Famous when dead
(Photo by James R. Reid, Memphis Press-Scimitar offices, '55).
Next up in the push towards completing The Smiths A-Z is Shoplifters Of The World Unite.
Recorded in November 1986 and produced solely by a post-accident Johnny Marr (Stephen Street was asked, but was unavailable).
The track was engineered by a yet-to-be-famous Alan Moulder.
'RTT 195' was then released in January, 1987 - featuring a short-haired Elvis image & light pink/gold colour scheme including a custom carrier bag if you were lucky.
(Peepholism: Morrissey's own Shoplifters plan).
There are lots of known influences & 'lifts' from other sources in this song (musical too) - how many can you name?
It reached the heady heights of a UK #12.
Played only once at live concerts by The Smiths (at their last gig - Brixton '86) and 222 times thereafter by Morrissey (to date).
It has been cited by several as a favourite of Morrissey's.
"As Shoplifters of the world unite is released, the Smiths’ dramatizations are finally of national significance. The graveyard school of poetry mixes well with incongruously striking guitar melodies, and such mixed metaphors are suddenly pointed to as a new ‘type’, and a generation of similarly styled cognoscenti appear behind us."
The record is dedicated to Ruth Polsky who met an untimely end in 1986.
Good, bad or indifferent: please feel free to add your thoughts, observations & trivia about this song below.