Potential. You can hear it in the very grooves of this song. Which ever way you get hold of Hand In Glove you can hear in it’s recording that there is potential swirling around the room they’re recording in.
This is embryonic Smiths. There’s so much juicy stuff oozing into and out of this record. It was recorded on a shoestring, by a bunch of kids who were all enthusiasm and full tilt ambition. Yet the damned thing is so accomplished. No one arranges records like this. Not mega bands with huge budgets or producers pet projects. Nobody makes songs so inspired and varied sound so comfortably simple. Especially not in the middle of the bloody 80’s.
Semi acoustics under electric guitars, searing harmonica intro’s. A melody over the verse that would do as a chorus. This song is just so rich. It’s the first time the wider world really heard what the words ‘Morrissey/Marr’ meant on the (blue and silver) label in the middle of a seven inch single. They had it all from the start.
If there were a qualifying exam for becoming a real pop group The Smiths would have scored an A star on their first day of school.
Think for a moment about all the other acts you love. If there are any of them that don’t have a record as fresh, exciting, accomplished and danceable as Hand In Glove you’re wasting your time and there’s a Tesco’s somewhere missing some shelf stackers.