The Smiths A-Z: "Sheila Take a Bow"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member









Our next track in the Smiths A-Z project is this song, released as a standalone single in April 1987 and reaching #10 on the UK singles chart. "Sheila Take a Bow" was also included on the compilation album Louder Than Bombs.

The song was never played live by the Smiths, and has been performed by Morrissey just the once: in Peru, in 2012.

What do we think?
 
I mean, holy crap this such a great pop single! (Especially when compared to our previous entry, "Shakespeare's Sister".) Just an absolute joyous blast of glam guitars, great lyrics and catchy vocals. I will never, ever tire of this song.
 
Agreed that it had catchy lyrics, a catchy voice, and a light sound.

Love this song! One of my favorite.
 
I use to play pool at this rough pub just because my mate fancied one of the barmaids and I use to repeatedly put this song on their jukebox. We came close to starting a fight everytime. Not sure if the song offended or that they simply didn't like strangers drinking in 'their' pub
 
I like this song, but the keyboard gloss all over it makes it the rare occasion where the Smiths displayed an "80s" sound. Shoplifters is another. I think you can detect the Stephen Street influence that would color Morrissey's early solo material. You would hope the John Porter demo version saves it from the excess, but the tinkling of the sitar is no better than the keyboards. Still a very good song, and Johnny Marr makes the guitar clang and buzz in a majestic fashion, in his usual way of finding the perfect sound.
 
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Now (and even then, if truth be told) the lack of ideas is evident. I'd enjoyed this ten years previously when Sweet, Mud, T Rex and Slade had bashed and stamped all over similar grooves. 'Panic' was reverential theft and adoration, this is just lazy pilfering.
 
Now (and even then, if truth be told) the lack of ideas is evident. I'd enjoyed this ten years previously when Sweet, Mud, T Rex and Slade had bashed and stamped all over similar grooves. 'Panic' was reverential theft and adoration, this is just lazy pilfering.
Would you like any dressing with that word salad?
 
Would you like any dressing with that word salad?
OOOH! Look at him. He's a bold one, ain't he? I SAY, YOU'RE A BOLD ONE! You can toss our salads any day of the week, ducky. Bring your own dressing!
 
The brighter and lighter side of the Smiths.
I have come to appreciate it more over the years and think it is a timeless pop song.
But back in 1997, I thought it was too lmight with too much lalalalala.
 
What a great single this was. A pop classic designed to get us two left footed dancers heading to the dance floor trying to look credible.
A great song to wave your body parts to, even when in your 50s.
 
It's always intrigued me to learn that Sandie Saw was initially going to be on this too. Really wonder how good/bad that would have been?
 
"How can someone so young sing words so sad." Nod to Kooks. Glam swagger. Finest pop art.
 
It's lovely and charming, and a nice single - but it's also terribly lightweight and throwaway, both musically and lyrically. It's the equivalence of some trifling nonsense like 'Kiss Me a Lot' - it just sounds great as the band were on fire and could really do no wrong at this point.

Perfect as a standalone pop single - I'm just glad this didn't end up taking up any valuable space on an actual studio album.
 
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