THE SMITHS – “Hand in Glove”

It was argued around these parts at another time that while Robert Plant was an awful singer, he was integral to Led Zeppelin because of the way his squawk floated over the bass-heavy sound. It is notable how similar the Smiths were in the early, superior, phase of their career: a ridiculous singer who couldn’t sing bleating beautifully over a bass-heavy rocking sound led by a virtuosic guitarist. Morrissey seems to serve the same function as the introductory harmonica in this song. And while wit and lyricism and crooning are all fine things, I’m not about to start buying Cole Porter records if you catch my drift and so I’ll take this over all the sweetly sung Wildeisms he’s offered since. The lurching beat and giant jangle provide the force that drives the cockily fearful howls.