Here it is, The Smith's masterpiece. Is it a masterpiece? Well, probably. I certainly think so. Albums without a single bad track are rare, albums which exclusively contains songs i could happily listen to on repeat forever are rare. Albums so important and yet so funny are rare too (tracks like Frankly, Mr Shankly and Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others can have me laughing out loud if I'm in the right mood). This album really does have everything: terrific musicianship from Marr, wonderful jangling melodies; and sublime lyrics and vocals from Morrissey (absolutely sublime). Now, lots of albums can claim those two things, but few achieve the cohesion, the union of the music and vocals and lyrics, so everything just clicks and feels as if the songs exist almost naturally. The Queen is Dead does. It really does have everything you could ask for. I could listen to it forever I think.
It's got many of The Smith's best moments: Bigmouth Strikes Again, The Boy with the Thorn in His Side, Frankly, Mr Shankly, and Cemetrey Gates. And of course it has There is A Light That Never Goes Out, possibly my favourite Smith's song of all time. "And if a double-decker bus/crashes in to us/to die by your side/is such a heavenly way to die./And if a ten-ton truck/kills the both of us/to die by your side/well, the pleasure, the privilege, is mine." Only Morrissey is capable of sounding so vocally uplifting and lyrically absolutely heartbreaking at the same time. The man is a genius.
Funny, tragic, serious, cohesive, important, brilliant. No record collection is complete without The Queen is Dead (and, to be honest, all four Smiths albums really.)