The Smiths – The Queen is Dead  Rough Trade (1986)

Considered by many fans to be the jewel in the crown of the quintessential Manchester band’s much-loved catalogue, The Queen Is Dead places the shrewdness and sorrow of frontman Morrissey centre stage against the backdrop of a divided Britain.

An album of contrasts, the anthemic drive of ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’, ‘The Queen Is Dead’ and ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ is balanced against the delicious melancholy of ‘I Know It’s Over’ and ‘Never Had No One Ever’, giving listeners a taste of all sides of The Smiths’ song-writing arsenal. Supported by the often-overlooked bedrock of Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce, and lovingly finessed by indie’s go-to producer Stephen Street, Morrissey’s lyrical swordplay is perfectly complemented by Johnny Marr’s soaring, jangly guitar lines that seem to reverberate off the red brick of Manchester’s archways.

Marrying tongue-in-cheek hilarity with profound observations on the human condition, The Queen Is Dead paints a picture of a band at the peak of their indie stardom, with the alluring pull of Morrissey and Marr’s creative partnership at its gravitational centre.



Graded using the Goldmine Standard. Graded conservatively, cover and media on the upper end of VG.


Cover: VG
Media: VG