Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Queen Is Dead Review {27 Years Late}

Until now, this blog has been predominantly fashion based. However, I have decided to make it a little more open to reviews of music, films, books and lifestyle choices as well as fashion. I have wanted to be a fashion journalist for a long time but lately I have become so captivated with books and music that I must factor them into a potential career in the future. For my first album review I have chosen The Queen is Dead because The Smiths are the best thing in the world ever and it is my first vinyl record that I have bought all by myself. I am going to make these reviews both visual and personal by telling you what goes through my mind when I listen to the music. P.S. please don't judge me. This post involves some serious fan girling. Enjoy if you're a Smiths fan and if you're not then listen to them. NOW.

Yesterday I went shopping with my best friend. We planned to go to a store that sells records. I really wanted to get a Smiths or Morrissey record but I didn't get my hopes up in case they didn't have any. They had five. As you can imagine, it was a difficult decision. I decided to buy The Queen is Dead over any of the compilation records because I want to collect all the original records. The Queen is Dead also has my favourite song, Cemetery Gates. 

Since then I have listened to the record over and over and over and over again. For me, it will probably be the record of the year but it actually came out twenty seven years ago which is crazy because it's so brilliant but came out eleven years before I was even born. 

Every song is beautiful but my favourites are 'Cemetery Gates', 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out', 'I Know It's Over' and 'The Queen is Dead' in that order. 

I felt like crying all day just because I was carrying an original Smiths record which is like a huge deal for me with my obsessive personality. I was worried that I would be disappointed because I had spent £22 on ten songs. I was worried that the whole 'music sounds better on vinyl' thing would be a myth. I have a record player at home but never use it. I was anxious all day but when I got home and put it on I was no disappointed. 

My friend and I Morrissey danced around my living room until we were out of breath. We looked like this:

Today I have listened to the record probably about fifteen times; getting up to change the side to play the next five songs. It is just so, so perfect.

The opening track is the album title, The Queen Is Dead. This is the best anti-royal protest ever. It's anti a lot of things actually. I think that it is mostly a protest to society and capitalism. The line 'past the pub that saps your body and the Church will snatch your money' followed by 'the queen is dead boys' demonstrates this. 'Talk about precious things, like love and law and poverty' and 'no one talks about castration' I think are saying that there are still taboo topics that shouldn't be taboo because if a band can have an anti-royal song as the title and opening track of their album then we should able to talk about everything. This is a great song to dance to and Morrissey's Mancunian accent comes through when he says 'mother's' and I die of pleasure.

The next song, 'Frankly Mr Shankly' is a lot shorter. Russell Brand, who is good friends with Morrissey, said that one of his friends had sent a resignation email to his boss with the subject of the email 'Frankly Mr Shankly.' One day I want to send someone an email with that subject and be all like 'Frankly Mr Shankly since you asked, you are a flatulent pain in the arse.' My favourite lyric from this track though is 'But sometimes I'd feel more fulfilled, making Christmas cards with the mentally ill.'

The third song is 'I Know It's Over.' I hate when people just dismiss Morrissey and The Smiths as 'depressing' because I actually think that they are quite hopeful and the mantra is less 'let's all kill ourselves' but more 'things will get better even if they're really, really bad and lonely at the moment.' However, this song actually makes me feel quite sad. The line 'mother I can feel the soil falling over my head' is hauntingly repeated in a beautiful way throughout the song. I think it is the sound as well as the lyrics that make this track more saddening. It is brilliant though.

Next is 'Never Had No One Ever' is another more bleak song. I love the repetitive 'I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone.' It kind of makes me when to stay alone so that I can sing along to it. I also love the specificness of the 'bad dream' that lasted exactly '20 years, 7 months and 27 days.' Why the dancer gif? The 'I'm alone' bit is perfect for spinning round too. Not that I've tried it or anything...

The last track on Side A is my all time favourite The Smiths song. It is not one of their most successful but I love the music, the voice, the lyrics and above all the literary references- 'Keats and Yeats are on your side while Wilde is one mine.' It speaks a lot about plagiarism. I think I like this song so much because I like writing so hate blatant plagiarism and I love Oscar Wilde (I bought a book of Wilde quotes the other day.) If life after death exists and I have been good enough to go to heaven I am sincerely hoping that I will get to walk round a cemetery with the young Morrissey and discuss Oscar Wilde.

Side B opens with Bigmouth Strikes again which makes me want to play guitar like Johnny Marr so badly but I disappoint myself every time I try. It's a good one for trying to dance like Morrissey though which I think is a slightly more attainable goal because I don't think anyone can really play guitar like Johnny Marr other than Johnny Marr. 

The Boy with the Thorn in his Side is a song that has got stuck in my head before but doesn't really speak to me on a personal level as much as some of the others do. That said, it is still a million times more meaningful that most of the songs produced by the British music industry today. It starts by talking about someone who pretends to hate everything but really just wants to fall in love. This makes me think of Enid in Ghost World because she acts like she doesn't care about anything but then her world kind of falls apart and you realise that like everyone else she wants to be be loved. Then Morrissey sings 'how can they look into my eyes and still they don't believe me?' which I guess could be applied to many a situation in life.

Vicar in a Tutu is fantastic. It seems comical but really the message is that you should do what you want and no one should judge you for it. 'A vicar in a tutu is not strange, he just wants to live his life this way.' A teenage girl obsessively blogging about an album that came out twenty seven years ago is not strange...

There is a Light That Never Goes Out is such a classic. It can be applied to so many things. The Smiths might have split twenty five years ago but their legacy will remain forever as the light that never goes out. This is what I mean about The Smiths being hopeful. Even if a ten ton truck kills the both of us, look on the bright side, at least we'll die together. Every cloud has a silver lining. There is a light that never goes out.

The closing track for this album is Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others which is the perfect anti-dieting song. I have a post planned with a list of things to do that make you feel not guilty for not losing weight. The final lyric on The Queen is Dead is 'send me the pillow, the one that you dream on' which is sung so dreamily and I just want to send my pillow to Morrissey is a non creepy way...OK there is no non creepy way to send someone a pillow.

The photo on the album sleeve. The sleeve also has the lyrics inside which is fantastic because I love it when albums have the lyrics with them. By the time I bought this record though I already knew the lyrics...


  1. AHHH THE SMITHS OMG MY FAVORITE <3 sooo perfect I want the record! wahhhh xx

  2. Wow, this was a great post :) I'm actually seeing Morrissey perform this weekend!

    1. Holy sh*t I am so, so jealous of you! I hope you have a fab time though <3


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