Con mio colpevole ritardo ho scoperto solo ora che ieri era il trentesimo anniversario dell'uscita di Hand In Glove, leggendario 45 giri di debutto degli Smiths.
Recupero subito, e lasciatemi partecipare alle celebrazioni della ricorrenza parlando per una volta non della canzone o dell'importanza della band, ma soltanto del disco, un oggetto che nel 1983 poteva ancora contenere molte avventure. Vi ricopio qui un paio di pagine da "How Soon Is Now" di Richard King:
The Smiths’ debut single ‘Hand in Glove’ would be dressed in the same blue livery as the mid-Sixties releases on Loog Oldham’s Immediate Records label. As well as influencing his ideas about song structure and providing a context in which to develop them, the well-heeled ideas of Loog Oldham and Orton had a definite influence on [Johnny] Marr’s guitar sound. Lean, plangent and mercurial in its flourishes of melody, Marr’s style, which he had worked night and day to perfect, blurred the divergence between rhythm and lead guitar to produce a rigorously distinctive voice that was, particularly in the context of the synth-heavy Eighties, utterly unique. [...]
Having decided that ‘Hand in Glove’ would be released as a one-off single, [Geoff] Travis, to yet more disapproving noise from his colleagues in Rough Trade Distribution, continued to make it clear that he would like The Smiths to be the first-ever Rough Trade act to be offered a four-album deal. The band, happy to let some momentum build around them, outwardly gave the impression that they were undecided as they began to be courted by every record company in London. The reality was that The Smiths, despite whatever concerns they might have, had all but decided to sign long-term to Travis.[...]
Whatever pennies were dropping among the more dynamic and media-savvy staff at Rough Trade, some of the company’s long-term problems had come back to haunt them. Upon its release initial pressings of ‘Hand in Glove’ were mismanaged, and Rough Trade Distribution was unable to supply many of its stockists. The combination of members of The Cartel being behind on their credit terms and the unprecedented nationwide interest in the single meant that many of Rough Trade’s frontline High Street shops could not stock the record. Most disconcertingly Probe, The Cartel’s north-western link, was unable to supply copies to any Manchester shops. Determined to circumvent the problem, [Joe] Moss decided on a hands-on solution, and to the delight of the band, went around the city, walking up to record shop counters offering copies of the single for sale from a box under his arm. ‘I’m glad to have that on my CV,’ he says. ‘We did it old-style out of the boot of my car.’
(mp3) The Smiths - Hand In Glove