The Smiths’ Mike Joyce discusses “unusual” ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’

The band's final album celebrated its 35th anniversary yesterday

The Smiths‘ Mike Joyce has discussed the band’s final album ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ on its 35th anniversary.

The legendary Manchester quartet’s fourth studio LP came out on September 28, 1987, a few months after the band split up.

Speaking to BBC News to celebrate its birthday, Joyce said “it was a great experience recording that album,” adding that he marks it out from the band’s previous records because it is “a story album”.


Joyce added: “I think it’s just an unusual-sounding album. There’s great songs on the others, but it just pips it for me, in terms of what we ended up with as an album and the whole thing in its entirety, rather than individual songs.”

Remembering the recording process for the album, Joyce said: “A lot of it was written in the studio. I know Johnny had a lot of ideas ready to go, but it was an album that was written in the studio.”

Joyce went on to discuss how the album is “pretty timeless in terms of the sounds” and that it feels like it was recorded “five years ago.” He said: “You couldn’t really put it in any decade.

“Every band has to end at some point and what a way to go out.”

The Smiths in 1985. (Photo by Ross Marino/Getty Images)
The Smiths in 1985. (Photo by Ross Marino/Getty Images)

Joyce is raffling off his silver disc marking 60,000 sales of ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ to raise money for charity Back On Track that supports people who have been homeless or had mental health problems.


While he wants the disc to “go to a Smiths’ fan,” Joyce added that “ultimately this is about generating funds”.

“This charity does literally save lives. It helps people trying to get out of that deep well of despair and back into society.”

Earlier this year, Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr vowed to never work with his former bandmate Morrissey again, following the latest war of words between the two musicians.

Speaking to Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2, Marr said there was “zero” chance for him to resume a personal or professional relationship with Morrissey. He said that the last time they spoke was about “18 or maybe 15” years ago.

The latest conflict between the two began when Morrissey asked Marr to stop mentioning him when giving interviews, in reference to an interview that Marr gave with Uncut.

Morrissey posted a lengthy open letter in which he asked Marr: “Would you please, instead, discuss your own career, your own unstoppable solo achievements and your own music? If you can, would you please just leave me out of it?”