The Smiths Rank 1986

Rank is the first live album by British indie rock group The Smiths. It was recorded at the National Ballroom in Kilburn, London in October 1986. It selects 14 of 21 tracks played at the concert which was broadcast on BBC Radio 1.

The band were promoting their studio album The Queen Is Dead at the time, which is often hailed as the essential album by The Smiths. This makes it a good time to issue a live album.

Unfortunately this is still the only live in concert album by The Smiths.

The Smiths Rank

The Smiths Rank

Average Amazon Customer Rating – %%AVERAGERATING%% Stars

Set List

  1. The Queen Is Dead – 4:11 (originally on the album The Queen Is Dead)
  2. Panic – 3:07 (single on The World Won’t Listen, Louder than Bombs)
  3. Vicar In A Tutu – 2:40 (The Queen Is Dead)
  4. Ask – 3:12 (The World Won’t Listen, Louder than Bombs)Flame/Rusholme Ruffians – 3:55 (?/Meat Is Murder)
  5. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side – 3:47 (The Queen Is Dead)
  6. Rubber Ring/What She Said – 3:41 (The World Won’t Listen, Louder than Bombs/Meat Is Murder)
  7. Is It Really So Strange? – 3:45 (Louder than Bombs)
  8. Cemetry Gates – 2:50 (The Queen Is Dead)
  9. London – 2:38 (The World Won’t Listen, Louder than Bombs)
  10. I Know It’s Over – 7:49 (The Queen Is Dead)
  11. The Draize Train – 4:23 (instrumental)
  12. Still Ill – 4:09 (the Smiths)
  13. Bigmouth Strikes Again – 5:51 (The Queen Is Dead)

Six songs from The Queen Is Dead and various singles and rare recordings from the early compilations.

The missing songs include

I Want the One I Can’t Have (Meat Is Murder)
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (The Queen is Dead)
Frankly, Mr. Shankly  (The Queen is Dead)
Never Had No One Ever (The Queen is Dead)
Meat Is Murder (Meat Is Murder)
How Soon Is Now? (Hatful of Hollow)

I think it’s a real shame that these other songs haven’t been added as a bonus at some stage since Rank was first issued in 1988. It would have made this even more essential.

In 2011 The Smiths issued a big box set of all their albums including Rank called Complete. Sadly these missing tracks weren’t even included so it doesn’t look good for the future.

The band at this stage were:

Morrissey – vocals
Johnny Marr – lead guitar
Craig Gannon – rhythm guitar
Andy Rourke – bass guitar
Mike Joyce – drums

When bass player Andy Rourke was fired in early 1986, Craig Gannon was hired to replace him. Within two weeks Rourke was back and Gannon moved to rhythm guitar.

Here are videos of The Smiths performing live in concert.

How Soon Is Now – this is the song omitted from Rank

There’s A Light That Never Goes Out – also missing from Rank. For some strange reason, this announces the song as Panic.

Bigmouth Strikes Again

What Other People Say About Rank

I’ve only seen it included in one best live albums list:

Vox    Best 70

Reviews at Amazon are positive.


Buying Rank By The Smiths

It is available from

These links will help you get to the albums quickly and easily but I recommend that you still search for the best deal.

What Do You Think About Rank?

Do you think this live album by The Smiths does them justice? I’m hoping that Rank is extended and that we several more live albums from the band from the 1980s.

What Are The Best Live Albums Of All Time?

Please vote in my poll to find the best indie and alternative rock live albums.

What Are The TEN Best Indie & Alternative Rock Live Albums? (Click on the links to go to the reviews)

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Because this is such a big category and there are so many very good indie and alternative rock live albums, I have split the poll into two and you may find some of your favourites in the second division. Albums will be promoted when they get enough votes.

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