The Smiths A-Z: "I Want the One I Can't Have"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member






Next up in our Smiths A-Z project is this song, the third track on the Meat is Murder album, released in 1985.

The song was performed live 94 times by the Smiths, while it has been played live 96 times by Morrissey.

What do we think?
 

Southport Grandma

Active Member
Very much like this one. Morrissey ultimately wasn’t happy with the finished vocal hence it’s omission from the “Sound of The Smiths” compilation iirc. That guitar break in the middle of the song is like a sister to the “This Charming Man” riff.
 

Surface

Chilling in Cheshire.
Always liked this a lot and it really got the crowd going when they played it at G-Mex.

Brilliant line - And if you ever need self-validation - Just meet me in the alley by the railway-station
 

The.Truth.

Every.Single.Time.
On the day that your mentality
Catches up with your biology
And if you ever need self-validation
Just meet me in the alley by the railway station
It's all over my face

That's one of my favorite verses, The whole song is lyrically great.

A tough kid who sometimes swallows nails
Raised on Prisoner's Aid
He killed a policeman when he was 13
And somehow that really impressed me
But it's written all over my face

This is like a novel condensed to a few lines.
The music is pretty good, too. 10/10
 
R

rubbersoul

Guest
Among the best lyrics ever written by anyone ever. Great tune too, but this one is primarily about the lyrics and vocal melody, for me. It sounded pretty damn good live in 2011, too. He nailed the vocal, perhaps even more so than on the album.
 

Watson

Well-Known Member
Grand. A stompy, shimmering, innervating piece of pop. Excellent, funny, cheeky lyrics. When he opened with this at the RAH in 2002 (after the clanging bells) I nearly had a spasm. Listening to it makes me happy.
 

The Wild Turkey

Wild T!
Turkerator
The music on this kinda reminded me of a reworkin' or a
reorderin' of This Charmin' Man.
It's a very Smiths soundin' kind of record.
Moz came up with a great title for the song, cause at one
point or another, ya probably had that feelin'.
 

T. H. Auden

Active Member
When singing "It's all over, all over, all over my face", does he refer to sp*rm in the face? Like in the pornography movies, that I've heard on the radio that they watch in e.g. England.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
Unlike anything else I'd heard at the time, I think it was this and That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore that made me a Smiths fan. It feels and sounds like Morrissey is pouring out this heart. While the debut understandably was a bit of a mishmash they really figured out what they wanted to do on MIM.(10/10)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Morrissey's vocals are wildly out of tune at times, and it even sounds like he's getting microphone feedback on the first 'mentality', but it's so passionate that it just adds to the drama. Sometimes heartfelt and sloppy trumps polsihed perfection, and this is one of those times. Don't get me wrong - I love Morrissey's slick performance in modern solo songs, but there was a certain charm in the way he used to just belt it out- I don't think he could sing this 'badly' (in technical terms) now if he tried.
 

Morrissey's left nut

HA HA HAHA HAHA
Morrissey's vocals are wildly out of tune at times, and it even sounds like he's getting microphone feedback on the first 'mentality', but it's so passionate that it just adds to the drama. Sometimes heartfelt and sloppy trumps polsihed perfection, and this is one of those times. Don't get me wrong - I love Morrissey's slick performance in modern solo songs, but there was a certain charm in the way he used to just belt it out- I don't think he could sing this 'badly' (in technical terms) now if he tried.
That's why I rated MIM higher than other albums by The Smiths. It has a real passion over precision charm & is pretty rough around the edges in general. Kinda punk rock in its own way & weirdly muscular.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
That's why I rated MIM higher than other albums by The Smiths. It has a real passion over precision charm & is pretty rough around the edges in general. Kinda punk rock in its own way & weirdly muscular.
Great point, MIM is not the polished gem that TQID is... but it oozes passion and drive. You really hear and feel a band stretching its legs and reaching new heights.
 

Nikita

Senior Member
Meat is murder was my favorite Smiths album for years, maybe because I wanted to sound snobbish, but its A side is still amazingly flawless and this song was the first I was obsessed with on that LP.
 
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