Rank (album)

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Live album by The Smiths
Released 5 September 1988
Recorded 23 October 1986
Genre Alternative rock, indie pop
Length 55:56
Label Rough Trade (UK)
Sire (US)
Producer Pete Dauncey and Grant Showbiz
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork (5.4/10)[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau B[4]
Blender 2/5 stars[5]

Rank is a live album by the English Rock band The Smiths. It was released in September 1988 by their British record company, Rough Trade, and reached No. 2 in the British charts. In the United States, the album was released on Sire Records and made No. 77.

About the album[edit]

Rank was released as a contractual obligation. It was recorded on 23 October 1986 at National Ballroom in Kilburn, London, and is a fourteen-track distillation (of 21 songs) by singer Morrissey from the complete concert recording that had earlier been transmitted by BBC Radio 1. The album rode high on Smiths nostalgia and the success of Morrissey's debut solo album, Viva Hate, earlier the same year.

The songs omitted from the recording of the Kilburn show are: "I Want the One I Can't Have", "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out", "Frankly, Mr. Shankly", "Never Had No One Ever", "Meat Is Murder", and "How Soon Is Now?" Also, some edits can be readily heard in the concert itself, such as at the end of "I Know It's Over" when the crowd starts cheering. In late 2009 video footage appeared from the show on YouTube.

According to Smiths biographers Johnny Rogan and David Bret, Morrissey originally titled the album The Smiths in Heat. Rough Trade objected and Morrissey proposed Rank, "as in 'J. Arthur'" (J. Arthur Rank is Cockney rhyming slang for "wank").


The sleeve for Rank, once again designed by Morrissey, stars actress Alexandra Bastedo. The image is from photographer John D. Green's 1967 book Birds Of Britain. The gatefold album's interior features a photo of dozens of Smiths fans ripping apart Morrissey's shirt. The picture was taken by Ian Tilton at the 1986 Factory Records "Festival of the Tenth Summer" concert at GMEX concert and exhibitions venue in Manchester UK

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Johnny Marr and Morrissey except "His Latest Flame" (Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman), "The Draize Train" (Marr) and the very beginning of "The Queen Is Dead" where an audio recording of Sergei Prokofiev's classical piece "Montagues and Capulets" was played to introduce the band.

No. Title Length
1. "The Queen Is Dead"   4:11
2. "Panic"   3:07
3. "Vicar in a Tutu"   2:40
4. "Ask"   3:12
5. "His Latest Flame/Rusholme Ruffians (Medley)"   3:55
6. "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side"   3:47
7. "Rubber Ring/What She Said (Medley)"   3:41
8. "Is It Really So Strange?"   3:45
9. "Cemetry Gates"   2:50
10. "London"   2:38
11. "I Know It's Over"   7:49
12. "The Draize Train"   4:23
13. "Still Ill"   4:09
14. "Bigmouth Strikes Again"   5:51

Etchings on vinyl[edit]

British LP: PEEPHOLISM/none

A book about Morrissey and the Smiths would take its name from this etching


The band[edit]

Technical staff[edit]


  1. ^ DiGravina, Tim. Rank (album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  2. ^ "The Smiths: The Smiths Complete | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchforkmedia.com. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Jim Farber (17 November 1988). "Rank | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "CG: the smiths". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]