On This Day: ‘Hatful of Hollow’ by The Smiths

Released on this day November 12, 1984, Hatful of Hollow by The Smiths is not just an album; it is a cultural artifact that has wielded an enduring influence on the music industry since its release in 1984. The Smiths, an English rock band formed in Manchester, were known for their unique blend of rock and post-punk music, coupled with their introspective and often controversial lyrics. Hatful of Hollow, a compilation album consisting of singles, B-sides and versions of songs recorded for radio broadcasts, is a perfect representation of what The Smiths stood for – raw emotions, a rebellious spirit, and an innovative approach to music.

The influence of Hatful of Hollow can still be felt today, several decades after its release. The album’s unique sound, characterized by Johnny Marr’s jangling guitar and Morrissey’s emotive vocals, has inspired countless musicians across genres. It is not merely the sound that has left an imprint; it’s also the thematic content. The Smiths addressed issues that were often overlooked in popular music, such as social alienation, sexual ambiguity, and working-class realities. Their unflinching exploration of these themes has paved the way for future artists to express their own experiences and perspectives in their music.

Moreover, the legacy of Hatful of Hollow extends beyond music. It has had a significant impact on popular culture as well, influencing fashion trends and popularizing a certain brand of melancholic wit. Its cover art featuring a sepia image of actor Joe Dallesandro has become iconic in its own right.

The enduring influence of Hatful of Hollow is evident in the way it continues to inspire contemporary musicians and shape popular culture. Its legacy stands as a testament to the band’s exceptional talent and their ability to push boundaries in music and beyond.

Curated by Jennifer