The Smiths - The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Label: WEA Music Of Canada
Catalog#: 92 03920
Format: Vinyl, 12"
Gold Promo stamp back cover
Vinyl: VG++, a few very light scuffs
Cover: 2 inch writing top right (CKDA radio station id), minor wear to other corners, gold promo stamp on the back cover
Country: Canada issue
Style: Indie Rock
Credits: Artwork By [Layout] - Caryn Gough
Artwork By [Sleeve] - Morrissey
Engineer - Stephen Street
Lyrics By [Words] - Morrissey
Music By - Johnny Marr
Orchestra [Orchestration By] - Smiths, The
Other [Cover Star] - Truman
Photography [Photograph] - Cecil Beaton
Producer - Johnny Marr , Morrissey
Notes: Special thanks to Grant Showbiz
Recorded in Manchester August 1985
Cecil Beaton photograph courtesy of Sotheby's London
A The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (3:17)
B1 Rubber Ring (3:55)
B2 Asleep (4:10)
"The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" is a song by The Smiths. It appears on their third album The Queen Is Dead but was released as a single (albeit in a different mix) several months before the album, reaching #23 in the UK Singles Chart in Autumn 1985.
This was the first Smiths single to be accompanied by a promotional video, something the band had previously resisted. Some of the Smiths' more purist fans at the time derided this as a sell-out.
The following year, the New Musical Express greeted the news that the band had signed a contract with EMI with the headline "The Boy With The Thorn-EMI On His Side".
The jumping man on the cover of the single release is a young Truman Capote.
The song was covered by Scottish band Bis on the tribute album The Smiths Is Dead. Music reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine trashed the cover, stating: "In particular, the Bis utterly disembowel 'The Boy with the Thorn in His Side' with a single-minded stupidity that is just bewildering."
The song has also been covered by Jeff Buckley, Belle & Sebastian, Scott Matthews and Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis in live performances.
The song was featured in the third episode of the British drama musical series Blackpool. The Smiths performed this song on an episode of the popular British television program Top of the Pops.
Margi Clarke asked Morrissey if this song was inspired by Oscar Wilde and Morrissey replied: "No that's not true. The thorn is the music industry and all those people who never believed anything I said, tried to get rid of me and wouldn't play the records. So I think we've reached a stage where we feel: if they don't believe me now, will they ever believe me? What more can a poor boy do?"
The chief difference between the single version and the one appearing on the album The Queen is Dead is in the use of synthesized strings. They are largely absent from the single version, only appearing in the song's coda.
The Smiths - The Boy With The Thorn In His Side - music video
The Smiths - Asleep - music video