College Countdown: KROQ-FM’s Top 40 Songs of 1987, 2

2. “Girlfriend in a Coma” by the Smiths
“Girlfriend in a Coma” was the first single from Strangeways, Here We Come, the final studio album from the Smiths. Indeed, by most accounts the band was in the midst of splintering apart as the track was slipping up the U.K. charts. The B-side even houses the last song the Smiths ever recorded, “I Keep Mine Hidden.” The A-side is, of course, pretty notable all on its own, inspiring countless covers and even the title to a novel by an author who never tires of clinging at references that will make him seem cool by association. Peaking on the U.K. charts at #13 (the Smiths never made an appearance on the equivalent chart in the States), it was the highest ranking single from their final proper release. Besides the odd, memorable angle to the lyrical story in the song, it also has the sort of hook that burrows into the brain and takes root. As a sort of parting shot, it’s another reminder that we lost a terrific band when the Smiths broke up. This is the third of three songs by the Smiths on the countdown.

An Introduction
40 and 39: “4th of July” and “Bizarre Love Triangle”
38 and 37: “Heartbreak Beat” and “Not My Slave”
36 and 35: “Alone Again Or” and “Absolute Perfection”
34 and 33: “Love Removal Machine” and “The Passenger”
32 and 31: “It’s Still Warm” and “Hourglass”
30 and 29: “Alex Chilton” and “We Care a Lot”
28 and 27: “Crazy” and “It’s a Sin”
26 and 25: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Rules and Regulations”
24 and 23: “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” and “Twenty Killer Hurts”
22 and 21: “We Close Our Eyes” and “Please”
20 and 19: “Rain in the Summertime” and “Behind the Wheel”
18 and 17: “The Sweetest Thing” and “Rent”
16 and 15: “Is It Really So Strange?” and “The Motion of Love”
14 and 13: “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “No New Tale to Tell”
12 and 11: “A Hazy Shade of Winter” and “The One I Love”
10 and 9: “Never Let Me Down Again” and “With or Without You”
8 and 7: “True Faith” and “Dear God”
6 and 5: “Need You Tonight” and “Why Can’t I Be You”
4 and 3: “Lips Like Sugar” and “Strangelove”

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