This video clip features The Smiths performing live on The Whistle Test on 20th May 1986.
Written and produced by Johnny Marr and Morrissey, Big Mouth Strikes Again peaked at #26 in the UK singles chart and was the second and last single to be lifted from the eighties band's third studio album The Queen Is Dead. The first single from the album The Boy With The Thorn In His Side had previously reached #23.
The Smiths released four studio albums during the 1980's which all went Gold in the UK, and they were The Smiths (#2 in 1984), Meat Is Murder (#1 in 1985), The Queen Is Dead (#2 in 1986) and Strangeways, Here We Come (#2 in 1987).
I actually used to hate The Smiths back in the mid 80s, mainly because I just found their music and lyrics depressing. Of course, that was the whole point and by the end of the decade, as my musical tastes developed, I started listening to the bands I should have been listening too much sooner.
Formed in 1982, the Manchester band featured the songwriting partnership of Morrissey (vocals) and Johnny Marr (guitar), and also included Andy Rourke (bass) and Mike Joyce(drums).
They were critically acclaimed and have been described as "one of the most important alternative rock bands to emerge from the British Indie music scene of the 1980s". There is no doubt that The Smiths have influenced many artists. Morrissey's depressing tales of loneliness and misery found a cult following by those bored by the commercial synth/pop bands of the early 1980s. Johnny Marr's complex melodies helped return guitar-based music to popularity.
Signed to the independent record label Rough Trade Records,
for whom they released four studio albums, several compilations, and many non-LP singles, they had limited commercial
success outside the UK while they were still together. They never charted higher than number 10 in the UK pop charts.
The band broke up in 1987 after disagreements between Morrissey and Johnny Marr, and turned down several offers to reform.
Released on 21st July 1986, the band's eleventh single reached #11, and was the first song to include new bassist Craig Gannon. He replaced Andy Rourke who was having problems with drug addiction. However, Rourke soon returned, but Gannon stayed on as a second guitarist, making The Smiths a five piece band.
Apparently, the lyrics were inspired by a news story on Radio One about the Chernobyl radiation disaster and DJ Steve Wright playing I'm Your Man by Wham straight after the report. Morrissey and Marr were pretty incensed by this and decided to write Panic as a response to the lyrics having nothing to do with real life.
The B-side features the track Vicar In A Tutu, with the 12" also featuring The Draize Train which was written by Johnny Marr.
This clip features the band performing on Top Of The Pops in 1984. One of my favourite Smiths songs, this short number was released on July 21st 1986 and peaked at No.11 in the UK. It was the first track to feature new band member Craig Gannon.
This track was released as a single in 1992 to promote the Best II album and reached No.25 in the UK. It was originally a track on the third studio album, The Queen is Dead (1986) and was also released as a double-A side (with a cover of Redondo Beach) by Morrissey in 2005. It made No.11 in the UK singles chart.