"It's time the tale were told of how you took a child and you made him old."
Simply put, The Smiths were the most important band of the eighties, and there is no better place to find out why than their eponymous debut, a raw and intensely beautiful album that brilliantly combines highly melodic guitar-pop with many of the hallmarks of the Post-Punk movement. The Smiths had initially recorded many of these tracks with Troy Tate (former guitarist for The Teardrop Explodes) in the production seat, but were convinced by John Porter, who had production credits with Japan and Roxy Music, that the sessions were unsalvageable. Under the auspices of Porter, The Smiths proceeded to record a stunner that would signal a sea change on the British music scene. The Smiths is nothing if not doggedly unconventional, and I can remember hearing "What Difference Does It Make?" for the first time back in 1984, thinking how strange Morrissey's disaffected vocals and Johnny Marr's charging guitar sounded in amongst all the synth-pop pablum dominating alt-rock radio in those days. From Marr's inventive song-structures to Morrissey's distinctive croon to the strangely literate lyrics to the band's unblinking willingness to explore the darkest recesses of alienation, The Smiths were simultaneously the crowning achievement of British Post-Punk and the harbinger of its demise. An absolute classic.
The Smiths (2006 Remastered Japanese Mini-LP Edition)
1. Reel Around the Fountain (5:57)
2. You've Got Everything Now (4:00)
3. Miserable Lie (2:28)
4. Pretty Girls Make Graves (3:43)
5. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (4:38)
6. This Charming Man (2:43)
7. Still Ill (3:21)
8. Hand in Glove (3:23)
9. What Difference Does It Make? (3:50)
10. I Don't Owe You Anything (4:05)
11. Suffer Little Children (5:29)