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  1.  
    Just a wee bit in this months MOJO magazine from former THE SMITHS guitarist
    reguarding the music scene back in 78/79. Admitting his liking for Blondie at that time he states;

    "There were only a handful of groups I liked and for every WIRE,s Outdoor Miner there
    were 4 Stranglers singles and you couldn,t move for kids liking the Boomtown Rats".

    Just thought I,d post up a wee bit of trivia seen the forum is quiet.
  2.  
    I like the Boomtown Rats!
  3.  
    well then you will be pleased to know that the Rats have re-formed and tonight are playing solihull , about 100m from where i'm now sitting at work. no i won't be going , i always thought they were dreadful. actually its even worse than it sounds , as the current line-up has no geldof or even johnny fingers , it features the drummer and one guitarist. hmmm , sounds like a right potential car crash. if you go , tell me what its like ;-)
  4.  
    Give me any four Stranglers singles or I Don't like Mondays over the Smiths anyday!
  5.  
    The hushed reverence with which Mozzer and Marr are treated is increasingly annoying, neither of them have done anything to advance the development of recorded sound for well over twenty years. I went through a major Smiths phase from 86-87 but I haven't really listened to them since..I can't bear to but I will dance to them in a disco situation if the mood takes me. Good singles, good dance music but Johnny Marr is now filling the Eric Clapton role (workmanlike guitar for hire..now in Landfill-indie band The Cribs for gawds sake) and Mozzer could have been the new Bowie but seems content to be a sort of Rockabilly Boy George (controversial National Treasure but hasn't any good tunes left in him).
  6.  
    The last two Moz LP's have been fab!

    From what I've heard of the new one I'm not yet convinced that this one is going to be as good, mind.
  7.  
    never heard anything by the smiths that I liked, just not my cuppa, and never could, or will, understand why they were/are so revered.
  8.  
    As ever, I love a debate but talk about slaughtering sacred cows - The Smiths were right up there with The Stones and The Beatles in terms of what they contributed - perhaps I'm just getting old but give me Meat Is Murder or The Queen Is Dead over just about anything else, possibly except 154 or Chairs Missing of course :-)
  9.  
    "The Smiths were right up there with The Stones and The Beatles in terms of what they contributed"- you're joking, right?

    in terms of "contribution" i think Depeche Mode was a far more important band from that time period, and sonically far more interesting and influential. and as for DM, they're ok if you like that sort of thing, but i've always found most of it unlistenable.
  10.  
    I can't be arsed getting into yet another Smiths good or bad debate. I guess you either get them or you don't get them. But you can't doubt the influence or impact they had regardless of whether you like them or not.
    • CommentAuthorAri says...
    • (CommentTimeFeb 14th 2009 edited)
     
    >>But you can't doubt the influence or impact they had<<
    on whom? (just curious)
    c'mon K, where's your Magazine review (you did go didn't you?)
  11.  
    Alright, I guess this has all been debated ad nauseum before.

    Let's hear about the Magazine gig......
  12.  
    Not to say the Smiths weren't fantastic. Andy Rourke's work is particularly under-rated.

    Mozzer's band murdered 'This Charming Man' on Jonathan Ross. They missed a very important flourish & weird jazzy chord that Marr originally threw into the chorus, and Mozzers bass player couldn't quite work his way around Rourke's sinewy bassline so they dumbed it down. All wearing matching faux Northern Soul T-Shirts as well.
    • CommentAuthorcc says...
    • (CommentTimeFeb 19th 2009)
     
    speaking of flourishes, I watched a short documentary on the Smiths a while ago, where either someone in the band or a critic mentioned that the name of the group was intended to suggest a back-to-basics, regular-Joe, we're-in-a-band-again idea, and that this was a breath of fresh air at the time. I didn't understand this, especially the back-to-basics idea, as the Smiths to me seemed toward the sophisticated end of things. Can anyone explain? This may be my US perspective talking, as I probably don't get the context. Here the Smiths were definitely considered arty and a cult band... a staple on early "alternative" radio, whereas I gather in the UK they were near the top of the charts.

    agree about Marr these days. His work on a recent Modest Mouse album was undistinguished--didn't help that the band didn't write too many good songs for the occasion. Haven't heard Morrissey in years.
  13.  
    the name, The Smiths, as i understand it, was a reaction to synth bands with names like Spandau Ballet, OMD, Depeche Mode,
    etc. that were considered a bit pompous. it was meant to denote a down-to-earth, english working class perspective. only the guys in the band know the "real" reason. i would guess they wanted to create an identity separate from the above bands simply for the purpose of contrast. to stand out.
    • CommentAuthorcc says...
    • (CommentTimeFeb 19th 2009)
     
    I see... as I recall, that distinction was lost in the US, in that the Smiths, musically, seemed pretty much just as "alt." as the other bands you mention (and in some of the same ways--oblique, fey, sophisticated... all those good things!) and resembled the image of the working class to the same extent--that is, nil. I guess they fit in alongside R.E.M. as a guitar band, but R.E.M. had the whole Southern thing to underline the old-fashioned elements in their sound, not to mention their Byrdsiness, whereas the Smiths seemed modish, even if they intended to be a throwback in the context of synth groups.
  14.  
    Alternatively, the Smiths were called The Smiths because a couple named Smith shopped the Moors Murderers to the police, and contemporary news reports referred to "the Smiths". Though hindsight is 20:20, and there's nowt Morrissey likes better than a good myth.

    Mind you, I first saw them supporting the Fall, and I thought it might be some kind of MES-perpetrated joke band when I saw the name on the bill....

    Mark
  15.  
    >> the Smiths, musically, seemed pretty much just as "alt." as the other bands you mention (and in some of the same ways--oblique, fey, sophisticated... all those good things!) and resembled the image of the working class to the same extent--that is, nil.<<
    Right On!!
  16.  
    "I thought it might be some kind of MES-perpetrated joke band when I saw the name on the bill...."

    MES breeding City Hobgoblins faster than band members can resign in NYC!
  17.  
    Interesting BBC interview with Johnny Marr this week:

    'He realised he no longer had to run away from his past when he was watching the punk pioneers Wire.

    Wire were a massive influence on a legion of indie musicians, including Marr. As a fan, he did not want them to sound like anything but Wire.

    "I want them to sound like Wire being as great as they can be," he says. "That was quite a profound revelation to me."'


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21323467