Promising to raise smiles and plenty of eyebrows Super Furry Animals have authorised the release of perhaps their least likely musical homage after digging deep into their trove of rarities to mark the 20th anniversary of their 1997 masterpiece, ‘Radiator’ and the release of deluxe, remastered editions. The Smiths’ ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’ gets the full-on, Furry treatment in the never-before-heard cover version, originally recorded for a French magazine’s cover mount CD in the late nineties, but didn’t see the light of day….until now.
Available for download on Monday 19 June 2017 at midday via announcements on the band’s social media, Morrissey and Marr’s 1986 single opens with confusion as Gruff Rhys makes a telephone call to a would-be French translator, features the familiar, electrified Smiths chorus melody over a squelchy bass line before opening up into a glorious, floor-filling rave. A radio edit, squeezing the original opus to a teasing three and a half minutes, has been released prior to the full version being made available.
Recorded around the time of the release of Radiator, the full, eight-minute version takes the listener far from the maudlin streets of Manchester and into the aural fairground of the Furries at their most playful. Ultimately left off the French compilation and never revisited, this is the first fans will have known of the recording’s existence.
Gruff Rhys says of the unearthed track: “We wanted to translate the lyrics of The Smiths track into French, so I spoke to a French friend of mine, who was actually working in Manchester, hence the half-French, half-Mancunian accent on the spoken introduction. It didn’t quite work out that way, although there are elements of the translation on it if you listen carefully, so what we have instead is an instrumental homage. I can’t remember why it didn’t get released, but am glad it hasn’t been lost forever and Furries, perhaps even Smiths fans, can now make their own mind up on how it compares to the original.”