Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

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"Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"
Song by The Smiths from the album The Queen Is Dead
Released June 1986
Format 7-inch, 12-inch
Recorded October–November 1985 at Jacobs Studios, Farnham[1]
Genre Alternative rock, indie pop
Length 3:16
Label Rough Trade
Writer Morrissey, Johnny Marr
Producer Morrissey & Marr
The Queen Is Dead track listing
"There Is a Light That Never Goes Out"
(9)
"Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"
(10)

"Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" is a song by The Smiths, recorded in autumn 1985 and first released on their 1986 album The Queen Is Dead. It was also released as a single in Germany.[2]

Composition and recording[edit]

As with every original Smiths recording, the music of "Some Girls" was composed by Johnny Marr and the lyrics were written by Morrissey.[1] The recording was given a distinctive intro by engineer Stephen Street, who increased the reverb on the drums, faded the track in then out again, and took the reverb back off when reintroducing the song: "A bit like opening a door, closing it, then opening it again and walking in".[1] The lyric paraphrases Johnny Tillotson's 1962 single "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On", and broadly references the 1964 comedy Carry On Cleo.[1]

"Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" was played live only once, at the final concert by The Smiths, at Brixton Academy, London, on 12 December 1986. The performance, which included a verse not used in the studio version, was recorded and later featured as a B-side on the 12-inch and cassette edition of the "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" single in November 1987.[3]

Amateur footage of the entire concert has since appeared online.[4]

Critical reaction[edit]

In the mainstream British music press, "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" was mentioned in the context of The Queen Is Dead. In the NME, Adrian Thrills wrote, "As an album with humour never far from its surface, it is fitting that The Queen Is Dead should conclude with the clipped, undulating frivolity of 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others', a hypnotic musical travelogue that verges on the transcendental[...] Again, the Morrissey muse and Marr's musical setting collide marvellously, the track illuminated by some lovely slide guitar from the latter. It would have made another classic Smiths single".[5]

Andy Strickland in Record Mirror stated, "Morrissey and Marr still can't quite get it together all the time, 'Never Had No One Ever' and 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' bearing all the hallmarks of the familiar Smiths filler, where music and words hardly embrace",[5] while Nick Kent wrote, "'Vicar In a Tutu' and 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others', sensibly restrained arrangement-wise, may well be lesser songs but, constructed within their rightful limitations, sound absolutely stunning".[5]

In Simon Goddard's track-by-track book Songs That Saved Your Life, Johnny Marr describes the song as "a beautiful piece of music", while the author writes, "Possessing one of his most alluring guitar melodies[...] if Marr's tune was heaven-sent, then it seemed very nearly blasphemous of Morrissey to christen it 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' and bestow it with its notoriously frivolous lyric".[1]

Extra lyrics[edit]

In the live version Morrissey adds an extra verse:

"On the shopfloor
There's a calendar
As obvious as snow...
(As if we didn't know)"[6][7]

Single release[edit]

In Germany, "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" was released as a single in slightly edited form, on 7-inch and 12-inch vinyl, with artwork modified from the cover used for "Ask".[8]

Track listings[edit]

7-inch[edit]

  1. "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"
  2. "The Draize Train"

12-inch[edit]

  1. "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"
  2. "Frankly, Mr Shankly"
  3. "The Draize Train"

In popular culture[edit]

In 2005 the song title was used for a musical based around the music of Morrissey & Marr.[9]

Supergrass covered the song on the 1996 Smiths tribute album The Smiths Is Dead.

German band Brockdorff Klang Labor covered the song.

References[edit]

External links[edit]