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The Queen is Dead

259 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: SMITHS
Street Release Date: 02/23/1988

This is the value of working at cross-purposes: The Smiths were Morrissey's excuse to undulate his wry, disaffected lyrics, and Johnny Marr's vehicle for his sharp, chiming, pop songs. Their favorite kind of compromise made them essentially a singles band, and The Queen Is Dead has a couple of their best (notably "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side," one of the greatest pop expressions of the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name). But it also has some wonderful compromises of different kinds: the bizarrely romantic "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out," and "Cemetry Gates," where Marr covers up for Morrissey's floridity with shimmying rockabilly. --Douglas Wolk
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • Run Time: 37 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002L9J
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,143 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By G. Todd Jr. on January 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
One easy way to make a Smiths fan is to give them The Queen is Dead. It's a pop masterpiece that works as a collection of singles as well as a unified album. There are plenty of Smiths singles collections out there, but in my view they seem somewhat "random" in their cohesiveness. Not so with The Queen is Dead; it's simply one of the greatest albums of all time.
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182 of 211 people found the following review helpful By James F. Colobus on June 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The year is 1988 and three friends are hanging out in the high school library. Somehow they've conned their teachers into letting them do independent study during first period of their last semester of high school. I'm supposedly taking independent study physics, Chris is taking independent study German, and Cynthia is library assistant or some such nonsense. Anyway, all we do most mornings is sit around and talk. This morning is no different.
"I don't like that awful Led Zeppelin you listen to. I love the Smiths," declares Cynthia.
"The Smiths aren't any good", I sneer, hoping Cynthia doesn't know I've never heard a single song by them.
"Yeah, the Smiths suck," adds Chris, as unfamiliar with the Smiths as myself.
Sufficiently miffed, Cynthia rises, tugs on the front of her Meat Is Murder T-shirt, and strides purposefully out of the room. Chris and I just laugh at our poor misguided friend.
The year is now 2002 and I'm contemplating how closed-minded I was as a youth. If it wasn't classic rock, southern rock, or metal, I wasn't listening to it. But once I got to college, I started opening my mind to new types of music, and sure enough, I eventually got around to giving the Smiths a chance.
The first Smiths album I heard was the Queen Is Dead. The first four songs sounded odd, but not entirely offensive to my metal-trained ears. Then when I heard 'Cemetry Gates', I gave up all resistance. The jangly guitars of Johnny Marr and the gloriously over the top vocals and uniquely clever lyrics of Morrissey were almost too much for me. Imagine then, when 'Big Mouth Strikes Again' came on. It rocked as hard as anything else I was listening to at the time and was twice as clever.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Joe Halloran on February 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It is a harrowing task. One wants to do justice when writing a review of this album. Not only is it a flawless recording musically, but it is also an unequivocally important album to me personally. Morrissey and Marr, in my opinion, are the greatest songwriters of all time. I mean that. Lyrically, Morrissey is so much better than anyone else it's just silly. He is clever, witty, intelligent, controversial, and he understands that what makes an a song unforgettable is the writer's ability to touch the listener's heart. Seriously, does anyone do that better than Steven? His lyrical prowess combined with Johnny Marr's preternatural tunesmithing are perfection realized on "The Queen is Dead". All of The Smith's albums are at least very good, but this one is flawless. Part of what separates it from the rest is the fact that Morrissey's sense of humor is more present on this album than any other. That fact is established immediately with the title track which includes razor sharp barbs at the Queen and Prince Charles. The rhythm section is tighter than a flea's arse throughout, as it always was. Andy rourke's bass playing is so fluid and natural, and Mike Joyce is so good he's like a drumming android. The two keep time better than a rolex. The ballad "I know it's over" is beautiful, and features Morrissey's most heartfelt lyrics. He invokes such anguish that it's impossible not to get goosebumps. "Cemetry Gates" is an excellent, and somewhat underappreciated song. It has an upbeat tempo, and combines Johnny Marr's infectious acoustic guitar and more of Morissey's wit. Morrissey's love of Oscar Wilde is proclaimed on the song(as if we didn't know). "Bigmouth Srikes Again" and "The Boy with the Thorn in his Side" are two of the best Smiths songs ever.Read more ›
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I still remember listening intently to "Bigmouth Strikes Again" on the radio just before this album was released here in the States. This has some of the Smiths' most powerful songs on it - "I Know It's Over", where Morrissey admits defeat at the hands of love and fate, "The Queen Is Dead", where Marr shows why he's one of his generation's best guitarists, "Bigmouth...", where Morrissey's self-deprecating lyrics match Marr's driving chords perfectly, and of course the classic "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", which has an unforgettable melody. This track is the favorite song of a lot of Smiths fans. "TQID" shows The Smiths at a turning point of sorts, leaving behind the jangly sound somewhat and mixing in a more glam-rock influence. "Some Girls Are Bigger..." is also an outstanding track. This album is already showing up at or near the top of a lot of 100 best albums' lists. It's not surprising, after just a couple of listens you'll see why. Also: notice the resemblance between the opening riffs on "Bigmouth..." with Heart's "Crazy On You"?
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i agree
Mar 9, 2012 by icecube |  See all 2 posts
flaw at the beginning of "some girls are bigger than others"?
I found this on a Smiths FAQ, and have heard this mentioned elsewhere. Hope it helps:

"Engineers and producers often "spoil" mixes they send to record companies so they cannot be used. The most common way of doing this is by whacking the faders down to just below half (to throw to... Read More
Apr 27, 2007 by tenohtwo |  See all 4 posts
When are the CD reissues of the Smiths coming out?
They are coming out April 3, 2012! (I just found out myself)

Amazon already has them listed for pre-order. They're a bit hard to find because they still have... Read More
Mar 29, 2012 by teknoman |  See all 3 posts
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