"Paint A Vulgar Picture"


This song must have been written shortly before, or perhaps during the recording sessions for the "Strangeways, Here We Come" album which took place in March-April 1987 at Wool Hall Studios in Bath, with Stephen Street as producer, helped by Johnny and Morrissey.


album version {5:35}
"Strangeways Here We Come" album


This song has never been performed specifically for radio or television.


This song was never done in concert by the Smiths. It was one of the first few songs from the Smiths catalogue to ever be included in a Morrissey set after his days with the band. It was played on a majority of dates on the 1997 Maladjusted tour, in total 46 times out of 54 concerts that year. It has not been performed since.

There are no officially released live recordings of the song at this point in time.


monitor mix {5:40}
Taken from a record company cd-r of a scrapped reissue project, this was leaked at the end of 2010 on the rarities LP bootleg simply titled "The Smiths".
studio outtake {5:38}
Leaked on the internet via radio broadcast in 2010


"No, it wasn't about Rough Trade at all. So I was a bit confused when Geoff Travis, the Rough Trade big boy, despised it and stamped on it. It was about the music industry in general, about practically anybody who's died and left behind that frenetic fanatical legacy which sends people scrambling. Billy Fury, Marc Bolan..."
- Morrissey on "Paint A Vulgar Picture", NME, 13 February 1988

"Yeah, it was a big deal! I had to make everyone leave the studio, bring in a few candles... no, not really. The song just suited it. I always thought that if you played a guitar solo it should be something people could whistle... mind you, since then I've recorded solos that even Roger Whittaker would have problems whistling."
- Johnny Marr on his first guitar solo (Paint A Vulgar Picture), The Guitar Magazine, January 1997