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Thursday, 30 December, 1999, 02:21 GMT
Smiths voted top album

Morrissey: The Queen Is Dead topped the poll

The Smiths' The Queen Is Dead album has been voted the best album of all time by a group of British rock critics - beating perennial favourites the Beatles.

The writers - from guitar rock magazine Melody Maker - ignored the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which regularly tops greatest album polls.

The 1967 release recently headed a year-long poll of British tastes, Music of the Millennium.

Instead, the MM writers chose the Smiths' 1987 album, often regarded as the Manchester band's finest work.

Melody Maker's top 10
1) The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths
2) The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
3) Nevermind - Nirvana
4) The White Album (The Beatles) - The Beatles
5) The Bends - Radiohead
6) Revolver - The Beatles
7) Hunky Dory - David Bowie
8) Definitely Maybe - Oasis
9) Screamadelica - Primal Scream
10) Never Mind The Bollocks - Sex Pistols
The title track exhibits lead singer Morrissey's mocking anti-royal stance and witty lyricism. It also features the bleak love song There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, which sees Morrissey fantasising about dying in a road accident.

The Smiths also feature at number 14 with Strangeways Here We Come, number 54 with The Smiths and at 83 with Meat Is Murder.

The band split up after five years in 1987 after dominating the UK's guitar rock scene, with the songwriting partnership between Morrissey and Johnny Marr breaking up in acrimony.

Last year, Morrissey lost 1m in a court battle over royalties paid to the other two members, drummer Mike Joyce and bassist Andy Rourke.

His solo career faltered after he faced a barrage of criticism for parading on stage with a Union flag at a Madness concert in London in 1992. He toured the UK recently, but presently has no record deal or management in his home country.

The Beatles do feature in the top 10 - Revolver is at six, and the White Album is at four. Their Abbey Road album is at 93.

The rest-of the top 10 is mainly filled with alternative rock classics, although David Bowie's Hunk Dory is at seven and Primal Scream have the highest dance-oriented album with Screamadelica at nine.

Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back is the highest-rated rap album at 17, one place above Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, the nearest the top 20 gets to jazz.

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See also:
06 Nov 98 |  UK
Morrissey misery over court verdict
15 Dec 98 |  Entertainment
Sgt Pepper's band plays on
06 Sep 98 |  Entertainment
Revolver draws top slot
11 Dec 98 |  Entertainment
Sgt Pepper scorned by new stars

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