What’s the point of ‘The World Won’t Listen’?

the_kaz

Active Member
I completely understand what the original point of this compilation was, but what I’ve wondered for a long time is why it’s still in print, and why it was included with the rest of the re-masters in ‘Complete’. It seems pretty redundant when you also have the far superior ‘Louder than Bombs’. So, why is it still around? And, does anybody here still listen to it?
 
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Skylarker

Guest
I completely understand what the original point of this compilation was, but what I’ve wondered for a long time is why it’s still in print, and why it was included with the rest of the re-masters in ‘Complete’. It seems pretty redundant when you also have the far superior ‘Louder than Bombs’. So, why is it still around? And, does anybody here still listen to it?
Great question.

Yes, it is in retrospect redundant...mainly to Americans. In Britain, The World Won't Listen was a much more concise, post 1984 roundup of singles and b-sides...you didn't need the Hatful of Hollow tracks; we did. Once Louder Than Bombs became available where you guys are, yeah, I could see The World Won't Listen seeming somewhat superfluous. But originally, it was a great idea.

It's got the alternate (and superior) take of Stretch Out and Wait...it's got the single versions of The Boy With The Thorn In His Side and You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby.

It's got a better sleeve? Shit, I don't know.

I think it's included in the box set because it was a part of their original-run catalog. Very simple answer.
 

markreed

Member
There is no point. RT really should have treated TWWL and LTB as one record, put out one record, and used it to create the "Album After Queen Is Dead" that Rough Trade squandered. All the songs/singles in the post QID period of 86-87 were, if we are honest, the album that The Smiths made that was then shattered into fragments and thrown across b-sides in an act of hamfisted record company f***wittery that makes EMI's "Bona Drag" period seem competent. On my computer, it's called "Louder Than Bombs" and has a recompiled version of that album with the redundant rubbish that is on the previous albums sliced off as the fat it is. Honestly, I wouldn't mind if Moz did play revisionism with those two records.
 

Rowntree

New Member
I think The World Won't Listen was released in the UK where as Louder Than Bombs was released in the US. I don't know we got one and the US got the other, I bought an import Louder Than Bombs at the time. Either way, I think The World Won't Listen is fantastic. No complaints from me. I'd cut back on the singles/greatest hits before that album.

I'm not sure that Rough Trade were responsible for the strong b-sides, more that The Smiths barely made a weak song and they released new songs as b-sides rather than album tracks which I think is something to be commended.
 
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cornelius blaze

Boychild mustn't tremble!
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Orson Swells

Well-Known Member
After all, Louder Than Bombs was released a month later than The World Won't Listen.

At the time, pre-Internet, pre-Youtube, it was incredibly difficult to get hold of or even hear the Smiths singles and b-sides.They always disappeared from the shops . I hadn't even heard Shakespeare's Sister until I got World Won't Listen. They were gaining lots of new fans very quickly who wouldn't know most of the b-sides and wouldn't be able to hear or buy them. So it was like a new LP to many. It's a great compilation only slightly marred (Marred?) by the inclusion of The Queen Is Dead tracks - which seemed unnecessary even at the time. The sequencing of the second side is brilliantly done.

I'm staggered to learn that Sire released Louder Than Bombs in March in the US. If so, it was released ahead of the Sheila single - which means that song and it's b-sides were available the month before their official release in the Uk. I didn't know that. I think it was officially out in May in the UK - to avoid pricey imports, they said. The inclusion of the Sheila songs on Bombs does give it the edge as an album, but I like both. Side one is particularly great, I think.

It's easy to be cynical about them now, but at the time they felt absolutely necessary.
 

Qvist

Active Member
I completely understand what the original point of this compilation was, but what I’ve wondered for a long time is why it’s still in print, and why it was included with the rest of the re-masters in ‘Complete’. It seems pretty redundant when you also have the far superior ‘Louder than Bombs’. So, why is it still around? And, does anybody here still listen to it?

I rather see LTB as redundant, a hopeless and overlong bundle of songs from different stages of the band's development.
 

SparkleBoy

worships Johnny Thunders
It's easy to be cynical about them now, but at the time they felt absolutely necessary.

A perfect sentence. You can't judge the logic of the release outside of a 1987 context.
 

peptastic

New Member
I think The World Won't Listen was released in the UK where as Louder Than Bombs was released in the US. I don't know we got one and the US got the other, I bought an import Louder Than Bombs at the time. Either way, I think The World Won't Listen is fantastic. No complaints from me. I'd cut back on the singles/greatest hits before that album.

I'm not sure that Rough Trade were responsible for the strong b-sides, more that The Smiths barely made a weak song and they released new songs as b-sides rather than album tracks which I think is something to be commended.

True!
I always felt that about The Smiths and The Cure's early stuff which made it a good buy to get their bsides and unreleased stuff.

I consider both albums worthy.
 

the_kaz

Active Member
Oh, I totally understand what the point of TWWL was in the context of when it was released. Skylarker's comment that it was probably "included in the box set because it was a part of their original-run catalog" makes sense too (I didn't think about that before). But I still wonder why it always stayed in print. Why would anybody (except for a completest, or somebody who just doesn't know what they're doing) buy it when LTB is right there on the shelf too? I would have thought that it would have been deleted as soon as LTB was released in the U.K., but it has preserved all this time and even gained a critically acclaimed re-master job.
 
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