More reviews of the " Sound of The Smiths"

moz'art girl

oh la la
http://www.musicomh.com/albums/smiths_1108.htm

The Smiths - The Sound Of The Smiths (Rhino)
UK release date: 10 November 2008
4-5 stars


"Stop me if you've heard this one before... and let's face it most of you will have. This is the umpteenth in a long line of Smiths retrospectives. It's safe to assume regular OMH readers will probably already have a space on their CD shelves dedicated to Manchester's finest. But for those of you to whom the phrase "I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear" means nothing, then allow us to educate you.

It's impossible to fathom how song writing worked before The Smiths came along: People lived in the dark ages of inconsequential pop, where music said nothing to anyone about their lives when suddenly Morrissey appeared to shake things up like a slap in the face from a wet daffodil.

The Smiths' songs are actually about something: dealing with everyday people's highs and lows with a unique mixture of empathy and wit. Morrissey is the archetypal boy with a thorn in his side, and despite being elevated to god-like status as soon as he began, he never lost the knack of articulating everyday experience in the most effective terms - mix in several flashes of Wildean wit and you're in a fascinating world of comatose girlfriends and unrequited love, presided over by belligerent headmasters and transvestite clergy.

But poetry alone cannot cement such a reputation and it's important not to forget The Smiths' other musical deity - Johnny Marr. Together they were a real force to be reckoned with and much more than the Lennon and McCartney of maudlin.

Despite being together for a relatively short period, the band's prolific output provide many highlights which more than justify this 2 disc package. It's not surprising to see why compilations like this come along more often than buses. These 45 tracks are set apart from the rest of the herd by being awarded the seal of approval from Marr and Moz. Disc 1 is the complete singles, while Disc 2 contains a heady mix of memorable album tracks and the odd rarity curated by Marr himself.

Their back catalogue is a stunning body of work and arguably each track deserves its own review- It may be only two minutes long but Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want is one of the most perfect songs ever recorded, and the often overlooked Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me still hits like a medicine ball to the stomach.

But it's not all gloom: The anthems There Is A Light The Never Goes Out and Ask make the prospect of imminent death sound bizarrely uplifting, we have squabbling poets in Cemetery Gates and a Vicar In A Tutu puts in an unexpected appearance.

In an era of soulless pop idols, The Smiths still provide an antidote for those marching in the streets chanting "Hang the DJ" in exasperation. If you're unfamiliar with them then we suggest you find a copy straight away. We guarantee you'll like them. If not, you've got no right to take your place with the human race."

Darren Lee


http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-e...ound-of-the-smiths--reissue-rhino-997596.html

Album: The Smiths, The Sound of The Smiths - Reissue, (Rhino)
(Rated 4/ 5 )
Reviewed by Andy Gill
Friday, 7 November 2008

This is the eighth compilation culled from the slim corpus of The Smiths' back catalogue, which is quite some feat given that they only made four studio albums.

What's even more intriguing is that all bar two of the compilations charted in the Top 30, though even the most obsessive Smiths fan must have decided enough was enough by about the third or fourth recycling of the same small hatful of hollow. But here we go again, this time with a package available as either a single album (containing just the hits, augmented by a few non-UK singles), or as a double album, the second disc containing a further 22 tracks drawn from B-sides and live recordings. Amongst the latter are rarities such as a demo version of "Pretty Girls Make Graves", and a live cover of James's "What's The World".

It's the first disc that's pulling this train, however: that unique, piquant combination of Morrissey's blithe aloofness and double-edged, acidly humorous lyrics with Johnny Marr's diverse, precociously African-influenced guitar parts was never better realised than in the likes of "This Charming Man", "Panic", "Girlfriend in a Coma", the iconic "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" and especially "How Soon Is Now", surely the most glaring example of a misjudged B-side in rock history.

Pick of the album:'How Soon is Now', 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now', 'Panic', 'Girlfriend in a Coma', 'This Charming Man'
 

moz'art girl

oh la la
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/sftw/article1902563.ece

THEY called themselves after that most ordinary of British surnames ... Smith.
But there was nothing ordinary about The Smiths, without question the defining indie band of the Eighties.
While contemporaries chose ludicrous names like Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark or Spandau Ballet and performed lightweight synth pop, The Smiths were our reality check.
Singer Morrissey said in a 1984 interview that they had decided on the most ordinary name because it was time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces.

And like all the greats, the Manchester band had elusive chemistry. There was the bequiffed Stephen Patrick Morrissey, who first appeared on Top Of The Pops in a big girl’s blouse with bookworm black glasses clutching a bunch of gladioli. His mournful croon lent itself to fearlessly direct yet eloquent lyrics about lost love and alienation, appealing to the needy depressive in all of us.
He had (and still retains) a romantic, nostalgic, outsider quality that made him a modern successor to the likes of Byron or Oscar Wilde.

Then there was Johnny Marr whose stellar and individual guitar licks gave the band its unique sound. The tremulous howl of How Soon Is Now?, his finest achievement, still sounds as fresh as the day it emerged from the studio in 1985.

And there was the tight and inventive rhythm section featuring Andy Rourke’s distinctive twangy bass and Mike Joyce’s precision drummin
The Smiths lasted just five years (1982-87) and made four consistently brilliant albums for Rough Trade before imploding over Morrissey and Marr’s failure to get on. In that time, they also proved themselves as a fine singles band, with 17 top 50 hits.

There have been good compilations before, notably the early Hatful Of Hollow and the 1987 double album Louder Than The Bombs, but The Sound Of The Smiths, a new 45-track overview, is a welcome reminder of a band whose continued influence puts them in the hallowed company of, say, The Beatles or The Velvet Underground. It comes with official blessing from Morrissey, who chose the album title, and Marr, who supervised the remastering. It covers all the big singles and rounds up an assortment of album tracks, alternate mixes, B-sides and live performances.

The set begins with 1983’s debut single Hand In Glove, urgent and vital, serving notice of a thrilling alternative to synth mush. Staccato beats, jangly guitars, a lonesome harmonica and the singer’s distinctive warble fully formed.
The ensuing succession of wonders includes an immense John Peel session version of What Difference Does It Make?, Morrissey’s signature song Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, the airy tunefulness of The Boy With The Thorn In His Side and who could forget the rollicking Nowhere Fast with lines like I’d like to drop my trousers to The Queen. Included too are the more political songs such as Meat Is Murder’s rallying cry for vegetarianism and social commentaries like The Headmaster Ritual which suggests belligerent ghouls run Manchester schools.

In a recent blog, Marr said he had to be party to the remastering process. It wasn’t going to be done right unless I got involved, he says. And he’s pleased with the results, believing the album will help banish some of the crappy compilations released since the band’s demise.
I’m glad we finally got it sounding right and up to date. I think it’s great that someone who is into great music, and new music, say, can get a Smiths album and check the band out with new ears and see how good it is, because it holds up very well.

Getting it to sound right has made all the difference. You can hear little guitar parts properly that you couldn’t hear before and little keyboard things and sounds that I did that got squeezed out before. You can really hear how good the band were.

The big question is, of course: will the band ever reform? Morrissey once said he’d rather eat his own testicles but Marr has said that stranger things have happened.

While we live in forlorn Morrisseyesque hope, at least we can make do with The Sound Of The Smiths. Heaven knows I’m less miserable now I’ve heard it.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
I wish people would stop using that "Heaven knows...Miserable/Not Miserable Now" line - Jeremy Vine did it, The Times did it about Marr, and this again now. It's getting hackneyed.

Peter
 

Kewpie

Member
Moderator
Subscriber
I wish people would stop using that "Heaven knows...Miserable/Not Miserable Now" line - Jeremy Vine did it, The Times did it about Marr, and this again now. It's getting hackneyed.

Peter

We should bombard complaints to their feedback section. :p
 

vivabob

Ordinary Boy
I wish people would stop using that "Heaven knows...Miserable/Not Miserable Now" line - Jeremy Vine did it, The Times did it about Marr, and this again now. It's getting hackneyed.

Peter

it is become a pain in the arse

We should bombard complaints to their feedback section. :p

but that would involve effort and im sure it would pass
 

Kewpie

Member
Moderator
Subscriber
Re: The Guardian's review of the " Sound of The Smiths"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/nov/07/morrissey-popandrock

For one of Britain's greatest groups, the Smiths' back catalogue is astonishingly ill-served, with no remastered albums or box set. With limited input from Morrissey (the title) and Johnny Marr (remastering), The Sound of the Smiths' first disc tracks the singles' fantastic voyage from maudlin eloquence to black humour and back again, adding a few extra tracks (Still Ill, There Is a Light That Never Goes Out) to 1995's Singles collection. The deluxe edition's extra disc at least tiptoes into a goldmine, allowing rarities such as a live Handsome Devil and Pretty Girls Make Graves (produced by Troy Tate) on to CD for the first time. There are some stellar B-sides - the misfit anthem Half a Person, the chilling suicide hymn Asleep, the mandolin-drenched Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want- but these have all appeared on previous compilations, and I Keep Mine Hidden is notable by its absence. This is no treasure trove, but it works well as a definitive overview.

Dave Simpson
 

egosheep

Member
Re: More reviews of the " Sound of The Smiths"

Johnny Marr's diverse, precociously African-influenced guitar parts was never better realised than in the likes of "This Charming Man", "Panic", "Girlfriend in a Coma", the iconic "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" and especially "How Soon Is Now", surely the most glaring example of a misjudged B-side in rock history.

Whaaat?

"I'm not an avid follower of African music, but I've heard plenty of stuff that I really like. I'm interested in how highlife and I come together, because unintentionally, I'm a very highlify player. I guess I like really overstated melody."

- Johnny Marr
________
SR250
 
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