Thursday, March 10, 2011
ET(aatb) 07: RTT166 "William, It Was Really Nothing"
[Link removed 20 November 2012] (52 MB)
"William, It Was Really Nothing"
Rough Trade RTT166
Produced by John Porter
1 William, It Was Really Nothing
2 How Soon Is Now?
3 Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
4 How Soon Is Now? (withdrawn alternate mix)
1-3 from "William, It Was Really Nothing" (RTT 166CD, fall 1988)
4 from "William, It Was Really Nothing" (Italy, Virgin VINX71 12" single, 1984)(thanks to Steve)
Gentle EQ as needed, a smidgen of tasteful noise reduction if required, and very cautious, gentle peak limiting.
Artwork for this, and every other release we'll be featuring, was sourced from the amazing Vulgar Picture treasure trove of sleeve artwork scans (with permission).
If this record was all the Smiths ever released as a band, they'd be legendary. This 3-track 12" collects three, easily, of the best songs ever written and performed by the band.
"William, It Was Really Nothing" is all a modern pop single isn't. There's no chorus, really - or should it be said the chorus lasts for 2/3 of the song? It's a hair over 2 minutes long, it's quick and to-the-point. The entire song nearly sums up Johnny Marr's passion for guitars. A real gem.
"How Soon Is Now?" - well, there's nothing I can add about this song that isn't already legendary. It's a shame this was initially wasted on a B-side, though the label did come to its senses (far too late, it must be said) eventually and properly released this some months later as an A-side in its own right.
"Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" - the final track on the original single - is, along with "How Soon Is Now?", a contender for many fans' favorite Smiths track of all time. The late American "Brat Pack" movie director John Hughes loved it so much, he used it twice in his 1980s films - both as the Smiths original, and as a cover by the Dream Academy. Many had their first exposure to this track via the Pretty In Pink soundtrack LP (including yours truly), and it only grew from there.
The Italians, when given the masters for their own local release of this 12" single, somehow got their reels confused and initially released a highly unique rough mix of "How Soon Is Now?" instead of the final, approved take. While it doesn't start off terribly different (the guitars are mixed differently, but that's about it in the first quarter of the song), it quickly devolves into a most unique version. Moz gets to exercise his moaning organ a bit, and there's a great bit where the band comes to a complete stop with Moz clearly saying "OK?" to producer John Porter, and then a few seconds later the track fades back up to the final closing. There are other vastly different instrumental sections in the latter third of the song that make this a great listen as well. When made aware of their error, the Italians quickly corrected it before too many records hit the shops, and replaced it with the final, approved take.