 1:04 got you on your feet and the lyric is classic tragi-comedy.

What's not to like?
 
D

Deleted member 30524

Guest
A blistering pace all the way through, and one of my fave songs
For a sing a long.
JM Showing his full talent here.
Every time I here this song I have a sudden urge to dance ,
And yes I do the song justice.
 

Watson

Well-Known Member
To me, this is pretty much Johnny's peak moment, just a staggeringly good composition over which Morrissey sings a hilarious, melodramatic lyric, the title of which has haunted him for decades.

I remember listening to the Top 40 countdown on Radio 1, the Sunday after "Bigmouth" came out, and was convinced there'd been a mistake when this was a new entry at 26. How on earth did it not get higher than that?

Also: does anyone else find the sped-up backing vocals kind of annoying? I'm just not sure they work.
An incredible, rocky, glammy, monolith of a song. The version on 'Rank' still blows me away after hundreds of listens. The lyrics are up there with Moz's best and it stands as one the truly great, career defining tracks by the band. I agree that the sped-up vocals on the studio version are a bit gimmicky when absolutely no gimmick was needed...but this does not alter the fact that this is an awe-inspiring piece of music 5* 10/10 etc.
 
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Flibberty

Well-Known Member
It's funny to think back now, but this song received a savage review from Danny Kelly in the NME when it was released. It probably wasn't the best choice of single - especially considering the chart position - but a fine song nevertheless.

For the second song in a row, Johnny's contribution outshines Morrissey's. The lyrics are amusing, but fairly throwaway. It is the music that makes this one a keeper.


Just to show other viewpoints and not because they should be considered in any way definitive...

In the poll on this board this song ranked 15th from 73 of the group's songs.
In the poll on the Hoffman board this song ranked 21st from 73 of the group's songs.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
It's funny to think back now, but this song received a savage review from Danny Kelly in the NME when it was released. It probably wasn't the best choice of single - especially considering the chart position - but a fine song nevertheless.
It's an interesting question, isn't it: if they had released "There Is a Light..." instead of "Bigmouth" in May 86, where might that have charted in the UK? (I still don't think Radio 1 would have played it that much!)
 
D

Deleted member 30524

Guest
It's an interesting question, isn't it: if they had released "There Is a Light..." instead of "Bigmouth" in May 86, where might that have charted in the UK? (I still don't think Radio 1 would have played it that much!)
I think There is a light, if released as a lead single would have been a world wide hit, thus catapulting the Smiths to a Global audience. Then an offer from a major label, which in return would have took the pressure off Johnny.
But... we shall never ever know 😞
The Smiths could still be together now with about 25 albums in their back catalogue......
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Absolutely flawless.
 

Bizarro

Spotlight. It's time the tale were told !
I think There is a light, if released as a lead single would have been a world wide hit, thus catapulting the Smiths to a Global audience. Then an offer from a major label, which in return would have took the pressure off Johnny.
But... we shall never ever know 😞
The Smiths could still be together now with about 25 albums in their back catalogue......
Wasn't the EMI deal "on the table" at that time, which resulted in Rough Trade holding back The Queen is Dead release date ?
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
Wasn't the EMI deal "on the table" at that time, which resulted in Rough Trade holding back The Queen is Dead release date ?
I seem to recall a story about Johnny (allegedly) threatening to break into the record company to steal the TQID master tapes out of frustration...
 
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