The Smiths A-Z: "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member









Next up in our Smiths A-Z project is this song, originally a B-side on the "William, It Was Really Nothing" single in August 1984, and subsequently included on the Hatful of Hollow compilation.

The song was played live 21 times by the Smiths, and has been played 121 times by Morrissey.

What do we think?
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Morrissey, September 1987:

"When we first played it to Rough Trade, they kept asking, 'where's the rest of the song?' But to me, it's like a very brief punch in the face. Lengthening the song would, to my mind, have simply been explaining the blindingly obvious."
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Johnny Marr on the inspiration for the music:

"There's a sad song by Del Shannon called 'The Answer to Everything' that my parents used to play, and it struck a chord in me because it sounded so familiar. That song was the inspiration for 'Please, Please...'. I tried to capture the essence of that tune; its spookiness and sense of yearning."


 

SeniorLife

To be finished, would be a relief.
This song will always resonate with me, as it was my very first introduction to The Smiths/Morrissey.

My friend and I were in his room playing CD’s, circa 1992, and had been playing the ‘Pretty In Pink‘ soundtrack. When this song came on, I instantly asked him who this was, and he said something to the effect ‘I think they are called The Smiths’. I asked to borrow the CD and fell asleep to it on a repeating loop on my CD player, never growing tired of it, even though it didn’t hit 3 minutes.

In the next week, I then sought out and bought ’Kill Uncle’ and the rest is history. By chance, that random playing of this song would go onto to change my music listening habits from DRI and rap, to the music that would literally change my life for the better.

As for the song itself, other’s have since replaced it as my favorite, but the tenderness in Mozzer’s voice to musical arrangement leave it as one of my top 5 of all time. Four minutes would have been too long and 90 seconds not long enough. It is perfect the way it is. And to think, if my memory serves me well, Moz/Marr recorded/composed it in one night proves the absolute brilliance that was/is The Smiths.

Thank you for indulging me as I trip through memory lane….
 

Carlislebaz

Cock of the north
Early 1985, I was bang into The Smiths, a work colleague had got another job and took his smiths tapes with him.
I was suddenly left without any Smiths music at all.
After frantically collecting everything, as Quick as I could, this song stood out as something very weird and dour.
I must admit it took me a few years to love this song , but love It i surely do. Also this must be one of their most notable songs...
10/10.
 
K

Ketchup

Guest
A perfect example of less being more.
One of the most beautiful songs ever written, and also gave us that famous opening line "Good times for a change".
Brings tears to the eyes.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Morrissey on being asked if this was a perfect Smiths song:

"I think it was very close indeed, and hiding it away on a B-side was sinful. I feel sad about it now although we did include it on Hatful Of Hollow by way of semi-repentance. When we first played it to Rough Trade, they kept asking, "where's the rest of the song?" But to me, it's like a very brief punch in the face. Lengthening the song would, to my mind, have simply been explaining the blindingly obvious."

(Melody Maker, September 26, 1987).


FWD.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
A masterpiece beyond any reasonable limit. How can something so swift and sudden be so heart-wrenching beyond repair? Along with TIALTNGO, IKIO and Still Ill, this the very best of the Smiths.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
Just a perfect song that needs nothing more, in fact trying to enhance it would probably only diminish its brilliance. What an amazing creative period they were in where they didn't realize that songs like this and HSIN? should have been A-sides. Also, the only Smiths song to feature a mandolin if not mistaken.
 
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everydayslikesunday

Junior Member
We decided today to change the radio station in work from Absolute 90's to Absolute 80's and after a few hours this song came on. I was pleasantly surprised to hear any Smiths track, so to hear a B-side made my day.

This song is pure class and was my default choice as the last track on any 'The Smiths - The best of' compilations I would make for people. Short, punchy and brilliant.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
A beautiful, haunting song.

I remember reading an interview where Moz was being asked about his Irishness, and he said "Even when The Smiths recorded Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want, there were thousands of letters saying "This is Foster and Allen" or something similar."

Interesting that it was perceived as one of their more folky, Irish ballad type songs - and it's not far off the mark, when you link it with what Johnny says about listening to old family records.
 

Ketamine Sun

Now, today, tomorrow and always
Every time I hear it, I start crying.

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SeniorLife

To be finished, would be a relief.
Just a perfect song that needs nothing more, in fact trying to enhance it would probably only diminish its brilliance. What an amazing creative period they were in where they didn't realize that songs like this and HSIN? should have been A-sides. Also, the only Smiths song to feature a mandolin if not mistaken.
Great point. The mandolin makes the finishing brilliant.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
One of these songs that leave you speechless.
It is rare to see someone convey so much emotion with very few words. And it always struck me as very sincere and heartfelt.
Also adore the deep sadness and melancholy of both the tune and his voice.
 

Redacted

I think I must be, absolutely, a total sex object.
I really liked it in this ad, it gave me a different perspective. I know a lot of people did not like it so you can spare me the bitching, secret interpretations and expert opinions, because I am really tired of all of that. Morrissey approved this and liked it. This video has the original version, not the cover. We can desperately want things for other people, not just ourselves- We can want to give, not just to take- and that is far more beautiful.

 

The Wild Turkey

Wild T!
Turkerator
Yeah, it's a straight up classic song.
This is a standard in all of music.
That was a heck of a single, to get Please, Please..
and How Soon Is Now on it as B Sides.
 
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