I heard The Smiths’ “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others” on Abby’s iPod last week, and it sent me scurrying through her computer (I had long since deleted them from mine) to snag a few albums to listen to at work. I didn’t need more than a few songs to “satiate the need” but I was reminded of Schneider TM’s brilliant cover of “There is a Light that Never Goes Out.”

I first heard The Smiths in my senior year of high school and immediately adopted their music as the soundtrack to my life. I pretty much gained entrance to my fraternity on the strength of my knowledge and collection of The Smiths releases, narrowly escaping disqualification for not knowing about The Stone Roses (more on them soon).

By the time I left Miami University, most of those (now no doubt extremely valuable first edition) releases had disappeared (one of the many prices I paid for living in one of two rooms on the front balcony). Truth be told, I didn’t miss them one bit. I had long since outgrown their sappy sentimentality, and was ready to move on to something decidedly less contrived and much more my own.

As I continue to reconnect (and in some cases have meaningful conversations for the first time) with friends from high school and college on Facebook, it’s both amusing and instructive to look back on the music of that era. I find myself all-too-aware of that same trap of idealism and false hope: wanting to be adored but completely unwilling or unable to return it without strings attached. I suppose that’s part of growing up, learning to give without conditions, love without fear, and be nothing more and nothing less than authentically me.

It’s true that I am a sucker for anything with a vocoder in it, but Dirk Dresselhaus’s much more modern version is an absolute classic (various outfits far more respectable than me have ranked it as one of the finest covers of all time). Most of all, I love the fact that an entirely new generation now has a bit of The Smiths to guide them along their own path of discovery. Truly the circle of life never ends.

Here’s the original:

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And the cover:

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While your here, have a look at Radiohead’s cover of one of my other all-time favorites, The Smiths’ “The Headmaster Ritual.”