Happy Birthday: Andy Rourke
Today we celebrate the birthday of one Andrew Michael Rourke, better known to most music fans as Andy Rourke, bassist for The Smiths. Of course, heâs continued to perform well beyond the existence of the band that first brought him fame, but if youâre not as readily familiar with his non-Smiths credits, well, weâre here to change that. In addition to putting together a playlist which features both Smiths songs and other peopleâs tunes on which he can be found (Sinead OâConnor, The Pretenders, and several of Morrisseyâs solo singles), weâve also spotlighted a six-packâs worth of songs from throughout his career.
Oh, and before you dive into the music, we should also mention that Andy popped by Rhino HQ not so very long ago and picked some of his favorite records. Weâll be bringing you video of the visit in the very near future, but for now... READ ON!
1. Sandie Shaw, âHand in Gloveâ (1984): One of the UKâs definitive female pop singers during the â60s, Shaw was beloved by Morrissey, which is how this semi-unexpected cover version came to pass. She was backed by Johnny Marr, Mike Joyce, and our man Andy, and because of the rules foisted upon artists who performed on Top of the Pops, all three gentlemen can be seen âplayingâ with her during her appearance on the beloved British music program.
2. Sinead OâConnor, âSomeday My Prince Will Comeâ (1988): It may not be a Rhino release, but if youâve never had the good fortune to hear STAY AWAKE, the Disney tribute album produced by Hal Willner itâs a must-listen. Not just for this song, but for other performances by artists within the Rhino catalog, including Tom Waits covering âHeigh Ho, Heigh Ho (Itâs Off to Work I Go),â from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Yes, really.
3. Vinny Peculiar, âTwo Fat Loversâ (2005): Vinny Peculiar is, in fact, a gentleman named Alan Wilkes, and heâs been recording âliterate autobiographical pop musicâ (his phrase, not ours) for 20+ years at this point. Heâs been compared to Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker, and in addition to Rourke, heâs also worked with Bill Drummond, Luke Haines, and Jah Wobble. If thatâs not enough info to tempt you into clicking on the video, youâre hopeless.
4. Badly Drawn Boy, âWhere Were You?â (2003): We donât know the back story on how Rourke ended up playing bass on this B-side to Badly Drawn Boyâs âAll Possibilitiesâ single, but weâre sure glad he did.
5. Proud Mary, âMexicoâ (2004): Discovered by Noel Gallagher, who subsequently signed them to his label, Sour Mash Records, this band out of Royton, Oldham really ought to have a higher profile, given that theyâve opened for everyone from Ryan Adams and The Black Crowes to David Bowie and The Who. They actually just put out their fifth album (SONGS FROM CATALINA) last year, but this is from their second album, LOVE AND LIGHT. Oh, and in addition to his contributions to this tune, Rourke can also be heard on the song âNever Good Night.â
6. D.A.R.K., âWatch Outâ (2016): When news broke in January 2018 that Dolores OâRiordan had died, it was devastating to Cranberries fans, but it was just as bad for those whoâd recently come to enjoy her work with a new band called D.A.R.K., featuring Rourke and Ole Koretsky. Their lone album, SCIENCE AGREES, was a fantastic effort, so the fact that thereâll never be a follow-up... Ugh. Just ugh.