The Smiths A-Z: "Unloveable"

Famous when dead


Not huge amounts of discussion or deep analysis about this track - written in '85 at the same time as Some Girls...

Never played live by The Smiths or Morrissey, but soundchecked.

It was initially a candidate for inclusion on The Queen Is Dead to then become a B-side.

Suggested as possibly influenced by Shaw's: Message Understood (1965).

Also cited as some of Morrissey's most self-confessional lyrics.
I always imagined the lyrics were taken from letters that fans had sent Morrissey though the Message Understood influence is there for all to hear too.
This is one of my favourite Smiths songs. I think it has a great melody, and the lyrics are Morrissey at his self-deprecating best. The bridge when he sings "I know that you would like me, if only you could see me" is beautiful. Throughout the song, he comes across as ironic and self-assured in his outsider status, but in that bridge, you get a glimpse into a person who secretly yearns to be loved underneath.

I didn't know this was supposed to be on The Queen is Dead. It's a shame it didn't make it, I think it could have replaced "Vicar in a Tutu" easily, or maybe "Never Had No One Ever", though I seem to be in the minority of people who actually likes the one-two punch of that song with "I Know it's Over".
Unloveable is one of those songs that really had to be a b-side in my mind. It is pleasant enough for what it is, but the lyrics veer dangerously close to self-parody.

The Queen is Dead needed the lightness of songs like Vicar in a Tutu (certainly in the eyes of the critics at the time), and including Unloveable would have done the group no favours imo.

In the poll on this board the song ranked 51st from 73.
In the poll on the Hoffman board this song ranked 59th from 73.
Agree about "dangerously close to self-parody" but this is still a drop-dead gorgeous song with several of the lines being endlessly quotable.

"And if I seem a little strange, well that's because I am."
Quite possibly the worst Smiths song and one of Johnny's dullest compositions. It sounds like neither of them could be bothered.
This is the sole Smiths composition (excluding the instrumentals) that I actively dislike. The music is dull and meandering; the lyrics are laughable. Will never understand the love for this one
Most song writers would happily lose both of their legs just to write a song like Unlovable.
I can see why it ws not included on TQID and used as a b-side instead. To me, it sounds mor like a composition that Johnn would have come up with at the time of their first album. Still, there’s beauty in all its simplicity and it is touching. Just a reminder that the bar was very high at the time of The Smiths.
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