My Top 1000 Songs #214: Girlfriend In A Coma

As noted previously, I'm not a huge Smiths fan. Back in college, there seemed to be two primary radio factions--the R.E.M. people and the Smiths people (though there was some pretty significant overlap)--and I was firmly in the R.E.M. camp. I always liked the sound of the Smiths--Johnny Marr's jangly guitars, the supple rhythm section--but I think I was just too generally well-adjusted to have much tolerance for Morrissey.

But there are a handful of Smiths songs I genuinely like, with "Girlfriend In A Coma"--off their final LP, 1987's Strangeways, Here We Come--at the top of the list. Maybe it's the sad yet less whiny nature of the lyrics; or that really cool bassline that opens the song; or just an earnest prettiness that I find magnetic and relentlessly hummable--but it's always roped me in in a way that few Smiths songs manage. Plus bonus points for that perfect (if a little too on-the-nose) deployment in the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror, one of my favorite hours of television ever.

San Junipero: