My previous Sandie Shaw post was surprisingly (for me) one of the most popular downloaded music posts on this entire blog. I mentioned that Sandie Shaw doing The Smiths’ ‘Hand In Glove’ would turn up at some point….and here it is.
Released in April 1984, this version of ‘Hand In Glove’ was promoted as a Sandie Shaw solo release, although it is essentially The Smiths with Sandie Shaw coming straight off the bench as some kind of super-sub. All those Smiths fans helped the single reach the dizzy heights of number 27. Even the cover art of the single is Smithsy in appearance. I’d imagine all Smiths aficionados would have the 3 Smiths tracks Sandie covered by now, but if not, here you go…
The 7” featured 2 tracks – the lead track and her version of ‘I Don’t Owe You Anything’. ‘Hand In Glove’ is a reverb-drenched bash-along that Siouxsie Sioux would be proud of. The lead guitar riff sounds like a glockenspiel, and I mean that in a good way. The outro is terrific too. Different to the original. Not better. Not worse. Just different.
Apart from the unusual introduction, Sandie’s version of ‘I Don’t Owe You Anything’ sounds an awful lot like the Troy Tate produced version that was intended for their first album before The Smiths binned it at the last minute. Maybe, way back in ’84 before Bongo, Sting and all those other worthless eco-warriers, The Smiths were into recycling their old junk, giving it to someone more deserving. It’s got a creepy, churchy-sounding keyboard part playing through the background and tons of jangling, clipped 12 string Rickenbacker. And the final chord is niiiiiiiiice. Sandie’s got a nice warble to her voice too. I like this version a lot.
The 12” featured ‘Jeane’ as an extra track. More acoustic than The Smiths, it’s just Johnny n’ Sandie, until some crooner in a big quiff and national health specs starts yodeling towards the end. No heavenly choirs, not for me and not for you, they sing. But I’m not so sure. Sandie Shaw’s 3 Smiths covers are amongst some of my favourite records.
Forgive me father, for I have sing-ed
Around the time of the record’s release, Morrissey said, “I met her a few months ago and it seemed perfectly natural for me to seize the opportunity and ask her to work with us and she was incredibly eager and incredibly enthusiastic. She really liked the songs and she was very eager to do it. So, it’s happened and I’m very pleased.” Four years later, post-Smiths and bored of Smiths-obsessed journalists, he cut short one inquisitive interviewer with, “It was so great for me personally that I don’t actually remember it happening“.
Is that real leather she’s wearing?
* ’Kiss My Shades’ was the wee message scratched into the run-off groove of the 7”, trainspotters.