Tim's Twitter Listening Party - "Strangeways, Here We Come" with Stephen Street (Sep. 28, 2020)

Hovis Lesley

Well-Known Member
@Hovis Lesley, if you could turn the clock back and choose a different producer for The Smiths debut, who would you pick? What kind of sound would you go for?

It may seem silly to some, but I've often fantasized about a version of the debut that was produced in the same style as the first Dire Straits album. "Still Ill" should have had the same lean and agile touch that "Sultans of Swing" has. I can hear it so clearly.
Easy: John Cale. He wouldn’t have let them rest so easy with a thin punk sound.
 
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marred

Member
I inherited all The Smiths albums as a toddler because my teenage sister bought them to impress a boyfriend & then dumped them in my room. I was listening to Strangeways Here We Come & Singalong Disney.

I still remember being terrified by Death of a Disco Dancer. It was so eerie. And I sang Unhappy Birthday to my baby brother. Which nearly got them confiscated.
I'm looking forward to the Sing along Disney listening party.
 

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
@Hovis Lesley, if you could turn the clock back and choose a different producer for The Smiths debut, who would you pick? What kind of sound would you go for?

It may seem silly to some, but I've often fantasized about a version of the debut that was produced in the same style as the first Dire Straits album. "Still Ill" should have had the same lean and agile touch that "Sultans of Swing" has. I can hear it so clearly.

Martin Hannett would have been an interesting choice.
 

gashonthenail

Well-Known Member
Strangeways has always been my least favourite Smiths album. Whilst there are some great tracks on it - Started Something, Disco Dancer, Girlfriend, Last Night, Vulgar Picture - the rest is just ok. The group had lost its mojo and was coming to an end. You an hear it on this album. It was good it ended when it did - before the quality of the music deteriorated. It's tempting to speculate if 'I Started Something I Couldn't Finish' was Moz on some level unconsciously prophesying the ending of the group? Probably just coincidence of course - but strange things happen during the creative process.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Strangeways has always been my least favourite Smiths album. Whilst there are some great tracks on it - Started Something, Disco Dancer, Girlfriend, Last Night, Vulgar Picture - the rest is just ok. The group had lost its mojo and was coming to an end. You an hear it on this album. It was good it ended when it did - before the quality of the music deteriorated. It's tempting to speculate if 'I Started Something I Couldn't Finish' was Moz on some level unconsciously prophesying the ending of the group? Probably just coincidence of course - but strange things happen during the creative process.
I started something
And now I'm not too sure
 
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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
It's tempting to speculate if 'I Started Something I Couldn't Finish' was Moz on some level unconsciously prophesying the ending of the group? Probably just coincidence of course - but strange things happen during the creative process.

Wasn't one of the lost / abandoned tracks at the miserable Streatham sessions called, "I Don't Want Us to Finish"?
 
Wasn't one of the lost / abandoned tracks at the miserable Streatham sessions called, "I Don't Want Us to Finish"?
I Don't Want Us To Finish was a Morrissey/Street song. It's included in Street's Viva Hate songbook, written down between Lifeguard On Duty and Little Man, What Now?, probably written at the very beginning of their partnership.
 
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Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Just been listening to I Won't Share You...such a beautiful, yet sad, song.
How fitting that it's the last track of the last album.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Referencing Autobiography, more or less as confirmed by Joyce's comments:

"Strangeways, Here We Come is the most joyful and relaxed Smiths studio session, with crates of beer wheeled in at the close of each day and no war in sight."

Wonderful.
 
Referencing Autobiography, more or less as confirmed by Joyce's comments:

"Strangeways, Here We Come is the most joyful and relaxed Smiths studio session, with crates of beer wheeled in at the close of each day and no war in sight."

Wonderful.

Johnny: "I didn’t want it to be our last record. I would have been really happy for it not to be our last record. But if the business and management pressures were gonna carry on being on my shoulders then I’d made the decision that spiritually, emotionally and physically I wasn’t gonna collapse under the weight of it. But it was a really liberating feeling making that album. We all had a great time, maybe because I was having such a good time."


Andy: "Everybody thinks as it was the last album that we were falling apart but we weren’t. The four of us really came together and it was probably the best time we ever had as a group."
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Referencing Autobiography, more or less as confirmed by Joyce's comments:

"Strangeways, Here We Come is the most joyful and relaxed Smiths studio session, with crates of beer wheeled in at the close of each day and no war in sight."

Wonderful.

The only one who knew it was over was Marr. He said he had been unhappy for 18 months before he actually left. Early on, he had an exit plan that he would be the first to leave.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Johnny: "I didn’t want it to be our last record. I would have been really happy for it not to be our last record. But if the business and management pressures were gonna carry on being on my shoulders then I’d made the decision that spiritually, emotionally and physically I wasn’t gonna collapse under the weight of it. But it was a really liberating feeling making that album. We all had a great time, maybe because I was having such a good time."

Andy: "Everybody thinks as it was the last album that we were falling apart but we weren’t. The four of us really came together and it was probably the best time we ever had as a group."

So sad and only confirms that the Smiths split was needless and could have been avoided if they had all had a long rest and a proper conversation about the managerial issues. Johnny has contradicted himself so much though - he says this, then in later years says "I left because I had a load of ideas and nowhere to play them...", etc. I can't help feeling that his strange sense of liberation was because he knew he was going to drop the bomb when it was over. The tragic thing is that Moz didn't think he was serious.
 

Hovis Lesley

Well-Known Member
It's true, but The Smiths are way too lively for Hannett. They were the antithesis of that cold Factory sound.
Does the first album not have something of that Factory sound anyway? Hannett would’ve compounded, rather than solved, the production issues we can see now (which is to say, with the hindsight afforded by Meat is Murder).
 

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