September 21, 2010

The Smiths//There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Recently, I realized that I have never posted a Smiths song here. To me, that’s almost unfathomable as I believe them to be one of the Best. Bands. Ever.

My biggest problem: which song? With the RARE exception of a few duds (ahem, the overdramatic vegan anthem “Meat is a Murder”), pretty much every Smiths song is perfect, amazing and beautiful. In a rare move, I went with this on the shear basis of numbers. Even though “How Soon Is Now?” was the band’s biggest single, this is clearly everybody’s favorite…and there’s a reason.

The song is about being so in love with someone and just not knowing how to tell them. It’s also about feeling utterly isolated from your home, your family, society in general. It’s about trying to find bright spots in a world that suddenly looks awfully dark. What I’m trying to say is that this song is about being a teenager—and that’s something everyone can remember and identify with.

Actually, a number of critics speculate that the song might be based on James Dean’s character in Rebel Without a Cause. Morrissey was known to lift dialog and plot from his favorite films. Lines from Rebel are directly copied in “Stretch Out and Wait” and the plot of a 60s British play/movie called A Taste of Honey is almost certainly referenced in “This Night Has Opened My Eyes.” Of course, there's also an element of teen angst in that one. Are you sensing a theme?

Finally, I really think you should watch this.

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.mp3

To die by your side,
The pleasure, the privilege is mine.


gustavo said...

Smiths are amazing! The best²! My favorite is "I know it's over", but "there is a light..." is also fantastic. The chorus: to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die" is astonishing.

If you may, I'll tell you about a former Brazilian rock band that drunk in Smith's fountain. They are pretty good! Its name is Legião Urbana.

Listen to "Daniel na cova dos leões". You'll notice the similarity with "Some girls are bigger than others".


Ryan Bing said...

All over TV or not "How Soon Is Now" is an amazing song. Check this out...

"As to how the distinctive resonant sound was achieved, Marr gave the following account to Guitar Player magazine in 1990:

The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. I put down the rhythm track on an Epiphone Casino through a Fender Twin Reverb without vibrato. Then we played the track back through four old Twins, one on each side. We had to keep all the amps vibrating in time to the track and each other, so we had to keep stopping and starting the track, recording it in 10-second bursts... I wish I could remember exactly how we did the slide part -- not writing it down is one of the banes of my life! We did it in three passes through a harmonizer, set to some weird interval, like a sixth. There was a different harmonization for each pass. For the line in harmonics, I retuned the guitar so that I could play it all at the 12th fret with natural harmonics. It's doubled several times."

The Disappeared said...

Really good choice of song.

Hopefully you're also aware of this version:

g said...

Gustavo--thanks for the recommendation. I really liked the Legião Urbana stuff I listened too.

Ryan--what an awesome story.

The Disappeared--OMG Noel!