The Smiths A-Z: "London"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member












Next up in our Smiths A-Z project is this song, originally a B-side on the "Shoplifters of the World" single in January 1987, and subsequently included on The World Won't Listen and Louder Than Bombs compilations.

The song was played live 11 times by the Smiths, and has been played 41 times by Morrissey.

What do we think?
 
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Redacted

I think I must be, absolutely, a total sex object.
I love this song, it's kind of punky
I don't think I've seen Morrissey do it
I literally did not recognize it when I saw Johnny do it
 

The.Truth.

Every.Single.Time.
I love this one especially on Rank. Very lively music and the lyrics are fun but also capture that feeling of leaving home when you're young.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Honestly, that opening to the Wembley show in March 2020 was one of my all-time starts to any concert, by anybody. "The End of the World" then the cough/sneeze, then "London" - very, very funny and very, very provocative. Classic Morrissey.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator


Initially posted in strange... thread, but as Soundsville preempted the A-Z by 21 hours - included here too.
Great opener.
Regards,
FWD.
 
K

Ketchup

Guest












Next up in our Smiths A-Z project is this song, originally a B-side on the "Shoplifters of the World" single in January 1987, and subsequently included on The World Won't Listen and Louder Than Bombs compilations.

The song was never played live 11 times by the Smiths, and has been played 41 times by Morrissey.

What do we think?

How can this have been "never played live 11 times" - makes no sense?
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
I think "Soundsville" got the date wrong (not 2000, but 2020)?
Given their vast contribution to the live recording community from the outset of The Smiths onwards, I think they can be exempt from pedantry on the occasion of a typo perhaps?
FWD.
 

dotmatrix522

Everybody's running to the exit↔️
Subscriber
“London” is one of my very favorite Smiths songs. It’s amazing the rollicking energy and wit that’s been crammed into a 2 minute song.
When Moz first walked onto stage at the Houston, Texas show in 2019, he sang a few lines of this song to us a cappella with the lyric change:

“Train
Heave on - to Houston.”
 
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Watson

Well-Known Member
Love the Rank version. Love the later Moz version (though the 1995 version suffered from some 'interesting' guitar playing). Loved the Johnny version from his early solo shows (that's not going to go down with anti-J gang). I always thought the b-side version was lacking something...production?

A not very Smithsy song...which makes it even more intriguing.
 
J

j*e*t

Guest
There don't seem to be many cover versions of this song (which must say something?) but here is a dreamy slow cover.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
I remember when I first heard London thinking... wow this almost has a bit of a speed metal vibe to it (not quite). In any case, excellent song and shows that they definitely were not a one-trick pony when it came to songwriting. The lyrics are very simple yet paint a full picture. One of my faves for sure.
 

Ketamine Sun

Now, today, tomorrow and always
.


for the ones that had to stay behind ….



‘Billy Fisher (Tom Courtenay) misses the train to London, which instead carries off Julie Christie to the start of Swinging London, in this scene very near the end of the 1963 film.’
 

Nikita

Senior Member
I remember when I first heard London thinking... wow this almost has a bit of a speed metal vibe to it (not quite). In any case, excellent song and shows that they definitely were not a one-trick pony when it came to songwriting. The lyrics are very simple yet paint a full picture. One of my faves for sure.

Not almost:


 

Skylarker

Go Easy On The Killer
It's by far my favorite Smiths song. No question. And it sums up everything they were about in a minute and a half: namedropping British geography, critical self-doubt, defiance, feeling disenfranchised from your parents, escape from dead relationships in search of adventure, dashed hopes, new hopes.

A classic, classic song. God it's beautiful.
 
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Skylarker

Go Easy On The Killer
Honestly, that opening to the Wembley show in March 2020 was one of my all-time starts to any concert, by anybody. "The End of the World" then the cough/sneeze, then "London" - very, very funny and very, very provocative. Classic Morrissey.
Absolutely agreed
 

Dirk Blaggard

Well-Known Member
Honestly, that opening to the Wembley show in March 2020 was one of my all-time starts to any concert, by anybody. "The End of the World" then the cough/sneeze, then "London" - very, very funny and very, very provocative. Classic Morrissey.
I heard lots of people say the gig was shit and heard people moan about "the kind of people" that now went to M concerts
Lots of people did bitch like little school girls about M doing the gig, in the time of disease, even though LOADS of other events were on.
I was in Ireland at the time and couldn't go and didn't much care that I missed it

Once I listened to the bootleg of the gig I instantly regretted missing it, I was sick with envy. M was on rude form
To all those in the UK who get sad cause, M makes bank in the USA. Don't worry, his shows, especially LA shows, are rarely as good as they are in London or Machester or Reading etc.

The song is attack and the lyrics are grand.
 
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