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The Smiths - Half A Person (1986)
Ey, Ey, calm down, calm down! This week's guest spot is from our regular guest spot contributor Neo(aka London Scouser). As with life, music has it's highs and lows. Out of some of the lows, you get the best highs. I'll let London Scouser explain...
1989 was a tough year for me, I lost my dad after a long illness on April 15 (same day as the Hillsborough tragedy) and although I tried to hide the fact, it affected me a lot. Anyway, it was in December that year that I was in Woolworths in Hounslow High St with money to burn and I picked up a CD called Louder Than Bombs. The orange cover called out to me and although I wasn't a fan of The Smiths, the fact that there 24 tracks on it I thought, "Why not? It's only a tenner."
Prior to that my only knowledge of the band was watching The Tube and seeing Morrissey prance about with a hearing aid in and a bunch of Gladioli in his back pocket. What a weirdo I thought before I turned over to 1 of the only 3 other channels !!
I got home and put the CD in..... wow, where had they been all my life?! A lot of the songs had a depressing feel to them but strangely this only made me feel happy and despite my loss I felt that the year got better as a result. Half A Person is my standout track on the album, but it was hard to choose. It starts with the lyrics "Call me morbid, call me pale", which was brilliant for me at the time, and I still love that line.
My best memory of the song is singing along to it and being corrected by my Mum when Morrissey sings “Sixteen, clumsy and shy. I went to London and I. I booked myself in at the YWCA.” She would say, "YWCA is for women, he would have to go to the YMCA." I tried to explain, but gave up and made sure I kept that line to myself in future !!
If I tried to compile a Greatest Hits of their stuff now, it would probably have over 40 tracks on it such is their quality back catalogue.
GUEST SPOT # 18 - The Smiths - Half A Person
4/ 5Oleh Shell Hunter