The vinyl itself: The pressing is a heavy 180 grams with minimal background noise. Not only is the mastering satisfactory, but the gatefold record cover features a great large B&W picture of the band. The insert has all the lyrics printed which is necessary for such a great album to sing along to. Overall I'm very satisfied with this reissued vinyl release from 2012.
Song by Song breakdown:
“William, It Was Really Nothing”
The album opens with one of the best singles by the band. The song exemplifies the darker lyrical content ironically mixed with the fun and upbeat instrumentation. Morrissey's inspiration for this was, according to him, a serious lack of male singers “speaking directly to another male saying that marriage was a waste of time...”. It's a fantastic opening track which sets the mood for the rest of the album.
“What Difference Does it Make?”
Continuing the upbeat tempo from the opener, this track absolutely rocks. Apparently this is one of Morrissey's least favorite songs they ever made, which seems crazy to me! I just love how the song ends with his high pitched adlibs. The rhythm section is also very tight on this tune.
“These Things Take Time”
Gorgeous melodies throughout especially during the chorus. When he sings the word “spellbound” I get chills.
“This Charming Man”
I could write “gorgeous melodies” as a description for every song on this album quite honestly. Marr employed a jangle style on the guitar lines, which is characterized by an undistorted and heavy treble sound. Morrissey's lyrics focus on sexual ambiguity and he uses a first person narrative technique which show off his storytelling abilities.
“How Soon is Now?”
The second song title on the album that's actually a question. It's also my favorite song and the one that got me into the band. Marr's distorted guitar effect is hypnotic and the lyrical content is an absolutely brilliant piece of sociological analysis.
Superb drumming here by Mike Joyce exemplified by the double snare hits. The first person narrative of the lyrics follows a man suffering from an unhealthy obsession with sex and desire.
“Hand in Glove”
Propelled by Andy Rourke's beautiful bass-line, Morrissey sings about a couple with different views on their relationship and how they are perceived by society. There's also a bit of harmonica in the song that works well.
More harmonica begins the song, which utilizes a fast tempo full of energetic instrumentation, and yet Marr's guitar lines are soothing and calming. The song ends with another short harmonica solo.
“Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now”
My second favorite song on the album. The epitome of depressive lyrical content mixed with happy, jangle pop melodies. It's an infectious blend that soars through your eardrums and ensures a permanent place in your head canon. There are also some darkly funny lines sung by Morrissey in this classic song.
“This Night Has Opened My Eyes”
My third favorite song on this record. A slower, and darker instrumentation backing for Morrissey's vocals comes at a perfect place in the tracklisting. The song is relaxing and thoughtful.
“You've Got Everything Now”
Another track that shows how amazing the drummer is with fantastic fills throughout the song. Morrissey shows off his falsetto skills during the end of the track.
Features more introspective lyrics from Morrissey. The music leaves a smile on my face and my head nods along to the beat like clockwork. “I once had a dream and it never came true.” How can such sad lyrics on a song still make me smile? Such is the great irony of The Smiths.
Beginning with a jangle style guitar break by Marr, the narrative of the song moves between the two perspectives of a boy and a girl each dealing with their insecurities. Absolutely brilliant music.
“Back to the Old House”
A beautiful acoustic song. Morrissey's angelic voice glides over Marr's sublime guitar.
“Reel Around the Fountain”
Pulsing bassline drives this incredible song about loss of innocence and sexual relationships.
“Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”
Another acoustic ballad with sparse electric guitar lines mixed in periodically. This short song works perfectly as the album closer. There is not a weak track on this album in my opinion.
5.0 out of 5.0 Octaves.
All serious music collectors should own this record.