Sunday, January 31, 2021

66/100 Video - "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" - The Smiths (1987)

The video for "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" may only show vocalist Morrissey, but much of the magic in the song is crafted by guitar wizard Johnny Marr. 

From start to finish, the guitars shimmer on arguably the most gorgeously polished production of their five-year career. The Smiths broke up just weeks before the single had been released. The Smiths legacy was quality over quantity (72 songs over 6 years), as well as being the indie UK rock band of the 80s, soon to influence a brand new British invasion to come in the 90s.

Back to the single, a song about lies, obsession, drinking, fisticuffs and a bicycle accident: leave it to Moz to come up a creative way to describe a crossbar hitting his junk as "The pain was enough to make a shy, bald buddhist reflect and plan a mass-murder." Incidently, the song was banned from daytime airplay on the BBC due to a recent massacre.

The unique video features Morrissey and a gang of bespectacled clones wearing Smiths shirts riding bicycles around Manchester on Coronation Street and past iconic venues like the Salford Boys Club and the Strangeways prison. In fact, the 'cycle with Morrissey' theme resulted from a call out to fans. Read the cool story from a New Zealand participant here.

Currently unchecked on my bucket list, one of these years I hope to make a pilgrimage to Manchester to visit these and other iconic landmarks that part of the history of some of my favourite bands like New Order, Joy Division, The Smiths and others.

The carefree cycling reminds me of my own childhood biking adventures on my trusty 10-speed, riding helmet-free from the trailer court in Dartmouth across town, over the bridge and throughout Halifax, unbeknownst to my parents. 

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