"Sweet And Tender Hooligan"


The music was written by Johnny in early 1986. Morrissey must have written the lyrics soon after, or perhaps when the song was recorded.

An early, slower version of the song was recorded during the sessions for the "Panic" single, in May 1986 at Livingston Studios in London with producer John Porter and fifth Smith Craig Gannon, alongside "Panic" and "The Draize Train". The band was not happy with it and this version was shelved.

Another version was recorded with producer John Porter on 2 December 1986 for the band's final appearance on John Peel's BBC programme (broadcast 17 December 1986). This is the version which has been released and with which we are now familiar.


The only officially released studio version of this song, which first put out on single then compiled on various anthologies, is the John Peel session listed below. A version was recorded by the band for potential release on a single, but this has yet to be given an official release or even leak on a bootleg (see studio outtake below).


John Peel radio session 17 December 1986 {3:34}
• 12" and cd-single of "Sheila Take A Bow"
"Louder Than Bombs" album
• Australia "The World Won't Listen" double LP and double cassette
• Japan cd-single of "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before"
"Sweet And Tender Hooligan" single, all formats
• deluxe edition of "The Sound Of The Smiths" [remastered 2008]


This song was never done in concert by the Smiths. It was played 8 times by Morrissey after the Smiths days. It was on the setlist for his live debut at Wolverhampton in 1988, backed by Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce and Craig Gannon. For almost 24 years it looked like that would remain a one-off event, but the song reappeared in Morrissey's set on the 2012 tour. It was played once in October that year before he had to fly back to be with his ailing mother, then five more times in Australia/New Zealand in December. It was last heard on the very first date of the ill-fated 2013 tour. Two weeks later it was Morrissey's turn to be taken ill and the song had not made it again into his set.

live Wolverhampton 22 December 1988 {3:58} [Morrissey after the Smiths]
• 12", cassette and cd-single of "Interesting Drug" (except etched UK 12")
"The HMV/Parlophone Singles '88-'95" album


'Panic' recording session version {3:02}
This very early studio outtake has yet to be given an official release or even leak on a bootleg.