SALFORD musical icons The Smiths announced a 7” release of two previously unheard tracks earlier this week, but some fans aren’t happy.

The release, a demo mix of their 1986 single The Boy With The Thorn In His Side and a previously unissued version of B-side Rubber Ring, was announced on Tuesday via a post on Morrissey’s official fansite

It features brand new artwork designed by Morrissey, featuring Salfordian actor Albert Finney, in-keeping with the band’s tradition of using fifties and sixties icons on their record sleeves.

The record will be the band’s first single release since the posthumous 1995 single Sweet and Tender Hooligan, and their first to feature new material since 1987’s Girlfriend In A Coma.

No release date was confirmed, but the statement reads: “Details of availability of the record will follow shortly.”

However, the discovery that the ‘new’ release consisted of songs that have already been heard left many Smiths fans feeling let down.

However, others were slightly more pleased with the news:

Listen to the released version of the Boy With The Thorn In His Side below:

This news follows the release of two ‘lost’ tracks from Freak Party, a pre-Smiths band formed by Smiths members Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke, along with drummer Simon Wolstencroft, formerly of The Fall. Wolstencroft found the funk-influenced demo tracks, recorded in 1981, and released a limited run of 700 7” vinyl singles on his own label, Funky Si records.

The Smiths previously took a stand against record companies reissuing old material on the track Paint A Vulgar Picture from their fourth and final LP Strangeways, Here We Come. It features lyrics such as “Reissue, re-package, re-package, re-evaluate the songs […] Slip them into different sleeves. Buy both and feel deceived.”

Marr recently released his autobiography Set The Boy Free, which revealed that he and Morrissey had met in Manchester in 2008 to discuss the possibility of a reunion, a topic which has permeated their respective interviews since the group’s messy split in 1987.

However, Morrissey’s recent controversial comments praising Brexit and Nigel Farage have halted any hope of a reunion, as Marr has been famously outspoken against right-wing politics – most notably when he ‘forbade’ David Cameron from liking The Smiths.

For updates on the forthcoming single, visit


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