As had been hinted at last week, a pair of new vinyl releases from The Smiths — 7-inch and 12-inch singles of “The Queen is Dead” — slipped into U.K. shops unannounced today to mark the 31st anniversary of the original release of the band’s classic third album, The Queen is Dead.
The band’s Facebook page heralded the release this morning with the following message:
16th June, 1986: ‘The Queen Is Dead’ is released in the UK. To mark the date, 2 ‘The Queen Is Dead’ singles are available now, one is a four-track 12” vinyl and one is a two-track 7” picture disc. Head to record shops everywhere today. #TQID
Music retailers in the U.K. also began posting images of the singles online, reporting that they’d received limited quantaties of the new Warner Bros.-pressed vinyl. It’s not clear if the “Queen is Dead” singles will be available online, or sold in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world.
The “Queen is Dead” single release had been rumored for months, and was essentially confirmed a week ago when Morrissey’s guitarist, Boz Boorer, posted a photo of himself holding one of the 12-inches on his Facebook page. The Smiths’ own Facebook page began teasing the release on Wednesday by posting unlabled images of the sleeve art.
Pre-release images of the two singles showed the 12-inch featuring as B-sides the Smiths’ three instrumental tracks: “Oscillate Wildly,” “Money Changes Everything” and “The Draize Train.” The picture-disc 7-inch, on the other hand, was to be backed by “I Keep Mine Hidden,” which originally appeared as the B-side to “Girlfriend in a Coma” and holds the distinction of being the last song The Smiths ever recorded.
The release follow this year’s Record Store Day 7-inch, which featured previously unreleased versions of The Smiths’ 1985 single “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side” — which went on to appear on The Queen is Dead — and its original B-side, “Rubber Ring.”
— Bear Tree Records (@beartreerecords) June 16, 2017
— HMV Aberdeen (@HMVaberdeen) June 16, 2017
— Matt Hawton (@MarrsPlectrum) June 16, 2017
— Justin Osborne (@O5BORNE) June 16, 2017
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