"Hand In Glove"|
Hand In Glove
UK 7" [Rough Trade RT131]
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"For me it has to be 'Hand In Glove', the first single. Mainly because of the circumstances in which it was recorded. The remix on the first album I'm not quite too sure about but the actual single was such a joyous occasion for everybody that it still means more to me - and other members of the Smiths - than anything else we've done."
"The only tragedy for The Smiths has been that 'Hand In Glove' didn't gain the attention it deserved. I won't rest until that song is in the heart of everything. It's been given another lifespan because it's been re-recorded for the L.P. But it should have been a massive hit. It was so URGENT - to me, it was a complete cry in every direction. It really was a landmark. There is every grain of emotion that has to be injected into all the songs and it worked perfectly with 'Hand In Glove'. It was as if these four people had to play that song - it was so essential. Those words had to be sung."
"It was to be our first record and it was important to me that there'd be something searingly poetic in it, in a lyrical sense, and yet jubilant at the same time. Being searingly poetic and jubilant was, I always thought, quite difficult because they're two extreme emotions and I wanted to blend them together."
"The original 'Hand In Glove' was financed by The Smiths... representative... Joe Moss, and took a day in - where else - Strawberry Studios... one day in Stockport to enliven history. I re-did the vocal a week later, if only to make a point of starting as stroppily as I intended to continue. The next day we took the train to London, to Rough Trade at the old Blenheim Crescent place. We waited for hours to then be told that Geoff (Travis) couldn't see us, so Johnny said, "Who is Geoff Travis?" and someone pointed to a looming figure swarming down a corridor and Johnny raced after him and forced him to listen. Two hours later the record was cut."
"When we did 'Hand In Glove', that was brilliant because it was a fantastic piece of vinyl."
"'Hand In Glove' was done for f250, because the other side was 'Handsome Devil,' which was live from the Hacienda, straight off the desk. Off, by the way, what was only the third gig we'd played."
"Like Morrissey, I feel that my life was leading up to 'Hand In Glove,' and from then on things began to happen. My life began. That record set the standard. When Johnny played me their first demo tape, I thought it was the best thing I'd ever heard, both musically and lyrically. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and too good to miss, so I leapt at it as quickly as possible."
"I remember Johnny glowing with pride saying 'This is it! Just listen to this.' I was helplessly won over."
(On the recording of this debut single) "[The studio engineer] was very, very difficult and narky, and made us feel like we were an inconvenience, which is somewhat annoying because even now he tells everyone how he helped us birth our sound. Morrissey went back and re-recorded his vocal to the song a week later, which was very smart and showed how on our game we were. Most bands who just start out are just so happy to have a cassette with their tune on it. But to know it wasn’t quite right and go back to re-do it shows a degree of perfectionism. From the first recording to the last, I’m still like that now. I just turned up unannounced [at the London offices of indie label Rough Trade Records] and said, “I’ve got this song for (label boss) Geoff Travis.” I got the old, “Is he expecting you? No, he’s not around. You’ll have to come back next week.” I was kicked out and stood outside for ten minutes, when I noticed this car go back and forwards full of boxes of records. So I walked around the back of the building and there was a loading bay open, with a couple of hippies loading records into this car. I climbed into the loading bay and pretended I was working, and got into the building that way. I found my way to Geoff’s office. He looked really busy. I hung around until he was on his own. Then I made a break for it, and just at that point he came out of his office. I just grabbed him and said, “Hey Geoff, uh, hi, my name’s Johnny. I’m in a band from Manchester and you won’t have heard anything like this...” That’s what just came out! Anyway, he was pretty gracious, gave me the brush-off – but he took the tape."
"Uh-oh, love comes to town. The debut affair of the year, and no mistake."
"'Hand in glove/the sun shines out of our behinds...' Boom! The Smiths can't wait... in the very first line of their debut they spell it out, announcing their indestructable self-belief and irresistible intent with an audacity unheard since 'I am an An-ar-chist' howled outta the opening rumble of 'Anarchy...'"
"The pivotal line of 'Hand In Glove' is 'The sun shines out of our behinds.' That, plus a picture sleeve of a male derriere, is a heck of a way to lead off a debut 45. Further, Sounds and the British daily The Sun decided that 'Handsome Devil' is about molesting young boys - a claim not borne out by lines like 'let me put my hand on your mammary gland'. Both sides, though, are punchy numbers of great promise."
"The Smiths ride up 'Hand In Glove' to knock me from my own gallows. With a paucity of effects they seem to piece the cool of a Julian Cope/Teardrops sensitivity with a certain vigour that only us young ones can adopt. Morrissey's voice invocations just rise above the fuzz of treble. Truly a new Bunnyman."