Thursday, September 29, 2011

ET(aatb) 10: RTT181 "Shakespeare's Sister"

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (31.3 MB)

"Shakespeare's Sister"
Rough Trade RTT181
Produced by The Smiths
March 1985


1 Shakespeare's Sister
2 What She Said
3 Stretch Out And Wait ("UK version")


1, 3 from The World Won't Listen (ROUGHCD101, February 1987)
2 from Meat Is Murder (ROUGHCD81, April 1985)


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 amazingVulgar Picture treasure trove of sleeve artwork scans (with permission).


Interestingly enough, rather than pull a track from the then-new LP, the band chose a new track instead as the single release.

"Shakespeare's Sister" I've written about previously. My thoughts remain - in my opinion the weakest track in an otherwise stellar singles discography, and the relatively poor chart performance reflected the common opinion being of a similar note.

"What She Said" - pulled from the then-current LP Meat Is Murder - is a strong, powerful, near-metallic Marr tour de force. Always a live favorite, one can make the argument that this track itself would have made a better single than the actual single track itself, with "Shakespeare's Sister" being the B-side.

"Stretch Out And Wait" - appended with the "UK version" suffix here to differentiate it from the alternate version first released on Louder than Bombs and subsequently the RTT171 CD single of "Barbarism Begins At Home" - is the original version of this track. A classic track that, again, shows the band's penchant for burying their very best tracks on the back side of the 12", where your average punter may fear to tread. Maybe this was intentional? A form of secret Smiths society whereby only the initiated know the pure depth and quality of their deep catalog? Only the band knows.


  1. Thank you very much for that one - and it's great to see you back again!

  2. Thanks! Boom! Surprise! It's been a while but nice to have you back!

  3. When your name pops up in my RSS feed my heart skips a beat. :-)

    Good to see you again.

  4. This version of Stretch Out And Wait is not on the original UK 12". That is the version released on Louder Than Bombs. This is the alternate version from The World Won't Listen. Sounds fantastic, though.

  5. Given that the other version is both the originally released version and the US version I just call that Stretch Out And Wait and think of this as the LP version :)

  6. Huzzah! Thanks for the update. I think I speak for everyone when I say we appreciate the dedication to the authenticity and sound of your work. Thanks again. A.

  7. In your debt forever more we shall all be. Thank You.

  8. Ahhhhhh, so satisfying.

  9. I don't look at the site for one day.... ONE DAY!!!! and you post a post. I don't believe it.
    Thanks for the update Mr. Loyalist. I do hope the next won't be so long to wait.

  10. Thank you my friend for your dedication! Checked your site at least a few times a week and I was finally happy. :-)

  11. OK, wait, because this is making my head explode. So, this version of SOAW (labeled here as the "UK Version") is actually the "US Version" and the previously released version (from the "Barbarism" single and labeled as the "US Version") is actually the UK Version?

    So, technically the two should be switched, right?

  12. He is back .... and thank God for that!

  13. Thanks Mr AL. I have to disagree with you and say that I love this song. If pushed on it my vote for weakest single would go to Shoplifters.

  14. so, i gotta ask because i'm not sure what to do... is there a correct UK 12" version of "Stretch Out And Wait" that we should substitute for this one that matches your EQ and tweaking? or are we all going with this World Won't Listen version and moving on to the next release? thank you again for your work and dedication.

  15. The SOAW in the Barbarism recycle package is the correct one for this single.

  16. Also, so happy you are back. For since all humans desire validation, I wholeheartedly agree with the B/A side opinion here. What She Said is a favorite for me too.

  17. Whilst arguably one of their weaker A-sides, I would definitely vote for this being the best Smiths sleeve ever.

    There is something about that glorious photo of Pat Phoenix that brings to mind everything gritty and true about life in 'The North'. To have her deliver Elsie Tanner into every British home throughout the 70's was truly to witness a woman at the height of her powers. A true icon.

  18. Which reminds me...

    According to Jo Slee, in the great 'Peepholism' book which documents the creation of the Smiths & early Morrissey sleeves, the photo of Pat Phoenix was actually from her own private collection (not a press shot) which she gave to Moz personally for use on this sleeve.

  19. I don't understand why so many people find SS a sub-par single! Moz's voice falling into the distance as he jumps onto the rocks below (I'm going to meet the one I looooooovvveeee....). The guitar hook is fantastic (paired with the piano) and the atmosphere only becomes more eerie with the bending guitar strings in the background. A Marr tour-de-force.

    However, to each his own!