Monday, December 27, 2010
The Smiths Go 2-Tone! - Hear A Ska/Reggae Demo Version Of 'Girlfriend In A Coma' From 1987
Ever wondered what Morrissey and The Smiths might have sounded like if they embraced a 2-Tone ska and reggae sound? Well guess no longer! According to 80's blog/web site Slicing Up Eyeballs, the vaguely reggae demo take on the well-known track was recorded in 1987 and is included with 16 other unreleased studio outtakes taken from a 2 LP bootleg set called 'Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals', which a fan ripped and posted to the Morrissey-solo.com forums. Before you expect a full-on reggae sound, let me say that the track sounds much like the well-known released version with Johnny Marr playing a bit of upstroke, slightly reggae guitar.
Despite once being quoted as saying 'Reggae is vile.' in the NME in the 80's, Morrissey signed a deal with the one-time reggae Attack Records label in 2003 as part of his comeback. The label famously released records by The Pioneers, Gregory Isaacs and The Upsetters in the 1970s, and was once a part of the legendary Trojan Records family.
Despite his gibe about reggae, Morrisey picked a ska track - 'Swan Lake' by The Cats - when he curated a compilation of music for a series devoted to famous artists' influences. Commenting on his choice, he told the music magazine Word: "I once said, 'Reggae is vile,' did I? Well, several tongue-in-cheek things were said in those days, which, when placed in cold print, lost their humorous quality. This track, along with Double Barrel and Young, Gifted and Black, were staple teenage necessities to me."
The Smiths, 'Girlfriend In A Coma' (Unreleased 1987 demo)