Outkast are a musical mystery of the highest order. This is due to the wildly eclectic tastes of the men behind the music Big Boi and Andre 3000. How many acts have successfully mixed the wailing ways of Kate Bush with the rather more visceral adrenaline dose of Public Enemy? Very few would even think of attempting it, let alone pulling it off with perfected ease.
However, the song that Andre 3000 wishes he wrote is so far removed from the bombastic tones of tunes like ‘B.O.B. – Bombs Over Baghdad’ that it is hard to imagine that it’s the same man behind the quote. Nevertheless, in 2003, the rap star told MTV: “I personally wish I would have written that Smiths song ‘Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me.’ Genius song.”
As is often the case, a romantic recommendation imbued the track with a bit of personal depth for Andre 3000 who seemingly first heard it with hearts in his eye’s. “This girl named Hannah in Atlanta turned me on to them because I was telling her that I loved The Hives and The Buzzcocks and she said, ‘Hey, you need to check these guys out,’” he recalled.
Sombre yet somehow soaring thanks to Johnny Marr’s magical guitar work, the track lives up to the title in such a way that raises a proud middle finger to Elvis Costello who once said, “Morrissey writes wonderful song titles, but sadly he often forgets to write the song.” On this occasion, however, with ‘Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me’ he kept things simple and smiled a sorrowful smile in the face of his critics.
In fact, another artist with an eclectic taste, Mr David Bowie, also said that this is his favourite Smiths song. In 1992 he told GQ Magazine: “I still rate Morrissey as one of the best lyricists in Britain.” And beyond the lyricism, there is plenty more on offer in the swirling soundscape of miner’s strike chants and tremolo fretwork.
As Marr once explained of the song: “It’s built around the guitar riff going round and round, the heart of it is the guitar riff but I orchestrated it using a keyboard and string sound. What I love about it is the drama in it – the drama sums up how I was feeling at the time.”
Continuing: “That song got written because at the core of it is a very melancholic and dramatic guitar riff that goes round and round and round. And first and foremost, amongst other particularly melancholic things in the Smiths, I hear myself in that. There’s a side of myself, an introspective side, and probably melancholic side, that comes out because I’m a musician.”
Concluding: “Then I just blew that up musically with a superb performance by the rest of the group and great composition by Morrissey.”