Before we bid au revoir to the seventh issue of Your Heart Out, the pertly titled The Archaeology of An Abandoned Soul Single, it seems only appropriate to make a tiny apology to Morrissey. I have to confess I rather like him as a pop figure, as a character, and still find some of his old interviews a joy. But that only makes the old conundrum all the more confusing. Why on earth when Morrissey was a discerning sort was the music of The Smiths so stutifyingly dull and dreary?
After all his old lists of favourite listens used to be a real treasure trove. He'd name drop Heart by Rita Pavone, or Shoes by Reparata, or Insult To Injury by Timi Yuro. With taste like that you want to hug him, and then you'd hear Still Ill or something. It didn't make much sense. He'd have the nous to steal a line from Paul Jones' I've Been A Bad Bad Boy, and then you'd hear What Difference Does It Make and despair.
The first time I saw The Smiths was at The Venue in London, September 1983. They were really taking off then. But they were totally blown off stage by the support acts, and in particular the Go-Betweens who had just become a four-piece and were on fire, just airing songs that would form part of Spring Hill Fair the following year. Our comrade Fruitier Than Thou allows a little glimpse of what took place that night here.
The best thing about The Smiths was that before their set the intro tape played the Marvelettes and Velvelettes, Paper Boy, Needle In A Haystack, that sort of thing. Some of Morrissey's favourites. I can't recall if it had another of his favourites, The Toys' Attack, but it does give me an excuse to leave you with this ...