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Why pamper life's complexities? Essays on The Smiths

posted on 2023-07-26, 12:42 authored by Unknown author
For five short years in the 1980s, a four-piece Manchester band released a collection of records which had undeniably profound effects on the landscape of popular music and beyond. Today, public and critical appreciation of The Smiths is at its height, yet arguably the most important British band since The Beatles have rarely been subject to sustained academic scrutiny. Why pamper life's complexities? Essays on The Smiths seeks to remedy this by bringing together scholars from diverse academic disciplines dealing with a range of social, cultural and political concerns that shed new light on the band. Topics covered in the essays range from class, race, sexuality, Catholicism, Thatcherism, regional and national identities, to cinema, musical poetics, suicide and fandom. Lyrics, interviews, the city of Manchester, cultural iconography and the cult of Morrissey are all considered anew. The essays breach the standard confines of music history, rock biography and pop culture studies to give a sustained critical analysis of the band that is timely and illuminating. This book will be of interest to scholars and students in the fields of sociology, literature, geography, cultural and media studies. It is also intended for a wider audience of those interested in the enduring appeal of this most complex and controversial of bands. Accessible and original, these essays will help to contextualise the lasting cultural legacy of The Smiths.



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Number of pages



Manchester University Press

Place of publication

Manchester, UK




Sean Campbell, Colin Coulter


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Legacy Faculty/School/Department

ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)

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