Shoplifters of the World Unite

Album: The World Won't Listen (1987)
Charted: 12

Songfacts®:

  • The title alludes to the communist slogan "workers of the world, unite!" Morrissey has explained the meaning of the song as follows: "It's more or less spiritual shoplifting, cultural shoplifting, taking things and using them to your own advantage."
  • Morrissey has said that this is his favorite Smiths song. He sang it in his 1995, 1997, 1999/2000, 2004 and his 2007 concerts. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brian - Wilmington, DE, for above 2
  • In 1997, Morrissey told KROQ that this song was penned during what he believes to be The Smiths' finest period: "Very, very witty single and a great moment for The Smiths in England. I think it was probably the best days of our career. It was just a very funny time and a time of very sparky rebellion, and this song, more than any, I think, exemplifies that. I like it."
  • Johnny Marr revealed to The Guitar Magazine in 1997 that Nils Lofgren of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band influenced the guitar work in this song: "You can hear Nils Lofgren's influence on me in the solo on 'Shoplifters Of The World Unite.' That's all done with false harmonics, which is a steel player's technique: you touch the strings with a right-hand finger an octave higher than where you're fretting, and then pluck the string with your thumb."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Gary NumanSongwriter Interviews

An Electronic music pioneer with Asperger's Syndrome. This could be interesting.

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.

George HarrisonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really steal George's wife? What's the George Harrison-Monty Python connection? Set the record straight with our Fact or Fiction quiz.

Reverend Horton HeatSongwriter Interviews

The Reverend rants on psychobilly and the egghead academics he bashes in one of his more popular songs.

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?