Written by Tommy Ebbs
Manchester Post-Punk legends, The Smiths have reissued The Queen Is Dead in all major stores.
On June 16th 1986, The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths was released. The morbidly titled third album from the Manchester post-punk legends has been widely regarded as the band’s finest hour in their brief but momentous time together.
It is no surprise that when taken into account, The Queen Is Dead contains everything that one can consider a quintessential Smiths experience. One only has to look at the album cover, featuring Alain Deloin in the film L’Insoumis, now referenced everywhere in pop-culture to understand the impact it had on the band’s career and legacy.
Morrissey and Marr’s song-writing was known for a few distinct tropes and themes that The Queen is Dead exemplifies. These include the politically charged title track, the morbidly humorous (Frankly, Mr. Shankly, Big Mouth Strikes Again), to the downright heart-wrenching (I Know It’s Over, Never Had No One Ever).
The juxtaposition of Marr’s melodic guitar playing and Morrissey’s poetic lyrics of loveless solitude has never been so stark as on this album. After all, this is the same record that gave the world ‘There is a Light that Never Goes Out’, the anthem of the disposed during Thatcher-era Britain.
Now, thirty one years after the album’s release a new deluxe edition is out in stores. This new deluxe edition comes out after Morrissey released a statement claiming record label Warner Music refused to bring out a 30th anniversary edition of the album.
Luckily for die-hard Smiths fans, Warner decided to release this deluxe edition (albeit a year and a half later). Coming as a three disc set, the release includes the original recording now completely re-mastered. Second disc is dedicated to demos and first takes of the original album, as well as all B-sides from the single releases and a in-edited full version of The Queen Is Dead.
Disc 3 is a previously unreleased live show recorded in Boston, MA from the band’s short-lived tour of the United States in 1986. Finally, the forth disk is a DVD that contains avant-garde film-maker Dereck Jarman’s music video and film for the title track.