On May 13th, 1983, The Smiths released their debut single “Hand In Glove”. The song was written in January of that year between the first and third concert the band ever performed.
It is said that after receiving a demo tape from his song writing partner Johnny Marr, Morrissey quickly wrote the lyrics within the span of two hours, leading to the track being recorded in February at Strawberry Studios in Stockport, the same studio where Joy Division recorded “Love Will Tear Us Apart” three years earlier.
The song’s lyrics describes a gay relationship in which it is commented on how people would react seeing the pair together in public. This an obvious reference to Morrissey’s thinly veiled sexuality, in which “Hand In Glove” is the first of many songs written by the Mancunian singer about being a gay man, for example: “Lucky Lisp”, “Piccadilly Palare”, “Hairdresser on Fire”, etc.
As further evidence of the track being a gay love song, is the controversial sleeve featuring a muscular man with the exposed buttocks of model George O’Mara by photographer Jim French.
!Hand In Glove” was later remixed as an album track for The Smiths 1984 self titled debut, and covered by 1960s era singer Sandie Shaw with The Smiths as her backing band that same year.