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Alternative & Indie - Released February 15, 1988 | WM UK

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 1993 | WM UK

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 20, 2017 | Rhino

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
For their third album, The Smiths are at the top of their game: a tortured crooning voice, crystalline arpeggios seeping from a limpid guitar, romantic and cynical lyrics, everything’s gathered for some 100% British pop, like The Kinks, The Who and The Jam knew how to create in their day… The Queen Is Dead, Bigmouth Strikes Again, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out and Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others are all introspective gems that the charismatic Morrissey transforms into pure poetry. Teenage worries, social paintings, subtle caricatures, Mozzer dips his pen here in the ink of perfection. © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 1993 | WM UK

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2001 | WM UK

Distinctions The Absolute Sound: Best Reissued Releases Of The Year
First off, no, this box set doesn’t contain the Complete Smiths, not even in its super-deluxe edition containing vinyl replicas of the group’s singles and LPs. Stray B-sides don’t appear here, nor do the scrapped sessions for the first album and a few other heavily bootlegged numbers, but what is here are sterling remasters -- allegedly supervised by Johnny Marr -- of the band’s four albums, three compilations, and lone live album, all released during the band’s exceedingly brief lifespan. What matters is that the remastering is exceptional, the best comparison being the Beatles 2009 remasters, where layers of grime seemed to be removed from familiar recordings, so the songs sounded vibrant and alive, yet didn’t sound tweaked, buttressed, or burnished for a new millennium. That is what makes The Complete Smiths essential: no surprises in terms of material, but the presentation is exquisite, sounding familiar and fresh, a stunning re-presentation of records that were teetering on the edge of over-familiarity. Guitars and vocals pop equally, the original mixes simply brightened, a task harder to achieve than it is to imagine, the music sounding part of its time yet easily transcending it. Far from a vulgar picture, this is what Smiths fans have been waiting years for. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 1993 | WM UK

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 1993 | WM UK

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2001 | WM UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2001 | WM UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2001 | WM UK

Several months after releasing their first album, the Smiths issued the singles and rarities collection Hatful of Hollow, establishing a tradition of repackaging their material as many times and as quickly as possible. While several cuts on Hatful of Hollow are BBC versions of songs from The Smiths, the versions on the compilation are nervy and raw -- and they're also not the selling point of the record. The Smiths treated singles as individual entities, not just ways to promote an album, and many of their finest songs were never issued on their studio albums. Hatful of Hollow contains many of these classics, including the sweet rush of "William, It Was Really Nothing," and the sardonic "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now," the tongue-in-cheek lament of "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want," the wistful "Back to the Old House," "Girl Afraid," and the pulsating, tremolo-laced masterpiece "How Soon Is Now?" With such strong material forming the core of the album, it's little wonder that Hatful of Hollow is as consistent as The Smiths and arguably captures the excitement surrounding the band even better. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2001 | WM UK

A compilation of singles, B-sides, album tracks, and BBC sessions assembled for the American market, Louder Than Bombs is an overlong and unfocused collection that nevertheless boasts a wealth of brilliant material. Since Hatful of Hollow was unavailable in the U.S. at the time of the release of Louder Than Bombs, this compilation contains large chunks of that album, as well as several cuts from The Smiths, which makes the record a little redundant for most Smiths fans. Also, Louder Than Bombs contains some of the worst material the group ever recorded, including the bland instrumental "Oscillate Wildly" and a cover of Twinkle's "Golden Light." Excluding all of this material, the remainder of the record is brilliant. The singles "Shakespeare's Sister," "Panic," "Ask," "Shoplifters of the World Unite," and "Sheila Take a Bow" are all definitive, as are the elegiac "Unloveable," "Asleep," "Stretch Out and Wait," and "Half a Person," which are all unavailable anywhere else (excluding the British counterpart to Louder Than Bombs, The World Won't Listen). Furthermore, the sneering, bouncing pop of "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" and the bizarre travelogue of "Is It Really So Strange?" are two other essential songs not available anywhere else. Though The World Won't Listen is a more concise collection, Louder Than Bombs is a necessary purchase for any Smiths fan. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2001 | WM UK

For many Smiths fans, Rank is as close as they will get to a live performance from Morrissey, Johnny Marr, and company. Recorded live at The National Ballroom in London in October of 1986, roughly six months before they disbanded altogether, these 14 songs capture the Smiths performing in full-on rock-star mode. Though Grant Showbiz's production and engineering work consistently places Morrissey's voice too loud in respect to the rest of the band, the performance is suitably epic, hit-packed, and engrossing. Morrissey is in fine form, randomly trilling and squawking throughout, providing enough cocky banter and personality that the fact that he's nearly out of breath for half the performance doesn't put a damper on the festivities. Highlights abound: the opening shot of "The Queen Is Dead" bristles with emotion and post-punk fury; "Vicar in a Tutu" sees an energized Morrissey employing interesting, bizarre vocal inflections and a series of endearing growls; "I Know It's Over" is perhaps more harrowing and brittle here than anywhere else in the band's discography, as Morrissey surrenders to emotion while the soil falls over his head. It's hard to tell if Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke were having their best nights, since their contributions are buried deeper in the mix than would seem appropriate. Somehow, Johnny Marr's distinctive, manic jangle manages to escape the production and demand attention, especially on his solo creation "The Draize Train." Still, one has to wonder why "The Draize Train" was included over such staples as "How Soon Is Now," "I Want the One I Can't Have," and the eight other songs that were recorded during the concert but not included on the album. Perhaps they weren't seen as worthy representations, but there is certainly additional time left available on the CD edition, where at least two or three more songs could have been added. It really would be interesting to see how the band tackled "Meat Is Murder," "How Soon Is Now," and "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" that night. Absolute completists might want to track down the bootleg recording ...The Bad Boy From a Good Family, which presents the National Ballroom concert in a more complete light. Rank is an essential part of any Smiths fan's collection, and it's an enlightening live peek at a foursome who many deem the greatest band of the 1980s, and more than a few others deem the last great band period. ~ Tim DiGravina
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 11, 2008 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Depending on your count, The Sound of the Smiths is the third or fourth posthumous Smiths compilation -- a number that may be a bit excessive considering the group's rather concise catalog, containing just four studio albums and singles rounded up on three singles compilations (and two of those covered the same essential territory, too). That's a lot of repetition but whether it's taken in either its single-disc or double-disc deluxe editions, The Sound of the Smiths is the best of these posthumous overviews. The single-disc -- which is the first disc of the deluxe set -- is the hits disc, containing every cut from the 18-track 1995 compilation Singles and expanding it with five cuts all dating from the mid-'80s: "Still Ill," "Nowhere Fast," "Barbarism Begins at Home," "The Headmaster Ritual," and "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby." As a Smiths-basics goes, it's first-rate, an introduction and summary that's compulsively listenable. The second disc on the deluxe The Sound of the Smiths splits the difference between a rarities compilation and a "more of the best" collection of album tracks, rounding up non-LP singles and B-sides like "Jeane," "Wonderful Woman," "Money Changes Everything," and the New York Vocal version of "This Charming Man," live versions of "Handsome Devil," "Meat Is Murder," "What's the World?" and "London," the Troy Tate demo of "Pretty Girls Make Graves," and a bunch of great Smiths songs including a hefty chunk of The Queen Is Dead. It falls short of being the long-awaited collection of Smiths rarities, the absence of which remains a mystery, but it's the best stab at one to date and a pretty entertaining listen in its own right. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 20, 2017 | Rhino

For their third album, The Smiths are at the top of their game: a tortured crooning voice, crystalline arpeggios seeping from a limpid guitar, romantic and cynical lyrics, everything’s gathered for some 100% British pop, like The Kinks, The Who and The Jam knew how to create in their day… The Queen Is Dead, Bigmouth Strikes Again, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out and Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others are all introspective gems that the charismatic Morrissey transforms into pure poetry. Teenage worries, social paintings, subtle caricatures, Mozzer dips his pen here in the ink of perfection... This Deluxe Edition published on October 20, 2017, thirty years after the release of The Queen Is Dead, offers a new master as well as two bonus discs. The first one is filled with demos, alternate takes and B-sides. The second one offers a very frantic live, recorded in Boston, at the Great Woods Center For The Performing Arts, on August 5, 1986. © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2001 | WM UK

In 1987, Rough Trade released two collections of singles and B-sides by the Smiths. The U.S. audience saw the release of Louder Than Bombs, which collected 24 assorted tracks. British fans were handed The World Won't Listen, with 16 tracks. Most ardent fans of the band obviously gobbled up both releases. The 13 shared tracks across the two albums are "Panic," "Ask," "London," "Shakespeare's Sister," "Shoplifters of the World Unite," "Asleep," "Unloveable," "Half a Person," "Stretch Out and Wait," "Golden Lights," "Oscillate Wildly," "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby," and "Rubber Ring." That means there are three tracks here that aren't included on Louder Than Bombs, and there are 11 tracks on Louder Than Bombs that aren't included here. Going into the merits of the tracks isn't necessary; there's not a clunker to be found in the Smiths's discography. The funny, annoying, and/or incredible thing about both the Smiths and Morrissey is that so many songs (singles or B-sides) make appearances on so many different albums. Any die-hard fan of the Smiths is going to want or need both albums, just to have a complete collection of releases (not songs). Even then, there's going to be much repetition across the actual full-length albums and best-of collections. If an album called "The Bombs Won't Listen" or "Louder Than the World" was to be released tomorrow, there'd be an audience for it; granted, it would be a smaller audience than in the heyday of the Smiths. Many people consider the Morrissey/Marr duo to be the last great songwriting team; any release by the Smiths is indispensable to this audience. A casual fan in the U.S. might due well to simply pick up Louder Than Bombs, since The World Won't Listen's additional tracks ("Bigmouth Strikes Again," "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out," "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side," and "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore") are all found on the major, full-length releases of the band, thus paying for the price of the import might not be justified. ~ Tim DiGravina
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2001 | WM UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2001 | WM UK

Alternative & Indie - Released August 7, 2017 | Rhino

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 25, 2017 | Rhino

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Rock - Released July 19, 2017 | Rhino

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