Uncertain Smile

Album: Soul Mining (1982)
Charted: 68
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Songfacts®:

  • This late night brooder about unrequited love was originally released in 1981 in a different form and titled "Cold Spell Ahead." It was re-recorded in 1982 in New York as "Uncertain Smile" in 1982 after The The had been signed by Epic Records in the USA. That version, which featured flutes and a saxophone solo from session player Crispin Cioe peaked at #68 on the UK singles chart.
  • The most-familiar version, which was recorded for the Soul Mining album, replaced the saxophone with a lengthy Jazz piano solo by Squeeze's Jools Holland (better known now as the host of BBC' TV's music show Later). Asked by Uncut magazine August 2014 how they got Holland to play on the track, The The mainman Matt Johnson replied: "The garden (studios) had this beautiful little Yamaha C3 Baby Grand, and the decision was, 'We have this fantastically long outro for 'Uncertain Smile.' We need to put this piano on something. Who do we know who can play it? Jools showed up, cool as a cucumber despite the sweltering heat, dressed in leathers, and he was absolutely charming."

    "I think he had one run-through, said, 'Let's go for it,' and laid the whole thing down," Johnson added. "There was just one drop-in we did towards the end. We were amazed. He told me years later, he gets asked about that more than anything he's ever done."

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