Hatful of Hollow
I definitely count The Smiths’ 1984 Hatful of Hollow as one of my top 20 all time. This is one of those albums that makes you want to post the whole thing but I thought it would be a good challenge to try to narrow it down to three songs. I posted the re-issue version of the cover—featuring a cropped version of Gilles Decroix’s now iconic image (layout/design by Caryn Gough)—as I prefer its design to the bordered original. I really like the overall visual style of their release art, that sort of duo-tone screen print thing that Belle & Sebastian later used to such great effect. Out of the three standout tracks I ended up choosing, at least one of them—This Night Has Opened My Eyes—would make both my top 50 songs and top 10 basslines list. I love that smooth 70’s DI tone, always amazing how good a lot of the older Peel Session tracks sound considering they weren’t studio recordings in the conventional sense.
This Night Has Opened My Eyes[audio:smiths-night.mp3]
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I want[audio:please-smiths.mp3]
How Soon Is Now?[audio:smiths-soon.mp3]
12 Comments Leave A Comment
Tom Q says:January 8, 2009 at 2:39 am
How Soon is Now is probably one of their all-time best. Agree about the album art – iconic.
David says:January 8, 2009 at 4:47 am
How Soon is Now = Fantastic. One of my other top smiths songs is Oscillate Wildly. This song is amazing.
Chris says:January 8, 2009 at 5:06 am
The scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where they use a cover of Please, Please, Please (the one in the art gallery) is one of my favourite film moments of all time.
Justin says:January 8, 2009 at 7:53 am
“A boy with a thorn in his side” is another great Smiths song. The Treepeople (Doug Martsch’s second band) did a cover of “Big Mouth Strikes Again” by the Smiths, both versions are a good listen.
AndresM says:January 8, 2009 at 9:37 am
2 things I’ll hopefully take with me through life..to the grave..
1. The Smiths
2. Jack Purcells
AndresM says:January 8, 2009 at 9:39 am
PS… I recommend The Smiths Pandora channel… when your at work and dont have any on your ipod..it’s bliss…but if you don’t like morrissey dont bother ;)
michael j. says:January 8, 2009 at 9:51 am
I never understood the attraction to The Smiths until this post. Shame on me for not investigating on my own to this point, but dang, I’ll be listening much more and much more closely from here on out.
Jason Lenox says:January 8, 2009 at 10:22 am
This album is fucking great! How Soon is Now has always been the best song of the 80s. Followed by Moving in Stereo by the Cars.
Scott says:January 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm
I hear you, it can take a little time or just hearing the right tracks to get the smiths’ sound at first. Morrissey’s vocal style is definitely unique and for people like me who were introduced to them later in life (I missed the first wave when I was 7 :) appreciating his style and also weeding through some of the tougher smiths songs is the small barrier to really enjoying them.
Here’s a few of the other, more accessible songs if you’re just getting into them:
– The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
– Bigmouth Strikes Again
– William, It Was Really Nothing
– There is a light that never goes out
– This Charming Man (also check out Death Cab for Cutie’s cover of this song)
– Stop Me If you’ve heard this one before
Brandon says:January 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm
Morrissey is responsible for the aesthetic of all of The Smiths album covers. He provided mock-ups too, detailing font and photo selections for the designers. All of The Smiths and early Morrissey covers are documented in a great (now out of print) book by Jo Slee titled “Peepholism: Into the Art of Morrissey”. I think The Smiths covers are one of the best examples of a band maintaining a consistent and consistently cool visual style through all of their releases.
Scott says:January 8, 2009 at 6:00 pm
wow, that’s incredible that he was so involved, sounds like a nightmare scenario (a client providing mock-ups!) as a designer, but in this case it actually worked out great. thanks for the info.
Sonburn says:January 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm
I agree with Chris about the Ferris Bueller museum scene, and while I have always loved the song from that scene I never thought to track it down. Listening to Please Please above (which I somehow have never come acrossed), I heard hints of that song, which prompted me to find out more about the movie scene. The cover is from The Dream Academy, specifically “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” 12″ single (Blanco y Negro NEG 20T, UK 1985)