St. Jude is the debut album by British indie rock band The Courteeners, which was released on 7 April 2008. There is also a special edition album which includes a second disc of acoustic versions of songs which feature on the actual album. Though the album was received to average reviews from critics, the album has become somewhat a cult success though many fans are more favorable to the versions of songs seen on Here Come the Young Men EP and various other demos. In support of the album the band embarked on a European tour.
The album reached number 4 in the UK Album chart and passed its 100,000th sale the same week follow-up Falcon was released. The 990 sales the album collected during that period, brought the total up to 100,757.
In December 2008 St. Jude won the inaugural Guardian's First British Album Award beating albums by Glasvegas, Duffy, Adele, and Noah & The Whale. The award was voted for by members of the public and The Guardian journalists. St. Jude clinched a mammoth 53% of the public vote.
The album is dotted with references to The Smiths, of whom lead singer Morrissey is very fond of The Courteeners. References include the lyrics "Do you know who I am? I'm like a Morrissey with some strings". As The Smiths did before them, The Courteeners continuously reference Manchester locations for instance the song "Fallowfield Hillbilly" (featuring lyrics about Piccadilly Records and the suburb of Fallowfield), or the song "Yesterday, Today and Probably Tomorrow", which features references to Withington and their native Middleton. They also mention Strangeways, a Manchester jail, which is also mentioned in a Smiths album. Some feared at time of the album release that few would get the references of the band outside of Manchester, but this has not proved any problem.
Another Smiths similarity is that the album was produced by Stephen Street, who produced a great bulk of Smiths and early Morrissey material.
Morrissey has mentioned his love for The Courteeners on numerous occasions. After seeing The Courteeners in Camden, Morrissey played their song "What Took You So Long?" on American radio station KRCW, where he heaped praise on the band saying that "Every song was very strong and full of hooks and full of dynamics and I thought, 'this is great" and that "So many groups in England, they're hyped and they're huge and they're all over the press and they don't really actually have any songs, they don't really have anything to offer... but it's different with The Courteeners, they actually do have very good, strong songs." Morrissey added to his torrent of praise that "I think they will make it here [in the US] and I think you'll come across them."