The Smiths: All 73 Songs, Ranked

Morrissey and Johnny Marr lasted only five years as a songwriting team, but these Manchester lads left a lifetime's worth of absurdly great songs behind

Load Previous

17. "Hand in Glove" (1983)

One of the classic debut singles in rock & roll history, up there with the Beatles' "Love Me Do" – another Fab Four of Northern boys introducing themselves with an out-of-nowhere harmonica solo. In the rigidly closeted rock scene of the Eighties, the gay bravado of "Hand in Glove" was revolutionary, right down to the plea, "Stay on my arm, you little charmer." It was raw realness – like the blasé way the couple assume they'll get assaulted by passers-by, a fact of queer life everywhere at the time. Like David Bowie's "Heroes," it's two lovers on the street, who might never see each other again, but their kiss is a valiant stand against a hostile world. And you can hear the whole band's excitement.

Best line: "If the people stare, then the people stare / I really don't know and I really don't care."

Back to Top