One of my absolute The Smiths
favorites. Funny lyrics, simple yet wonderful melody.
"One of Morrissey's rare essay-type lyrics, deeply ironic bearing in mind the deluge of compilations of The Smiths' and Morrissey's songs we've been subjected to. (...) Placed in between the average Unhappy Birthday and the truly dire Death At One's Elbow, it loses much of its attraction.
As for the lyrics themselves, I particularly like his re-use of Geoff Travis' most famous epigram 'you just haven't earned it yet, baby', and Morrissey's painting of sleazy record company executives glad to be rid of the 'dead star' (especially considering Morrissey's trouble in finding a company after parting with RCA).
The song concerns a failed star who only achieves fame post-humously, much to the pleasure of the record company ('at last ! - a dead star !'). The protagonist, a fan, has mixed feelings about this: at last their idol has achieved recognition and is beyond the vicissitudes of life ('they cannot touch you now'), but the fan and the star must now remain parted.
Morrissey covered this song during his 1997 tour, often changing the line 'please the press in Belgium' to 'please depressing Belgians', and 'BPI, MTV, BBC, please them, please them' to 'BPI, MTV, BBC, kiss their arses'.
analysis by John Levon at email@example.com, republished with kind permission.