Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Music - The Smiths blast out "What Difference Does It Make" on BBC (1984)

But now you make me feel so ashamed, because I've only got two hands. Well, I'm still fond of you.

"Not so good as 'Charming Man' say some, but I'd say better. A wailing, wordless hook from your man Morrissey hovers ghost-like over a rubbery rockabilly beat, not marred one bit by Johnny Guitar Marr's springheeled periphery riffery. And the lyrics cut you, too. Perfect in its detente of tough and tender... Give these men a big, big hit."

- Paul Du Noyer, New Musical Express (January 21, 1984)

It's Mozza and Marr and the other two blokes (that'd be Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce, of course) "performing" the classic "What Difference Does It Make" on Top Of The Pops back in January of 1984.

"What Difference Does It Make" was one of many glorious ,moments from their seminal debut LP "The Smiths". which was released a few weeks after this TOTP performance.

Despite the band having a few doubts about John Porter's un-Smithslike (yeah that is a real word!) production, "What Difference Does It Make" reached #12 in the Britland charts, becoming the band's first significant hit.

Considering the sort of dross that inhabited the charts back in those dire days for music (yap, it was almost half as bad as today's insidious muzak!), having The Smiths on TOTP seems really surreal. Veritably a case of a gold bar amongst the sewage!

A song with one of the greatest opening riffs ever. A magical merging of Marr melody and Morrisey's idiosyncratic evocative poetry of what else but a broken bizarre love ("Now you know the truth about me, you won't see me anymore" .... "I'm so sick and tired ... but I'm still fond of you".)

All this plus an unforgettable closing Mozz falsetto wail of agony - something like that which might emanate from a manic, distraught bitch wolf who's caught her paw in a bear trap!

This sublime song hasn't aged a single jot.

I'm still fond of you, oh-ho-oh, oh-ho-oh .... indeed!

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