By David Stillman
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This month marks the 30th anniversary of the first Smiths release, “Hand In Glove.” Also, Morrissey turned 54 last Wednesday (May 22nd), whereupon legions of young men took to the streets of Salford, Manchester, weeping inconsolably and scattering roses, lamenting Moz’s permanent relocation to the City of Angels.
But seriously, never since their untimely disbanding in the late 80s have the Smiths seemed more popular or the subject of more books, articles, videos, and monographs. (The most recent book-length study, from what I can tell, is Tony Fletcher’s There Is A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga Of The Smiths.) Morrissey and Johnny Marr continue to maintain successful solo careers (both are currently out on tour, in fact). Morrissey’s songs have been covered by everyone from Tiffany (yes, it’s true) to Colin Meloy in recent years (and “Bona Drag” was just name-checked on The National’s new album, Trouble Will Find Me). Marr, having joined Modest Mouse and toured with Neil Finn in the last decade, has also had Fender build him a bad-ass signature-model Jaguar.
This week, in honor of the “Hand in Glove” anniversary, the folks at Proof Spirit released a graphic illustration (above) encompassing every Smiths song and designed to mimic the Manchester Metrolink system. Frequent readers of F|S will note our fondness for well-wrought graphic design, and this image certainly meets our standards for design clarity, effective display of information, and overall coolness.
Here’s hoping that they make it available as a print.