By early 1983, the Smiths had gained a large following on the UK live circuit and had signed a record deal with the indie label Rough Trade. The deal, along with positive concert reviews in the weekly music press and an upcoming session on John Peel's radio show on BBC Radio 1, generated a large media buzz for the band. In a music scene dominated by corporate and video-driven acts, the Smiths' camp and bookish image stood out, and many expected the band to be the breakthrough act of the UK post-punk movement. The previous October, Frankie Goes to Hollywood released their iconic track \"Relax\", which was seen as an anthem to an out alpha male self-assertiveness, and alien to many UK homosexuals. However, the Smiths' May 1983 debut single \"Hand in Glove\" failed to live up to critical and commercial expectations, mostly due to its perceived low production values. When Rough Trade label mates Aztec Camera began to receive day-time national radio-play with their track \"Walk out to Winter\", Marr admitted to \"feeling a little jealous, my competitive urges kicked in\". The guitarist believed the Smiths needed an up-beat song, \"in a major key\", to gain a chart positioning that would live up to expectations.
I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wearThis man said: It's gruesomeThat someone so handsome should careNa-na-na-na-na-na-na, this charming manNa-na-na-na-na-na-na, this charming man
The Smiths' This Charming Man maxi-single contains the original single version of the title song, the original U.K. 7\" B-side \"Jeane,\" and \"Accept Yourself\" from the original U.K. 12\". \"This Charming Man,\" taken from the band's John Porter-produced debut The Smiths, is one of the most memorable and popular songs in the Smiths' discography. Debating the merits of the track here would be a bit pointless, as it's a classic song from one the last great, classic bands. It might as well be called This Charming Song, as Johnny Marr's jangling, chiming guitar sounds as if it's being recorded in the heavens, and Morrissey's vocals are astonishingly deep. The song is dear to the heart of every fan of the band. \"Jeane\" is an amazing find for any Smiths fan; it's safe to say that many people don't even know the song exists, as it's one of the few songs by the band that doesn't make numerous appearances across the band's incredible discography. Marr's music is terrifically catchy, Andy Rourke's bass adds ample warmth, Mike Joyce's drums bounce with glee, and Morrissey's lyrics and vocals are mesmerizing and compelling. It has to be one of the best B-sides of all time; it certainly makes this single essential. The band Gene admired \"Jeane\" so much that they took their name from a variation of the title. \"Accept Yourself\" is much more widely known, having appeared on the popular, excellent Hatful of Hollow collection. \"Jeane\" makes this edition of the This Charming Man single a necessity for fans. Another, separate edition of This Charming Man contains numerous, alternate versions of \"This Charming Man\" as well as the B-side \"Wonderful Woman.\"
Rick Astley's \"Never Gonna Give You Up\" was released in July 1987, which was right around the time The Smiths broke up. You might not be surprised, but at the time, there was not a lot of crossover in Rick and Smiths fans; mortal enemies was probably closer. So it was a little surprising to learn that Astley would be joining UK band Blossoms to lead two Smiths tribute shows in London and Manchester in October. Blossoms brought out Astley, who was looking very Morrissey-esque in NHS specs, at a London show earlier this week, and video of them performing classic Smiths single \"This Charming Man\" has made the rounds, with many people saying Astley is better at being Morrissey than Morrissey. Judge for yourself -- footage of \"This Charming Man\" and rehearsal video of \"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now\" is below.
In this song, a male protagonist, who has punctured his bicycle tire on a desolate hillside, is approached by a \"charming man\" in a \"charming car.\" After a brief hesitation, the protagonist climbs into the car with the man, who flirts with his passenger and invites him out later that evening. The protagonist rejects the man's offer, because he hasn't \"got a stitch to wear.\" Front man, Morrissey, told Undress in 1984 that this latter line was written from personal experience: \"For years and years I never had a job, or any money. Consequently I never had any clothes whatsoever. I found that on those very rare occasions when I did get invited anywhere I would constantly sit down and say, 'Good heavens, I couldn't possibly go to this place tonight because I don't have any clothes, I don't have any shoes.' So I'd miss out on all those foul parties. It was really quite a blessing in disguise.\"
Morrissey deliberately used archaic language when composing the voice-over style lyrics for \"This Charming Man\". His use of phrases and words such as 'hillside desolate', 'stitch to wear', 'handsome' and 'charming' are used to convey a more courtly world than the mid-Eighties north of England, and evoke a style that has, in the words of the music critic Mat Snow \"nothing to do with fashion\". 59ce067264