Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"
Single by The Smiths
from the album The Queen Is Dead
ReleasedJune 1986
Format7", 12"
RecordedOctober–November 1985 at Jacobs Studios, Farnham[1]
GenreAlternative rock, jangle pop
Length3:14 (album version)
3:01 (single version)
3:57 (alternate mix)
LabelRough Trade
Songwriter(s)Morrissey, Johnny Marr
Producer(s)Morrissey & Marr
The Smiths singles chronology
"Bigmouth Strikes Again"
(1986)
"Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"
(1986)
"Panic"
(1986)

"Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" is a song by the English rock band the Smiths. Recorded in Autumn 1985, it was first released on their third studio album The Queen Is Dead in June 1986. It was also released as a single in Germany.[2]

Background[edit]

As with every original recording by the Smiths, the music of "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" 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 ("Oooh, I say").[1]

Reception[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".[3]

Andy Strickland in Record Mirror said, "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,"[3] 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".[3]

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]

Live version[edit]

"Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" was performed live only once: at the final concert by the Smiths, at Brixton Academy, London, on 12 December 1986. The performance, which included a verse ("On the shop floor, there's a calendar, as obvious as snow, as if we didn't know") not used in the studio version, was recorded and later featured as a B-side on the 12" and cassette edition of the "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" single in November 1987.[4] Amateur footage of the entire concert has since appeared online.[5][6][7]

Single release[edit]

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

Sleeve Image[edit]

The single cover depicts actress Yootha Joyce in a still from the 1965 film Catch Us If You Can. The same photograph had been used on the 1986 single "Ask".

Etchings on vinyl[edit]

7": ROCK AND ROLLING TO THE TOP/A PRECISE DIAMOND CUT

12": NO GIRL LIKE JAGUAR ROSE/BUSY TRAIN TO THE LOKOMOTION

Track listings[edit]

7"
No.TitleLength
1."Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"3:01
2."The Draize Train"5:06
12"
No.TitleLength
1."Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"3:01
2."Frankly, Mr Shankly"2:17
3."The Draize Train"5:06

In popular culture[edit]

  • 1996: Supergrass covered the song on tribute album The Smiths Is Dead.
  • 1997: Slovak musician Karol Mikloš recorded the composition as "Some Boys Are Bigger Than Others" for his debut set The Same Mist Here.[9]
  • 2005: The song title was used for a musical based around the music of Morrissey & Marr.[10]
  • 2007: German band Brockdorff Klang Labor covered the song for their debut album Mädchenmusik.
  • 2009: The irish cellist and singer Janie Price who lives in Copenhagen/Denmark covered the song as the band Bird for her first album "A Girl And A Cello" by exchanging "girls" and "mothers" with "boys" and "fathers".[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Simon Goddard, Songs That Saved Your Life (second edition, 2004)
  2. ^ Entry at Discogs
  3. ^ a b c Smiths Presumably Forever Ill Archived 9 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Passions Just Like Mine Archived 28 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ The Smiths Final Concert 1986-12-12 Brixton Academy, London, England - YouTube
  6. ^ LASID - Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others
  7. ^ The Smiths - Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others Guitar Tab | Songsterr Guitar Tabs and Chords
  8. ^ Passions Just Like Mine Archived 23 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Ondřejíček, Miroslav (2009-09-14). "Karol Mikloš - vzťah k hudbe sa mení". O hudbe (in Slovak). Orange Slovensko. ohudbe.sk. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  10. ^ bbc.co.uk
  11. ^ [1]

External links[edit]