Skip to content

The Queen Is Dead – The Smiths


The Queen Is Dead

(1986), 9.5/10
The Queen Is Dead is a regular feature on top albums of all time lists, especially those compiled by British writers, and it’s a substantial step forward from its predecessors; while the lack of diversity on Hatful of Hollow blunted its impact, and the excessive diversity of Meat Is Murder was distracting, this time the balance is right; there’s everything from epic ballads to British music hall to hard rock, but it’s all indelibly stamped with The Smiths’ sound. The Queen Is Dead is amazingly strong considering the adverse circumstances the group found themselves it at the time; Rourke was struggling with a heroin addiction and Marr was involved in a car crash, and the album was pieced together relatively quickly.

The title track is as close to hard rock as The Smiths ever got, while ‘I Know It’s Over’ climaxes stunningly in the memorable “it’s so easy to laugh” bridge. ‘Frankly, Mr Shankly’ succeeds by not taking itself too seriously, with a music hall feel and a fantastic guitar break from Marr, while ‘Cemetery Gates’ is a wonderful jangler with allusions to Wilde and Yeats. The brace of singles on the second side are all among The Smiths’ finest; the jangly and euphoric ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’, the aggressive ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ and the gorgeous ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’.

The Queen Is Dead is easily the greatest single album The Smiths ever made.

3 thoughts on “The Queen Is Dead – The Smiths Leave a comment

  1. Outstanding album! Geoff from 1001 albums site and I (another Geoff) think that the track listing could have been tweaked for maximum impact. e.g. “There is a light…” should have been the closer. One of the two slower tracks should have been moved from side 1 to 2 and “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” should have been track 3 or 4.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Sound Sniffer

Sniffing out the best new music


seeker of wisdom


or, Thoughts in Woods on Snowy Evening

Art by Rob Goldstein

There is no common truth

Up the Down Turn

Musings, Depression and Life Management

Alex Swift Blogging

opinions and analysis on media and entertainment, new and old

Diary of a Bassist

Musical musings of a bassist/power metal enthusiast

%d bloggers like this: