Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday 80s Flashback for February 21, 2014

[Happy Smiths' Debut] -- February 20, 1984, thirty years ago yesterday, The Smiths dropped their eponymous debut album. In a decade populated with jangly acts, The Smiths pretty much defined a new genre of mopey, introspective music with a debut album that ran counter to just about every 80s pop cliche: Their songs were about a very un-poppy topic (child abuse); the production was dour, and maybe even uninspired; the cover photo was a still from the 1968 Andy Warhol film, Flesh; their lead singer warbled like a man in terminal frustration, if not pain. And you know what? It is all wonderful. The Smiths debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart, and "What Difference Does It Make?" peaked at #12 on the UK Singles Chart. The Guardian ranked The Smiths among their 100 Best Albums Ever list (1997), and Slant Magazine lists it among their Best Albums of the 1980s. Instead of three individual flashback tunes this week, I'm giving you three ways to enjoy this seminal album. You can check them out after the break.

Flashback #1: The Video Playlist

Your first way to enjoy the Smiths' debut album is this video playlist. YouTuber, guillotinebaby, has assembled 11 videos copying the order of the original U.S. release on Sire Records (which added "This Charming Man" as track number 6).

Flashback #2: The "full album"

If you don't care for individual videos, you can listen to the full album here. Track listing is as follows (also following the original U.S. release on Sire Records):

N°1- Reel Around The Fountain - 0:00
N°2-You've Got Everything Now- 05:56
N°3-Miserable Lie - 09:54
N°4-Pretty Girls Make Graves 14:20
N°5-The Hand that Rocks he Cradle 18:00
N°6-This Charming Man 22:39
N°7-Still ill 25:22
N°8-Hand In Glove 28:45
N°9-What Difference Does it Make 32:12
N°10-I Don't Owe You Anything 35:33
N°11-Suffer Little Child 39:40

Flashback #3: Concert!

If you prefer your Smiths live, you can check out this hour-long concert recorded May 4, 1984, in Hamburg, Germany. Recording was done for the legendary “Rockpalast” TV series. Hat tip to for the concert link. 

Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

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