Tokyo: Rockin' On, 1994. First Edition. Octavo (21 x 28 cm.) 160 pp. (unpaginated) Photo-printed, machine-stapled, softcover paper boards fold-out to show all four bandmembers. Six (6) original, loose, 8 x 10 color photo cards inserted. Some mild foxing to edges of a few photo cards.Text in Japanese. Lyrics in English. Fine. Item #115
"The Smiths" photobook may be the only visual narrative in print that captures the band at its pivotal moment of ascension into musical history. The yearning guitar, the sweater and leather post-punk style, the longing looks and handsome but bleary youth of its members, and of course, those bouquets of half-dead flowers. In the 1980s, The Smiths both mirrored and awakened a generation of youth searching for meaning and love in a time that boasted excessive capitalism against the reality of social unrest, inequality and dead-end jobs. With the left-hand romanticism of Morrisey and the guitar bending talents of Johnny Marr, The Smiths upended common ideas of popular music. Japanese photobooks are famous for their close-up scrutiny and idolatry of their subject matter and this one, in particular, is exceptionally comprehensive with hundreds of black and white photos, a few of them by legendary rock photographer, Paul Slattery who spent two years photographing The Smiths' early career. Lengthy interviews are in Japanese. Included are six loose, color prints that are original to the book, five of which are attributed to Slattery, one to photographer, Yasuyuki Hoshina. Both rare and scarce, this title, like "Sheila", takes a bow.