The Smiths Not Like Any Other Love

The Smiths Not Like Any Other Love

It’s no secret that here at Guitar Lessons London, we love The Smiths. Or rather, I love them and Matt (the boss) begrudgingly puts up with my blissed-out ramblings. For me, they represent the pinnacle of British musical achievement: essentially four lads from the estates of Manchester, in only five years they rose from humble backgrounds to produce, what now is widely considered, the best British guitar music of the 1980s. The Smiths accomplished the remarkable feat of producing four albums in as many years and their third LP, The Queen Is Dead, was recently voted in an NME poll as ‘the greatest album of all time’.

No single band can claim to have such a devoted cult following as The Smiths and most die-hard fans would agree that they appeal in a way that no other band can or ever will. Morrissey’s poetics, rooted in Northern Realism and the British literary tradition of Owen, Keats and Yeats, perfectly encapsulate the bleak streets of 1980s Manchester inhabited by a generation distinctly at odds with its predecessor and the Thatcher administration. Marr’s guitar writing for me is just un-paralleled (nothing else needs to be said here) whilst Andy Rourke, along with Peter Hook, produced the best baselines of the decade (just listen to the bass part of ‘The Is A Light That Never Goes Out’.) All combine to produce something that is timeless, adhering to both a British heritage and the spirit of innovation.

Whilst many cite them as huge influences, The Smiths are such fiercely guarded cultural property that few have dared to imitate them explicitly. Take Radiohead, for example: Thom Yorke has cited them as a main influence, but sonically they draw more from the prog-rock of Pink Floyd than of The Smiths. Same with the Arctic Monkeys: they cite them as an influence, but such flattery is restricted to Alex Turner’s lyrics, whose whit and style is highly reminiscent of Morrissey’s own.

You would probably be right in saying that this blog was just an excuse to reel off my admiration for a band that have played such a large influence in my own life, and it’s no coincidence that I started playing guitar the same year that I really discovered my passion for the band. But the idea came to me when watching the BBC doc at the top of this page, which is the best that I’ve seen on the band and definitely worth a watch. Any prospective guitarist would also do well to study any of Marr’s fretwork: any guitarist who has seen him play live (I was fortunate enough to in October 2013) has to appreciate the level of consistent excellence that he has kept up for over three decades now.

I do believe that the best forms of art spark debate, so I completely understand why some see The Smiths as over-elaborate and outrageous. But if you’ve not given them the time of day as yet, ‘Not Like Any Other Love’ is a great place to start and understand the group’s background before plunging into their priceless LPs and abundant B-sides.

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Electric & Acoustic Guitar

I cover all styles on both electric and acoustic guitar, enabling my guitar students to learn through the playing the songs that they love. Whether that is rock, pop, jazz, funk, blues, folk or anything in between we can cover it in our lessons. I have taught many beginner students over the years, developing a fantastic course of foundation lessons to enable my students to learn how to play the guitar at a pace that suits them. 

For more advanced guitarists I offer lessons to ensure that you reach that next level on guitar, whether that is improving improvistation, nailing solos or gaining a more rounded approach to playing guitar to a professional standard.

To book your first lesson or simply find out more about my guitar lessons in London send me an email or call 03455 086739.

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