Wednesday, June 4, 2014
UK Indie Hits: 1980-89 (No. 5)
5. The Smiths - "This Charming Man"
Other Contenders: Here is the complete list of the band's indie-chart singles... and in order. All but the first one and the last two hit the top spot. What's your choice? Let me know. Tough, innit?
"Hand in Glove"
"This Charming Man"
"What Difference Does It Make?"
"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now"
"William, It Was Really Nothing"
"How Soon Is Now?"
"That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore"
"The Boy With the Thorn In His Side"
"Big Mouth Strikes Again"
"Shoplifters of the World Unite"
"Sheila Take a Bow"
"Girlfriend in a Coma"
"I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"
"Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me"
Chart Entry: Nov. 12, 1983
Peak Position: No. 1
Comment: First, a few interesting stats: At 66 weeks, "This Charming Man" was the band's longest chart run for a single. It spent seven weeks at No. 1. Impressive, but second to the nine weeks logged by "What Difference Does It Make?" Between late 1983 and mid 1987, the 14 No. 1 singles spent a cumulative 53 weeks in that spot. Trust me, the album stats are even more eye opening. So, you'll get little argument the Smiths were THE indie band of the '80s.
During the years the band was active, for me, the sadder the song the better. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" or "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" would have probably been my pick from these singles. Yes, I was a real hoot to be around. On the one hand, the list above seems long, but then you realize so many of your favorites were never singles. "This Charming Man" is wonderful, and I feel good about the choice, but I wonder if there isn't maybe a dozen deep cuts and B-sides I love even more. In fact, just typing "I wonder" has made me think "Well I Wonder" might be one.
Buy "This Charming Man" on the self-titled debut.