Photography archive at Stray Talk
an archive of my forays into fact and fiction

Archive: Photography

29th January, 2008
The Smiths: The Early Years; Paul Slattery
— Love @ 15:32 Comments (0)
Filed under: English, Music, n/a, Photography

The Smiths: The Early Years; Paul Slattery The Smiths: The Early Years
by Paul Slattery

159 pages
Omnibus Press
ISBN: 978-1-84609-858-1

First line: Taking photographs of bands for a living, I have seen an awful lot of them, good and bad, but I was smacked round the face with the sound and performance that The Smiths gave that night at ULU in May 1983.

Back cover blurb:
For many The Smiths were the definitive rock band of the 80s. A bracing antidote to Thatcher’s Britain for the youth of the day, Manchester-based Morrissey, Marr & Co. even approached something like mainstream success towards the end.

But at the start they were scruffy, uncompromising rebels. This was the period in which Paul Slattery took a series of band photos of great intimacy and power.

Slattery was particularly close to The Smiths in those early days, and his images — many of them seen for the first time here — were an insider’s work: informal, brash, exciting and revealing. Seen together these photos form an exciting visual narrative on the work of an influential band that, for a few turbulent years, cornered the market in lyrical gloom laced with mordant wit.

Thoughts: I love The Smiths, but I wasn’t a fan back when they were still together (would have been really hard to have been considering that I was either a) not even thought of, or b) not really that aware of my surroundings, for the duration of their career). Mind you, I’ve more than made up for it since!

This book was lovely. Full of photographs of the band, some of which I’d seen before, but the majority of which were completely new to me, and little comments from Slattery on most of them. However, as much as I loved it, I won’t officially rate it, because I feel there wasn’t enough text to do that.