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Strangeways Here We Come

4.4 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Strangeways Here We Come
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  • The Queen Is Dead [Vinyl LP]
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  • The Smiths
Total price: CDN$ 69.99
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 26 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sire-Wbr
  • ASIN: B000002LCX
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,952 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Rush and A Push & The Land Is Ours
2. I Started Something I Couldn't Finish
3. Death Of A Disco Dancer
4. Girlfriend In A Coma
5. Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
6. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
7. Unhappy Birthday
8. Paint A Vulgar Picture
9. Death At One's Elbow
10. I Won't Share You

Product Description

Vinyl LP pressing. Newly re-mastered audio by Frank Arkwright (overseen by Johnny Marr, no less) and packaged in the original sleeves with original labels and original inner bags, pressed on high-quality 180 gram vinyl! This absolutely classic album from the Manchester quartet was originally released in 1987. Though the band only lasted four years as a recording unit, their influence can still be seen, heard and felt more than two decades after they officially split up. Rhino.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Its hard to listen to "Strangeways, Here We Come" without feeling a little sad. Not because the Moz in top form lyrically, but because this record feels so much like a transistional record, the Smiths trying to redefine who they are and what makes them The Smiths. And of course we know that this is the last record that Morrissey, Marr and company would make togather, and we never got to see where they were going. But as it is, "Strangeways" still holds up as a great record.
From the fragile "Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours" to the final note of "I Won't Share You", the Smiths add in all sorts of new ideas into their jangly pop sound, experimenting a little more than they did on the superior "The Queen is Dead", but never falling short of great songs. The melodies are still suprising: in many cases you convince yourself that there isn;t anything really memorable in a given song, but find yourself humming it to yourself before to long. Morrissey is at the top of his game as a vocalist for this record, using whispered vocals and a bit more understatement(I said a bit) then he had used before, giving the songs that much more emotional impact then they had before.
"Paint a Vulgar Picture" finds the Moz in pissed off fashion, lamenting on how artists re-package their best hits with new cover art and a new song(the Smiths are by no means guilty of this, what with many greatest hits packages, right?), then finds the man following his favorite rock star as a mere human. Any music fan can relate. "Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me" offers up a great piano part that builds into one of Johnny Marr's best compostion, as well as one of Moz's best lyrics.
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Format: Audio CD
There is so much Smiths material and I never claimed to be "their biggest fan", still I am always discovering new things to like about them. I had never sat down and listened to all of Strageways before. Until then, The Queen is Dead was my favorite Smiths' CD. But upon hearing everything, I have to say I like this CD the best. The song Paint a Vulgar Picture became on the top of my Smiths' fav list. Morrissey so often writes short catchy tunes that are over in the wink of an eye..we love them but we can barely breathe and it's over. With 'Vulgar Picture', we have a beautiful 5 + minute track that exposes all of Morrissey's wit, sarcasm and charm in great depth about the music industry over a cool beat and great guitars. And a damn interesting story too. Just listen to the lyrics. A Rush and A Push and Girlfriend in A Coma are also masterful catchy tunes (both different in their own way) in the Smiths tradition. Everything else is also quite good..nothing bad here. For Ten bucks or so, this is very well worth the purchase. Take 35 minutes and give this one a chance. Some of the very best Smiths/Morrissey material I have experienced. As if any of it was ever bad in the first place.
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Format: Audio CD
Sigh... as I find so often on Amazon, the reviews tumble down one side or the other. Some proclaim this to be the Smiths best and can't understand why others were disappointed. Others consider it a sad, pale effort at self-imitation. Well please allow arrogant me to set you straight, for I am "someone with a big nose who knows".
Smiths' best? Laughable. The album lacks the creativity and spark of earlier efforts. However the real crime to most fans is the extreme amount of production polish that was applied here. I've heard Aerosmith albums with less heavy-gloss sheen that this. The Smiths were admired for their ability to craft witty, beautiful music that somehow remained raw and jagged. Also there is some truth that Morrissey seems to be doing more than a little bit of self parody. Occasionally it seems as if he took lyrics from past songs and played a game of Jumble just mixing up the order of the words.
Still let's not pile on too much. By any fair standard this is certainly a darn good album. The first 2 tracks are up-tempo, jaunts similar to past songs except that they worked keys and horns into the mix. "Death of a Disco Dancer" is a slow number that some could view as the boys just going through the motions; the band is so minimal here that to me this felt like the first Morrissey solo song. I fail to understand any criticism of "Girlfriend in a Coma", one of the most ironically upbeat tunes in pop history. The playful, bouncey melody betrayed the vocals "I know it's serious." The late 80's MTV success of this video was hilarious because by the time they flashed the info on the screen to introduce the video (Band Name, Song Title, etc.
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Format: Audio CD
The reason I think that Strangeways, Here We Come is the best Smiths album is because Morrissey finally learned how to sing. Gone were the days when he would moan over the music in an off-key fashion simply because he ran out of words to sing. This time around, he sings in tune. And when he doesn't have lyrics to sing, he backs off and lets the band play. And that is a good thing indeed.
And the band themselves sound more polished than they ever have. In the past, the drums were far too brittle and Johnny Marr's guitar had a little too much high end. On this album, everything is in perfect balance.
Another reason to love this album is that the song A Rush and A Push features a trick that no other Smiths songs has: no guitars! And yet it still, unmistakably, sounds like the Smiths.
Morrissey's lyrics have not lost wit or cynicism as illustrated with Paint A Vulgar Picture. Unhappy Birthday shows his disturbing sense of humor that no one else dares to touch. But Last Night I Dreamt is a rewrite of the sad ballads from the Queen Is Dead and comes across as the album's weakest track.
Johnny Marr was still running the show musically with Stop Me If You've Heard This One and I Started Something. His guitar playing is subtle and bruising at the same time, leaving his mark on the eighties like a tire skid just before leaving the decade behind.
When you look at each individual Smiths album, it just doesn't get any better than this.
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