Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Smiths - Troy Tate Sessions (1983)


First, a few words about The Smiths. I could gush effusively about The Smiths as they are probably my favorite band. But if I did, there would be 50 different angles from which I'd want to approach the topic, and 50 little things I'd want to say about them that most people couldn't care less about. Besides, most of you probably know your fair share about The Smiths already. So in short, they are a British band that existed from 1982 to 1987. The band was the brain child of Stephen Morrissey (aka Morrissey or Moz) and, arguably to a lesser extent, guitarist Johnny Marr. The Smiths have been cited as a major influence for countless bands and are considered one of the biggest cult bands in rock history. Their music often combines upbeat pop melodies with dark, sardonic lyrics. Songs like "Cemetary Gates" and "Girlfriend in a Coma" embody this unusual combination.

The Smiths' music is certainly diverse, especially if one considers Morrissey's solo career. And although I get a lot out of their entire catalog, I would say that my favorite Smiths' moments are usually in those songs where they sing in disgruntled fashion about poverty or everyday life in Manchester--songs like "Nowhere Fast" and "Jeane". Their earlier albums tend to have more of this type of material, while the later songs are more polished songs about love or something political, each with its own loftier theme. Maybe I just like to imagine The Smiths as an unambitious local band, just starting out in Manchester, rather than the icons they became.

The album I'm posting here, "The Troy Tate Sessions," has an interesting history. The Smiths' first album was self-titled and released in 1984. They recorded this album multiple times. The first recording was done with producer Troy Tate, but this version of the album was ultimately scrapped for political reasons or something to that effect. The bootleg of this first attempt at the record is commonly known as "The Troy Tate Sessions." I like this version better than the more polished "The Smiths" which was ultimately chosen to be the release. Troy Tate Sessions is more lo-fi. It has two b-sides on it that didn't make it on "The Smiths". These songs happen to be my favorite songs on the album (not just because they are rare, they are just really good) and a couple of my favorite overall Smiths songs: Wonderful Woman and Jeane. I can't recommend these songs and this album as a whole enough. Get it here.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!!!!
I'm spellbound...

RyGar said...

Awesome> I didn't know about this, and I've been listening to the Smiths for like, fifteen years. Thank you.

forego is my witness said...

It's needs to be said that ALL, and do mean ALL, of the widely available Troy Tate sessions are NOT from the final mastered Tate album. Apparently this is THEE holy grail and only those very very close to the band have ever heard it. The word is the quality is miles above any of the sessions available—apparently, most, if not all, of these sessions don't even have all the mixing/overdubs done. Sad but true.

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Anonymous said...

thanks so much for making the troy tate sessions available. i found it here upon a google search. thanks again!!

Dan Leo said...

Much-belated thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the upload & share! SWEET!

Starless said...

Thanks

Starless said...
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