Today, The Smith's groundbreaking album, The Queen is Dead, celebrates its 30th birthday. Though the band may consider Strangeways as their strongest release, it's hard to argue against the legendary status of this album. It's packed full of singles that carry a central theme - a struggle against captivity.
I found this CD in a second hand store in my high school years and it left an enormous impact on my life. I grew to love its jangly guitars and desperate lyricism; a narrative that concerns finding tranquility against something that is withholding you. Perhaps a struggles - in the Smiths' case - against a bludgeoning record label, a struggle within your home, or even a love affair. I cringe when I hear listeners describe The Smiths as a depressing band. A listener will find the brilliant wit, the humor and the irony painted within the album if they are truly listening.
The combined talents and songwriting partnership between Morrissey and Marr flourishes on this record and we're left with something that is charming in its melancholia. If you don't already own it, you should ask yourself why you're still reading this and go out and grab a copy! Take a listen to The Queen is Dead below.