The Smiths: This Charming Man

“Punctured bicycle on a hillside desolate. Will nature make a man of me yet?”

It is hard for me to believe that it is 30 years ago today (31/10/83) since the greatest song ever written was released. As a fresh faced sixth former I sat mesmerised as the video for “This Charming Man” was shown on The Tube. I had heard The Smiths and was beginning to be a fan but it was this moment that sealed the deal. Imagine being 17 and seeing this? Is there honestly anyone around these days that would give someone that same rush of adrenalin? That same I must buy this song today? I must see this band? I must …. I must……???????

Even after 30 years its opening chimes make the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention. I am compelled to swing things around my head and dance like a maniac. Many who have been present when this song has been played will testify to these actions.

“I would go out tonight but I haven’t got a stitch to wear. This man said it’s gruesome that someone so handsome should care.”

I remember going to Volume in Newcastle and buying the 7 inch single. A few weeks later we had a sixth form trip to London. A bit like the Inbetweeners meets Geordie Shore. I remember buying the 12 inch and the yellow daffodils t-shirt from Virgin on Oxford Street. I still own all 3.

The song was the second single from Manchester’s finest. It was their first chart entry. Hence the appearance on Top of the Pops (see link below) It was this single that really launched The Smiths onto an unsuspecting world. It is an amazing tune, housed in an amazing sleeve. Even the 3 B sides; “Jeanne”, “Accept Yourself” and “Wonderful Woman” are magnificent. Everything about the release is amazing. What is also amazing is that 30 years have passed……..




TOP OF THE POPS (24th Nov 1983):

By peter on October 31, 2013

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