Released in 1984, The Smiths' eponymous debut album was eagerly awaited by those who had become followers of the odd quartet. Despite some excellent songwriting, the production was strangely leaden, although it certainly has a charm of its own.
Morrissey said on its release "I think it's a signal post in music".
The original version did not have "This Charming Man" on it, but still provided an excellent if fairly young view of The Smiths and their music. The album starts off with the drum intro of the sublime "Reel Around The Fountain" and ends, after highs and lows of sincere beauty, with the infamous track "Suffer Little Children", which, of course, was the centrepiece of the Moors Murderers "scandal".
This album was originally produced by Troy Tate, and entitled The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. The Smiths were understandably unhappy with the production, and insisted on re-recording the album. They booked a studio for two weeks to re-record the songs with John Porter, whom they had recently worked with recording BBC sessions, and layed down the tracks which appear on this album on a shoe-string budget of £20,000.
The production, although easily criticised, seemed to bring Morrissey's voice into a more personal light; a good example being the haunting "Suffer Little Children".