What becomes clear to me after listening to all this is how the band made the right call almost every time. For years, not hearing these unreleased versions, but always being reminded of their existence, always seemed to hint that the official releases were conservative and dull.
Now that I've heard them, I can say that part of the genius of The Smiths was taking the right course in the studio. The demos show experimentation and even expose some of the weaknesses of the band, but the versions that ultimately ended up on official release were great versions.
The story of The Smiths has already been etched in stone, and hearing these incomplete and alternate recordings don't detract from my impressions of the band, they only remind me how good they were.