- "Of all our singles I think I like 'This Charming Man' best, just because the rhythms are so infectious. Smiths music really moves me."
- Andy Rourke
"A couple of days before I wrote 'This Charming Man' I'd heard 'Walk Out To Winter' (by Aztec Camera) on Radio 1, and I felt a little jealous. My competitive urges kicked in. I felt that we needed something up-beat and in a major key for Rough Trade to get behind. That's why I wrote it in the key of G, which to this day I rarely do. I knew that 'This Charming Man' would be our next single. I did the whole thing in one go into this TEAC 3-track tape recorder that I used to write on. I came up with the basic chords and immediately overdubbed the top line and intro riff."
"I wrote This Charming Man for a John Peel session. I just leapt out of bed and wrote it. It was the culmination of trying to find a way of playing that was non-rock but still expressed my personality. I felt we needed something more upbeat in a different key and was miffed that Aztec Camera's Roddy Frame was getting on the radio and we weren't. That's why it's got that sunny disposition; my usual default setting was Manchester in the rain. When we were recording it, Rough Trade's Geoff Travis came in and said: 'That's got to be the single.'"
"I remember writing it, it was in preparation for a John Peel single. I wrote it the same night as 'Pretty Girls Make Graves' and 'Still Ill'."
"'This Charming Man' was the first record where I used those highlife-sounding runs in 3rds. I'm tuned up to F# and I finger it in G, so it comes out in A. There are about 15 tracks of guitar. People thought the main guitar part was a Rickenbacker, but it's really a '54 Tele. There are three tracks of acoustic, a backwards guitar with a really long reverb, and the effect of dropping knives on the guitar -- that comes in at the end of the chorus."
"I don't want to be playing 'This Charming Man' when I'm... 22."
- Johnny Marr
Here is a great video of Johnny looping the rhythm part and overdubbing the lead:
Notice he starts the riff on the second and third strings, around the twelfth fret(14th if you have his usual 2nd fret capo on).
I have uploaded several Guitar Pro tab files here. Each file has several different guitar tracks, some with bass tracks as well. I have uploaded a multitrack for the song here. This has the isolated guitar and bass parts, and it's a great tool for learning the song.
Here are the scans from the Singles tab book:
I have uploaded another tab and it's accompanying backing tracks. Those are here(right click to save as). Here's the tab:
UPDATE 10/12/08: I have also uploaded these scans from the debut album song book, for completists only.
lunachangue gives us a pretty spot on version:
The cover sonofdrcross does is equally good:
He also does a great version on bass:
325C58 tackles the hatful version, with bass and rythym guitar as well:
Daniel Earwicker plays just a few bars on his 12 string Ric:
martinyyz has another good version. Really clear recording of the fretboard, too:
Here's nicknoh69 on his les paul:
Here's WilliamFs11 on acoustic:
Here's isisluna23 on a Les Paul:
Here's chiasson65 with another great bass cover:
abyface does an awesome job:
adameater does the Hatful version on acoustic:
Another take by martinyyz:
Here's a cool version by johnnymare:
Here's Pandaprops on guitar:
Here's davidguitarist91 on his Les Paul:
Here's a great multitrack version by captaincarwash: