Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

Album: The Queen Is Dead (1986)

Songfacts®:

  • In 1986, front man Morrissey explained to NME why he was inspired to write about women's fluctuating figures: "The whole idea of womanhood is something that to me is largely unexplored. I'm realizing things about women that I never realized before and 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' is just taking it down to the basic absurdity of recognizing the contours to one's body. The fact that I've scuttled through 26 years of life without ever noticing that the contours of the body are different is an outrageous farce!"
  • Having written the instrumentation, guitarist Johnny Marr was taken aback when Morrissey presented him with his proposed name for this song. "I was surprised when the title came about," he recalled to NME in 2011. "It wasn't what I expected for the music, but who would expect that." Drummer Mike Joyce added: "Only Morrissey could get away with that lyric - vegetarianism, sexism, children being murdered."
  • Engineer Stephen Street gave the recording its distinctive intro by increasing the reverb on the drums, fading the track in then out again, and taking the reverb back off when reintroducing the song. He recalled to NME: "The last track of an album is so important. I had this idea of starting it off making it sound like it's clattery and distant, fading it out and then fading up this glorious regulated guitar line and it drifts away at the end. I thought it was a lovely way to end the album."

    Speaking to The Smiths fan site It May All End Tomorrow, music enthusiast Roddy Ashworth suggested another reason for the curious fade at the beginning of this song: "Engineers and producers often 'spoil' mixes they send to record companies so they cannot be used. The most common way of doing this is by whacking the faders down to just below half within the first 30 seconds - just as in "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others." It means the client gets a good idea of the mix but also something totally unreleasable. Normally this is done to ensure payment for a track. My only guess is that production on all aspects of The Queen Is Dead was so behind schedule, and Rough Trade were in such a hurry to get it out, they didn't bother to check the master too thoroughly."
  • The line, "As Anthony said to Cleopatra, as he opened a crate of ale," was inspired by the 1964 movie Carry On Cleo.
  • The Smiths played this song live only once, at their final ever concert at London's Brixton Academy on December 12, 1986. This performance incorporated an additional verse: "On the shopfloor, there's a calendar, as obvious as snow, as if we didn't know." In November 1987, this live version was featured as a B-side on the 12-inch vinyl and cassette editions of the "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" single release.
  • This song closes The Smiths' third album, The Queen Is Dead. The comedic and rather frivolous lyrics are noted for standing in ironic contrast to the bleak tales told on the rest of the album.

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