In 2013, the NME named the Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead “the greatest album of all time.” I stopped falling for the NME’s beast-feeding hyperbole somewhere between Northern Uproar and Turin Brakes, but regarding the question of The Queen Is Dead: Look, they got that one right, what can I say?
That album came out June 16, 1986, which means it turns 30 next month. And isn’t such an anniversary worth celebrating? It sure is. I think so, anyway! You know who else thinks so? Your friend and savior Morrissey, that’s who. You know who does not think so? Warner UK and Sire US, the labels that released The Queen Is Dead three decades back. And you know who penned a lengthy screed (via the essential Morrissey portal True-To-You.net) lamenting this hurtful snub? You do indeed know who. Mozzer. Quoth the bard:
I am sorry that Warner UK or Sire US cannot provide any celebrations for the anniversaries of both [The Queen Is Dead and 1985’s Meat Is Murder], but, perhaps some label bosses have their eye on a tatty OBE, and perhaps others simply have detachable heads. It would not quite be the Smiths if not classically ignored by the dried-out lawns of the establishment. I urged Warner UK to issue a special ‘The Queen Is Dead’ single release for the first week of June … but … brick wall.
I wanna point out that the emphasis above is courtesy of Moz, not moi. Italics and bold. You can only imagine what that experience must have been like.
Surely there’s something we can do? Indeed there is! Here’s the ask:
Bleeding to death, I therefore have the restless gall to ask of you that, should you have 99 cents/pence, that you purchase ‘The Queen Is Dead’ track in the final week of May, thus possibly edging it into the corner of everyone’s ear in the UK Top 100 – if only to let them know that we are still here and fully aware of the fox-fur on the hall-stand. I am sorry to ask more of you than you have already given, but we all do as well as we can in such ludicrous times. I can only ask.
Now me, I am exempt from this pledge drive, because I just handed our man like 40 bucks (after shipping) to procure this shirt, which I wear as often as conventions will allow (once a week, depending on when I get a chance to do laundry). But you? You’re on the hook here. Buy the song. Buy the album. Then buy all the other albums. (Truthfully, The Queen Is Dead may be the greatest album of all time, but I’m not even sure it’s my personal favorite Smiths album. A discussion for another day.) The goddamn world is falling apart but we still have Morrissey. This is the least you can do. Ludicrous times, indeed.