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30 in 17: The Smiths Live in Boston. Is That Really So Strange?

Finally officially released fan favorite bootleg, recorded live in Boston in 1986 sounds as vital as ever

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by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: December, 2017
Live in Boston has been a much sought after bootleg for years
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: December, 2017
Live in Boston has been a much sought after bootleg for years

3017#26
The Smiths
Live in Boston
(Warner Bros)

Released as part of the deluxe box-set of The Queen is Dead -  'Live in Boston' captures The Smiths in their (short lived five piece) on stage glory. 

Recorded in 1986,  'Live in Boston' has  been a much sought after bootleg for years.  It's easy to forget just how well this band performed together and this is an excellent reminder of that excitement. There's a ruggedness to their sound on 'Live in Boston' that makes this preferable to their other concert album 'Rank'.  

Morrissey's between song  banter is refreshingly witty throughout -  ( 'Don't pretend you didn't like it.' he taunts the crowd after playing the, as yet unreleased, Is It Really So Strange'), but the highlight of the set is 'The Queen is Dead' itself , passionately introduced by Mike Joyce's remarkable pounding drum solo and Johnny Marr's feverish guitars. 

The Smiths would soon become engulfed by tribulations that would destroy them and cast numerous long shadows, however 'Live in Boston' shows them in such breathtaking synergy with one another. 

Forget the ugliness of 'Low in High School' and the ongoing pantomime of Morrissey's loose cannon remarks to the press. Cherish this album and remember them this way. 


30 from 17 Outsideleft LPs of 2017 you should be aware of... YouTube Playlist HERE...

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Jason Lewis
UK Music Editor

Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.

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