Shoplifters of the World Unite

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


  • 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."


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