18. THE SMITHS: How Soon Is Now/ Well I Wonder (1985)
Sire boss Seymour Stein called it, "the Stairway To Heaven of the '80s" which may well be on the money. Certainly, it's expansive, ambitious--and, importantly, formed the musical backdrop to many a teenage night out. In that sense, it's a great Saturday night record-- but only if you've endured the kind of minor nightmare that was Morrissey's meat and drink:" There's a club if you'd like to go/ You could meet somebody who really loves you/ So you go and you stand on your own/ And you leave on your own/ And you go home, and you cry and you want to die." Lyrics apart, its most remarkable aspect is the musical backdrop created by Marr, Rourke and Joyce; the former's Bo Diddley-gone-sci-fi guitar part in particular. It was recorded under light bulbs by minds taken to the next level by heavy weed intake-- an unlikely example of Moz-assisted stoner rock The B-side is a falsetto-strewn ballad, bolstered by one illustration of Marr's grasp of jukebox aesthetics: the grafted-on sound of a downpour, inspired by The Ronettes' Walking In The Rain.
Availability: Hatful Of Hollow WEA CD
17. BETTY WRIGHT:Clean Up Woman/I'll Love You Forever Heart And Soul (1971)
Miami-born Wright was only 17 when she cut this delectable slice of sun-kissed Florida soul for Henry Stone's Atlantic-distributed Alston imprint. Co-written by the eminent southern soul man and TK Records' in-house tunesmith, Clarence " Blowfly" Reid, the song's distinctive rhythm guitar reflected the influence of cheery Caribbean music on the Miami soul sound. Wright, who evinces an astonishing maturity, claimed to have disliked the song on first hearing. Ironically, it proved her biggest US hit.
Availability: The Best Of Betty Wright Rhino CD


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