In mathematics, the rank of a linear map between one vector space and another is the dimension of the image, or the number of linearly independent rows or columns in the matrix of the mapping.

1. An unsuccessful crime, especially one caused by interference during commission; a thwarting of plans. 2. Notice. 3. To frustrate or ruin the execution of a crime by blunder or intention. 4. To betray; to double-cross.

- american underworld dictionary - 1950
In chess, a horizontal row.

See also: file.

In card games this is one of the two terms used to describe a card's value. Each card has both a rank and a suit.

For example, the "queen of hearts" has a rank of "queen" and a suit of "hearts". In most games the cards are ranked from low to high in the following order: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,jack,queen,king,ace.

Games where the ace is the lowest card: Rummy and Gin Rummy. The ace is always high in Hearts and Spades. In Poker it can be either high or low.

The column rank of a matrix is the dimension of the space spanned by its columns; the row rank of a matrix is the dimension of the space spanned by its rows. Row and column ranks are always equal, so that the term "rank" is unambiguous. A non-square matrix is said to be of full rank if it has the maximal possible rank, that is, the lesser of its dimensions. To be invertible (or non-singular), a square matrix must be of full rank.

"All those people, all those lives, where are they now? Here was a woman who once lived and loved, full of the same passions, fears, jealousies, hates. And what remains of it now ... I want to cry." - The Man Who Came To Dinner

While The Smiths were only a band for a few brief years in the 1980s - they had already ceased to be when Strangeways, Here We Come was released - they were famously prolific, releasing a total of four studio LPs, three compliations, and seventeen singles. Whilst Morrissey has since continued as a solo artist, and Johnny Marr has worked with numerous bands such as The The, there was still in 1988 a desire for more releases from Manchester's finest.

The '88 release of Rank provides an opportunity for us to hear The Smiths at their peak, a live recording that, whilst incomplete, shows just why they are so well loved. Whilst bootlegs of their live shows are by no means unheardof, Rank is a well-produced recording of the quality you would expect from an official release, and is notable for being a recording of the group as a fivesome: Craig Gannon, who joined the group when Andy Rourke was unceremoniously ousted due to his problems with heroin. (Rourke was promptly reinstated and features here, too.)

Rank was recorded during the tours to promote The Queen Is Dead, and so naturally features plenty of songs from that 'era'. The track listing used on the album here is not the full set, however, instead being chosen by Morrissey (with Marr's approval).

Track listing

  1. The Queen Is Dead - A thunderous opening song, even stronger than the already-powerful introduction to the eponymous LP it was taken from. The drums in particular drive this song onward, whilst Marr and Gannon's guitars play as if possessed, Moz's vocals interspersed with growls, yips and barks. As was common with live Smiths performances, Morrissey changes some of the lyrics, adding the line "You can trust me, boys". "I said Charles, don't you ever crave / To appear on the front of the Daily Mail / Dressed in your mother's bridal veil?" (Taken from "The Queen Is Dead")
  2. Panic - 'That Joyce character' holds the tempo for a few bars with strong, tribal drumming, before the guitars kick in and one of the group's classic singles begins, performed similarly to the studio version (but no worse for't). Morrissey certainly sounds to be enjoying himself as he implores the audience to hang the DJ! "Burn down the disco / Hang the blessed DJ / Because the music that they constantly play / It says nothing to me about my life" (1986 single, reaching no. 11)
  3. Vicar in a Tutu - The second track from The Queen Is Dead, and the second track to sound remarkably like its studio recording, but again a fine track to hear. Marr's famously delicate melody meets Morrissey's wonderfully inflected vocals. "Vicar in a tutu / Is not strange / He just wants to live his life this way" (Taken from "The Queen Is Dead")
  4. Ask - "This is our new single... ASK!" One of the singles Gannon recorded with the group, this is an upbeat and charming song about one lover asking the other to talk to him. Overall the performance is nigh-on perfect, the guitars working beautifully together and the rhythm section holding it all together fantastically. "'Cause if it's not love, then it's the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb that will bring us together" (1986 single, reaching no. 14)
  5. Marie's The Name (His Latest Flame) / Rusholme Ruffians - Starting off as an off-key Rusholme Ruffians, Morrissey begins with a couple of verses from a Pomus & Shuman song, before they neatly slide into the second track from Meat Is Murder. A fast-paced and excited song, it very much keeps the pace set by Ask. "I might walk home alone / But my faith in love is still devout" (Second song in the medley taken from "Meat Is Murder")
  6. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side - One of the most beautiful songs The Smiths had released, delivered live with a nigh-on perfect Marr melody and excellent vocals from Moz, occasionally using his oh-so-dangerous (and all too rare!) growl."The boy with the thorn in his side / Behind the hatred there lies a murderous desire for love..." (Taken from "The Queen Is Dead")
  7. Rubber Ring / What She Said - Beginning with the gentle, Clash-esque (think "Jimmy Jazz") riff of "Rubber Ring", a snarl from Morrissey leads into a frantic rendition of "What She Said", another track from Meat Is Murder which drives on at high tempo and with a typically energetic performance from Johnny Marr - before smoothly sliding into "Rubber Ring" again, not slowing down or showing any signs of planning to. Great stuff. "What she said / 'How come nobody's noticed that I'm dead / And decided to bury me? / God knows I'm ready" " ("Rubber Ring" taken from the B-side of "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side", "What She Said" from the album "Meat Is Murder")
  8. Is It Really So Strange? - Another catchy, upbeat song that sounds very close to the studio version. A rather unremarkable track, although as with most of the Smiths' material, this is no condemnation. "I left the North again / I travelled South again / I got confused, I killed a Nun / I can't help the way I feel" (Taken from the B-side to "Sheila Take A Bow")
  9. Cemetry Gates - This gentle, elegant song of plagiarism (whilst gleefully appropriating a few choice quotes itself) returns to The Queen Is Dead with a performance that sounds as good as you could possibly expect it to. One of the highlights of the LP gets the full star treatment for this performance. "You say 'Long done do does did' / Words which could only be your own / Then produce the text / From whence was ripped / (Some dizzy whore, 1804)" (Taken from "The Queen Is Dead")
  10. London - Raw, aggressive and loud - a total departure from the previous song's intricate melody booms out as another single-quality B-side takes the limelight. The two guitars of Gannon and Marr work effectively here, the former providing a strong rhythm with Joyce and Rourke whilst the latter assaults his strings. Pretty good, if you ask me. "You left / Your tired family greaving / And you think they're sad because you're leaving" (Taken from the B-side of "Shoplifters of the World Unite")
  11. I Know It's Over - A quiet, mournful song, again completely shifting the mood and style away from the song previous. In another standout song from The Queen Is Dead, here it becomes a nearly 8-minute long plea, a perfect example of Morrissey's lyricism at its finest. Even when both guitars are playing it never sounds raucous or even loud, merely becoming yet more despairing. "It's so easy to laugh / It's so easy to hate / It takes strength to be gentle and kind / Over, over, over, over" (Taken from "The Queen Is Dead")
  12. The Draize Train - Yes, yes, yes! Smiths instrumentals were a relative rarity, and it is with glee that I listened to this live version of one of Marr's finest composition. Its place on this LP is largely considered to be a gesture of goodwill from Morrissey to Marr - since it was an entirely Johnny Marr-written composition, The Moz gets no royalties from it. The song itself? Sublime. (Taken from the B-side to "Panic")
  13. Still Ill - Classic Smiths here, going all the way back to their first LP for one of their most polished live songs. Sadly lacking Johnny Marr's harmonica (which I've always felt leant a little something extra to the version found on Hatful of Hollow), the song still comes off as raw and as vital as it did back in 1984, with an extended introduction that gladly pulls you in. "And if you must go to work tomorrow / Well, if I were you, I wouldn't bother / Because there are brighter sides to life / And I should know, because I've seen them / Oh but not often" (Taken from "The Smiths")
  14. Bigmouth Strikes Again - Hell of a way to end a performance. Bigmouth rounds off the LP with a charged, rocky version of a firm favourite from The Queen Is Dead, the two guitars working brilliantly again here behind Morrissey's strong vocal (including more growling!). No sped-up parts in the chorus; just The Smiths as you've always wanted to hear them. "Bigmouth strikes again / I've got no right to take my place in the human race / And now I know how Joan of Arc felt" (Taken from "The Queen Is Dead")

On initial inspection there's little to fault from this collection. Well worth the price for The Draize Train alone, the album features songs from each era of the band's existance bar Strangeways, Here We Come, though "Sheila Take A Bow" would be released only a few months before "Girlfriend in a Coma".

However, there are some glaring omissions. Having been substantially cut down from the original 21-track set, why do we have a merely unremarkable version of "Is It Really So Strange?" instead of the unparalleled quality of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"? While the transitions between tracks is for the most part smooth, there are times when it is glaringly obvious two tracks have been spliced together; likewise, it's clear where the two sides of the vinyl LP fell, due to the simple fade out/in of tracks 7 and 8.

For all these faults, however, nothing beats hearing the band playing live, and if you're not willing to go the bootleg route (or even own them all already), this makes a fine purchase indeed.

Rank (?), a. [Compar. Ranker (?); superl. Rankest.] [AS. ranc strong, proud; cf. D. rank slender, Dan. rank upright, erect, Prov. G. rank slender, Icel. rakkr slender, bold. The meaning seems to have been influenced by L. rancidus, E. rancid.]


Luxuriant in growth; of vigorous growth; exuberant; grown to immoderate height; as, rank grass; rank weeds.

And, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.

Gen. xli. 5.


Raised to a high degree; violent; extreme; gross; utter; as, rank heresy.

"Rank nonsense." Hare.

"I do forgive thy rankest fault." Shak.


Causing vigorous growth; producing luxuriantly; very rich and fertile; as, rank land.



Strong-scented; rancid; musty; as, oil of a rank smell;

rank-smelling rue.



Strong to the taste.

"Divers sea fowls taste rank of the fish on which they feed."



Inflamed with venereal appetite.



Rank modus Law, an excessive and unreasonable modus. See Modus, 3. -- To set (the iron of a plane, etc.) rank, to set so as to take off a thick shaving. Moxon.


© Webster 1913.

Rank, adv.

Rankly; stoutly; violently.


That rides so rank and bends his lance so fell.


© Webster 1913.

Rank, n. [OE. renk, reng, OF. renc, F. rang, fr. OHG. hring a circle, a circular row, G. ring. See Ring, and cf. Range, n. & v.]


A row or line; a range; an order; a tier; as, a rank of osiers.

Many a mountain nigh
Rising in lofty ranks, and loftier still.

2. Mil.

A line of soldiers ranged side by side; -- opposed to file. See 1st File, 1 (a).

Fierce, fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war.


Grade of official standing, as in the army, navy, or nobility; as, the rank of general; the rank of admiral.


An aggregate of individuals classed together; a permanent social class; an order; a division; as, ranks and orders of men; the highest and the lowest ranks of men, or of other intelligent beings.


Degree of dignity, eminence, or excellence; position in civil or social life; station; degree; grade; as, a writer of the first rank; a lawyer of high rank.

These all are virtues of a meaner rank.


Elevated grade or standing; high degree; high social position; distinction; eminence; as, a man of rank.

Rank and file. (a) Mil. The whole body of common soldiers, including also corporals. In a more extended sense, it includes sergeants also, excepting the noncommissioned staff.<-- analogously, the lowest ranking members of any organization --> (b) See under 1st File. -- The ranks, the order or grade of common soldiers; as, to reduce a noncommissioned officer to the ranks. -- To fill the ranks, to supply the whole number, or a competent number. -- To take rank of, to have precedence over, or to have the right of taking a higher place than. <-- pull rank, to insist on one's own prerogative or plan of action, by right of a higher rank than that of one suggesting a different plan -->


© Webster 1913.

Rank, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ranked (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Ranking,]


To place abreast, or in a line.


To range in a particular class, order, or division; to class; also, to dispose methodically; to place in suitable classes or order; to classify.

Ranking all things under general and special heads.
I. Watts.

Poets were ranked in the class of philosophers.

Heresy is ranked with idolatry and witchcraft.
Dr. H. More.


To take rank of; to outrank.



© Webster 1913.

Rank, v. i.


To be ranged; to be set or disposed, an in a particular degree, class, order, or division.

Let that one article rank with the rest.


To have a certain grade or degree of elevation in the orders of civil or military life; to have a certain degree of esteem or consideration; as, he ranks with the first class of poets; he ranks high in public estimation.


© Webster 1913.

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