- Audio CD (6 Nov. 2001)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Rhino
- ASIN: B00005R1QH
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,923 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Best of Morrissey Import
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Top Customer Reviews
It would be cool to have every single amazing Morrissey song on one cd but this will be good enough for the time being.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Interesting Drug"?), the lyrics are quirky, funny, touching, and often insightful, the voice unique and (if it happens to capture you) addictive. Don't believe those who say that all Morrissey sounds alike, either, there's a lot of musical variety
here, from the trademark Smiths jingle-jangle guitars to bizarre dance music ("November Spawned a Monster"), glam rock ("Glamorous Glue"), some funky moments ("Sister I'm a Poet," "Interesting Drug"), 50s sock-hop pop ("Sing Your Life"), and torch ("I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday"). Also don't believe those who say he's "miserable"--these tunes are upbeat and the lyrics by and large hopeful and uplifting, though always wittily realistic. Right for Morrissey fans who are less than fanatics and as an introduction to the King of Alternative Rock.
I remember when I first heard Morrissey's music. It was the last year of high school, and I was studying Oscar Wilde in literature. To help me study, I went on the net and searched the P2Ps for "Oscar Wilde", in case there was a reading or performance of one of his works I could download (I don't use that sort of thing these days, mind you). Nothing much came up except for something by a "Morrissey". I downloaded it, and there was a smooth voiced man speaking passionately on it about how incredibly quotable Oscar Wilde is, and how he thought that the upcoming "Importance of Being Earnest Film" was hopefully going to be really big. At the end of the track, there was a snippet of a song sung by Morrissey, singing his heart out. I found out much later the track was "Alma Matters", a kind of an appropriate song lyrically for the last year of high school. At the time, I had no idea, but I wanted to hear more, so I ended up getting a couple of compilations, one from his old band The Smiths, and the other from his solo career. Catchy tunes, witty lyrics, great voice, I quickly became a fan.
A lot of rock listeners prefer The Smiths to Morrissey's solo stuff. Though the quantity of classic tracks is a fair bit higher of a Smiths record than a Morrissey solo CD, I do prefer a good Morrissey solo song to a good Smiths one. The production is brighter, playful and colorful. The band toys with a lot more styles than The Smiths did. Morrissey sounds more like himself too, free to explore his interests more fully in his lyrics, be they "the romance of crime", boxing matches, or the music industry, along with his usual themes of unrequited love, boredom and the struggles of youth. It's a little deeper in its Britishness that the Smiths too (if that makes sense). He's a brilliant lyricist, and in this part of his career it's just as good as it was when he started.
If you're getting into Morrissey, I've got to warn you. Choose the compilation you get carefully. If you like what you hear and want to get more, you will end up with overlap, as Morrissey has rereleased and repackaged his songs in so many different ways. For that reason, I prefer the "Suedehead" compilation, as there are rare tracks there you won't find on any other full length CD.
Here's a rundown of how many of the songs on "The Best of!" you'll find on Morrissey's other full length discs:
3 are on "Viva Hate" (1988)
7 are on "Bona Drag" (1990, compilation)
1 is on "Kill Uncle" (1991)
5 are on "Your Arsenal" (1992)
3 are on "Vauxhall and I" (1994)
2 are on "World of Morrissey" (1995, compilation)
10 are on "Suedehead: The Best of" (1995, compilation)
1 is on "Southpaw Grammar" (1995)
1 is on "Maladjusted" (1997)
1 is on "My Early Burglary Years" (1998, compilation)
1 is on "Rare Tracks" (1998, compilation)
The "rare track" is Lost, a B-side originally from the "Roy's Keen" single. I would have preferred the B-side "I Can Have Both" (one of my favorites, and one Morrissey used to do live often), but "Lost" has grown on me. It's a mid-tempo song with lush production about a skywriter, a pilot of one of those planes that writes things with the smoke. It's well sung, and has some touching lyrics. "Everybody's lost, but pretending they are not." I know what he means...
This compilation comes with a nice thick booklet, which I always like. It contains full lyrics, a few pictures of Morrissey, a lengthy foreword of sorts by Michael Bracewell, speaking very highly of the music and its singer. I think he overanalyses a bit in it, but no matter. Where each song charted in both the UK and US is also listed, which is interesting. ("Lost" peaked at #671 in the UK. Hehe!). I also just notice that Morrissey himself recommends some albums for the listener to check out in the back page of the booklet. (Jobriath, Phil Ochs, The Ramones, Nancy Sinatra and Burt Bacharach). Interesting choices...
If you're looking for a one disc overview of Morrissey, this is probably the best one to get. If you think you may become a fan, (and if you like this, you probably will do) you might want to pick up another compilation (like "Bona Drag" or "Suedehead") to avoid a bit of overlap later.