Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

"The song, as it was, just faded in, so i thought we had to do something a bit more interesting. Basically, I put all the reverb on the drums up so it sounded like it was coming in from some large hall, then faded it down really quickly. Then I took all the reverb back off and faded it up again. The effect was supposed to be like the musics in a hall somewhere, it goes away, then it comes back and it's nice and clean and dry. A bit like opening a door, closing it, then opening it again and walking in."

-Stephen Street

"Other times, I'd drop off a cassette of some music at Morrissey's house. He lived about two miles away, and I'd ride round there on my Yamaha DT 175 and post them through his letterbox. 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' was done that way. All the music for that came in one wave while I was watching telly with the sound down."

"Some things just drop out of the heavens, and 'Some Girls...' was one of them. It's a beautiful piece of music."

"I think I used a Rickenbacker 330 with delay on and a Strat for the outro. A lot of chorus and delay, I think."

- Johnny Marr

This one has a lot of renditions on youtube, which is great. It's a challenging part, but it's something that once you hear, you want to learn... at least I feel that way. A lot of people have taken it on, so I have posted as many good versions as I could find

Also, there are 2 Guitar Pro tab files I uploaded here(right click to save). One is for the live version, but it's not complete.

Daniel Cárdenas informed me that the Guitar Pro version posted here was in a weird tuning(second string was tuned up 1/2 step) and was in the wrong key. He transcribed the song into the correct key, and I transposed the fretboard positions into something that I think is more accurate. I moved the figures down one fret, which eliminates 1st fret barre chords and utilizes more open strings and open chord positions. I have left the older version in the rar file for comparison purposes. If you can help improve it further, let me know.

Here is a scan from Guitare Xtreme, a French magazine:

Thanks to reader Dupont Dupond for the scan.

Here are the scans from the Complete Chord Dictionary:

Here are the scans from the Queen Is Dead piano songbook with guitar chord boxes:

Daniel Earwicker's first attempt:

His second attempt, this time a fairly definitive cover of the 'live' version:

tomscotland on a strat:

goleirinho, whose version is the first left-handed video I have posted!

elvismarinho's cover:

and here's Stevebanany:

smitestyle is next:

sonofdrcross again does both guitar and bass really well:

Here's buckleyboyben:

Here's another version by barjabulon:

Here's Salvia02390 with his take on the live version:

Here's two spot on guitar and bass covers by johnnymare:

Here's a great bass cover by my friend John Biscuiti:

And lastly, here's The Smiths at their final show. Johnny plays it, um, like a ringin' a bell. Just totally effortless and smooth, it's


Daniel Cárdenas said...

I after hours of listening and playing and watching videos and the original version of 'Some Girls are Bigger Than Others' found the matching sound from the original

Anonymous said...

One of the greatest melody ever made.
Thanks for the beautiful blog!

Anonymous said...

I loved this blog since I discovered it but I can't see the tabs. Can you post tabs in another format so that those who don't use Guitar Pro or Power Tab editor can see your tabs without trouble. Thanks a lot!

Thom said...

Anonymous, I will try, but it is not going to be easy since there are 40+ songs at least with guitar pro tabs that I will have to export and host. You can get a full version of GuitarPro online for free at all the usual sources. I recommend it. Until I convert the files, check out the scanned tabs.

Anonymous said...

here's my take on it:

the first bit just mimics the live version, i didn't do the whole so btw


eddie said...

i think this sounds better in open e or open d capo 2 ,im thinking the open strings sound better,handsome devil sounds great in open e capo 2

Djmacross said...

Watch my cover!

Jan said...

Hi guys,
Does anyone have any suggestions about which effects Johnny Marr used in the live recordings of this beautiful song? Only some mild chorus? It's funny, I play the same notes, still it sounds quite different...

Thom said...

They only played it live once, but we know what his pedalboard was. It's the 1986 era one mentioned on the gear section of this site. Chances are good that the Boss CE2 and GE6 are playing a part in this sound.

Jan said...

Thanks Thom! Keep up the good work!

JohnnyNosebleed said...

John Doran did an excellent interview with Johnny, and they touched up on this song a bit at the end...
Fascinating interview. Right after being posed the question, Johnny says "yeah..." in an unusually brusque manner that's hard not to read into
(myself, I love the song, especially with its whimsical little lyrics).

Thom said...

Hey Johnny, I saw that interview. I thought Johnny gave a really awesome answer that was touching and showed what an amazing relationship he had with Morrissey.

I also love the song, I think the lyrics are hilarious and it's very much in the tradition of Heaven Knows or Frankly Mr. Shankly. Not every song has to have "I Know It's Over" levels of gravitas.

Anonymous said...

another cover, featuring guitar and bass:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Awesome resource! I've just started a Smiths Coverband, we have 6 songs on the setlist now and are working on 2 more. This website is invaluable!

Here's my take on the riff for some girls, it still needs a little work: