SANDIE SHAW – ” Hand In Glove “

Posted: June 11, 2022 in MUSIC

This version originally released in 1984 and unavailable for almost 40 years, this was a collaboration between one of the most successful (UK) female stars of the ‘60s and indie darlings the Smiths, who were big fans. It features three Morrissey / Marr originals on which Sandie is backed by messrs Marr, Rourke and Joyce. Despite having established themselves as a group, Morrissey and Marr still harboured ambitions that they would be recognised as songwriters by having their songs covered by others. Their top choice was singer Sandie Shaw, of whom Morrissey was a fan, and who had scored several hits throughout the 1960s and she was one of the most prominent British vocalists of her era. The recording became Shaw’s first hit in a decade when it reached number 27 on the UK Singles Chart. Marr, Rourke and Joyce backed Shaw on two mimed television performances of the song, first on Channel 4’s Earsay in March 1984, and then on Top of the Pops on 26th April, where the band appeared barefoot in homage to the singer, who did so often in the 1960s.

Hand in Glove” is a song by the Indie-rock band the Smiths, written by singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr. It was released as the band’s first single in May 1983 on independent record label Rough Trade Records. 

“Hand in Glove” was written by Morrissey and Marr in January 1983. By that date, they had been working together for around eight months, had written more than ten songs together,and had recorded two demo tapes, but had been rejected by both Factory and EMI. Their usual composition method was for Marr to add music to Morrissey’s lyrics, though for “Hand in Glove”, Marr had the music first – he developed the chords on an acoustic guitar while at his parents’ house. Unable to record the music there, Marr’s girlfriend Angie drove him to Morrisey’s house while he continued to strum the guitar, altering it with suggestions from Angie. At Morrissey’s the tune was recorded on a cassette tape. Morrissey said that he wrote lyrics for it in the span of two hours. Even prior to performing the song live, the group was unanimous in the opinion that “Hand in Glove” was their strongest song to date.

The song’s line “I’ll probably never see you again” appears in Delaney’s kitchen sink realism play A Taste of Honey and The Lion in Love. Morrissey paraphrased the line “Everything depends upon how near you stand next to me” from the 1974 Leonard Cohen song “Take This Longing”. Goddard conjectures that the song’s title was inspired by the 1947 detective novel Hand in Glove by Ngaio Marsh. The lyrics are also quoted in the coda of “Pretty Girls Make Graves”, another song from the band’s first album.

The Smiths asked their manager Joe Moss to fund the recording of “Hand in Glove”. In late February, the group booked a one-day recording session at Strawberry Studios in Stockport at the cost of £250, which they produced themselves. Morrissey claimed in later years that he was dissatisfied with his vocal and returned a week later to re-record his part, the day after which the entire group travelled to London and convinced Rough Trade owner Geoff Travis to release the record. However, author Simon Goddard noted that it was not until April 1983 that Marr and bassist Andy Rourke visited the Rough Trade offices. On that occasion, Marr handed Travis a cassette featuring “Hand in Glove” and a live recording of “Handsome Devil”, telling Travis, “Listen to this, it’s not just another tape”. Impressed, Travis promised he would. The following Monday, Travis called the group and invited them back to London to release “Hand in Glove” as a single. Both parties agreed to release the single as a temporary arrangement before agreeing to any long-term partnership.

Two months after the single’s release, the Smiths recorded the song again during aborted sessions for their debut album with producer Troy Tate. This version was recorded a tone lower than the original in the key of F# minor, and features a shorter introduction. The Smiths recorded the song again with producer John Porter in October at Manchester’s Pluto Studios. Morrissey rejected this version of the song. Due to impending deadlines, the version that ultimately appeared on the band’s first album The Smiths was a remix of the original master recording from the Strawberry Studios session. For this version, Porter increased the separation between Marr’s guitar tracks and Morrissey’s vocals, emphasised drummer Mike Joyce’s drum beat, pushed Rourke’s bass back in the mix, and created a more dramatic opening and conclusion to the song

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