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The Smiths Complete [Box set, Original recording remastered]

The Smiths Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
Price: 50.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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THE SMITHS

Contrived by Johnny Marr, The Smiths evolved when Marr unearthed Morrissey and insisted upon a collaboration. The idea was to produce songs which were always instantaneous and listenable whilst also provoking deep thought; emeshing Morrissey’s words with Marr’s music in a sound which, above all, would stand apart without being inaccessible or esoteric. The ... Read more in Amazon's The Smiths Store

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The Smiths Complete + The HMV/Parlophone Singles 1988-1995
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Sep 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 8
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B005DKLPQ0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,425 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

CD Description

Complete is the ultimate The Smiths remasters collection, lovingly reworked by Johnny Marr and Rhino UK. It includes all four of the band's studio albums: The Smiths (1984), Meat Is Murder (1985), The Queen Is Dead (1986), Strangeways, Here We Come (1987); their sole live album Rank (1988); as well as firm fan favourite compilations Hatful Of Hollow (1984), The World Won’t Listen (1987) and Louder Than Bombs (1987).

Each album has been taken back to original tape sources and remastered by master-engineer Frank Arkwright, assisted by Johnny Marr at the Metropolis Studios in London.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully-Priced Remastered Collection 4 Oct 2011
By Chankos
Format:Audio CD
Good news for Smiths fans: these long-overdue remasters are a genuine improvement over the "brickwalled" disaster of 2008's "The Sound Of The Smiths" compilation. Perhaps inevitably, they are louder than the previous WEA editions, but they are also richer and tighter, with considerably more bottom end.

The BBC session tracks on "Hatful Of Hollow" are particularly powerful. As trite as it sounds, listening to the newly-polished "What Difference Does It Make" or "Reel Around The Fountain" really is the nearest you will get to being in the same room as The Smiths. Yet perhaps the most revelatory of all the albums is "Strangeways Here We Come". The anaemic mastering of the previous CD issue is replaced by a beautifully open and solid soundstage which allows the final "rockier" incarnation of the band to shine through. "Death Of A Disco Dancer", "I Started Something..." and "Last Night I Dreamt..." are especially authoritative.

But it's not all bombast. A myriad of subtler details emerge time and again across these albums. Marr's fingerpicking on the achingly beautiful acoustic version of "Back To The Old House" has never sounded so crystalline. The synthesized strings throughout "The Queen Is Dead" now have considerably more depth. It's thrilling to hear tracks you've listened to for so many years suddenly offer up a wealth of secrets.

The slight downside, to these ears, is a certain over-emphasis on the high frequencies. I found this particularly noticeable on the eponymous debut, where Mike Joyce's hi-hats occasionally sound quite shrill. This is also evident on other "bright" tracks such as "I Want The One I Can't Have" and "Cemetry Gates". These CDs are not "brickwalled" but could have been allowed a little more room to breathe.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
When I revisit these songs, nothing has changed; I still get shivers at the beauty of `There Is A Light', can't help grooving in my lazy boy chair when I hear the rubbery bass line of `Barbarism Begins At Home', feel nostalgic before my time listening to `Rubber Ring' and uncomfortable yet fixated when sitting through `Suffer Little Children'. I've spun all the studio albums this morning for the first time in years, and the good news is they all hold up remarkably well. `The Smiths' is a debut that's lyrical and musical beauty is only enhanced by its minimalist, despairing feel. `Meat Is Murder' still rocks out physically and moves you emotionally in equal measure. `The Queen Is Dead' is still a masterpiece. `Strangeways' is still a jangly and underrated, full of hooks and great guitar work. Of course, The Smiths were just as much about the B-Sides and singles that didn't make it to the album, and they're all here in their various permutations, spruced up and sounding great.

So the music is still wonderful, that should surprise nobody. The boxset itself? Well, let's just say I wished I could afford the 250 deluxe set, with all the vinyl and notes and extras. There's nothing wrong with this box, but it feels painfully low budget compared to the sprawling, deluxe package, which I guess is the point. All the vinyl sleeves are repeated here in miniature, and you even get the poster with Rank, so it's still nicely put together. One disappointment is the lack of sleeve notes, with just a small booklet with a short piece. Still, not sure you can complain about the price.

The remastering is a mixed bag. If this doesn't sound better than the old vinyl, where the warmth and depth of the music still shines through the most, there's a worthwhile improvement on the original CD releases.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come back to the old house 30 Sep 2011
By nigeyb
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Smiths soundtracked my mid 1980s. At the time, I lived with a Smiths fanatic who discovered them having seen them support The Fall at the Rock Garden, London in 1983. He corresponded with Morrissey during their early years, and diligently recorded each radio Session, therefore my indoctrination into the wonderful world of The Smiths was complete before they'd even released a record. The Smiths were, of course, completely wonderful. At the time they were a breath of fresh air and, in common with an extremely short list of artists, didn't put a foot wrong during their far-too-short lifespan. Needless to say, I bought every album and every single on the day of release, and saw them live on many occasions. So, as you'll realise, I am very familiar with these songs, love each and every one of them, and regard them as old friends.

That said, until yesterday - when my copy of this box set arrived - I only ever owned these recordings on vinyl. Each album has been remastered by Johnny Marr. I am not much of an audiophile, but the sound is great. The original production on the first album was a let down - and the new mix is the revelation here. It has been transformed. The bass and drums are now to the fore and it's a much more satisfying listen and a big improvement. Hatful Of Hollow, the collection of BBC radio sessions, also sounds better - more vital and slightly beefier. I cannot discern any great difference on the other albums - suffice it to say, and you probably won't need me to tell you this, they all still sound splendid. A wonderful, wonderful pop group the like of which only comes once in a generation.

The packaging was always important to the band and was another of the many factors that contributed to their excellence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars faultless
I have been a smiths fan from day dot and already had 98% of these. But i was dying to hear the remastered versions. Read more
Published 15 days ago by rikki challis
5.0 out of 5 stars very happy all the tracks in one place.
Brought as a present for a smith's fan, very happy not much more that can be said, all the tracks in one place.
Published 1 month ago by Richard Fry
3.0 out of 5 stars Most Overrated Band Ever?
What is all the fuss about? I don't think I have ever pressed the skip button on a series of albums as much as I did with this. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Johns
5.0 out of 5 stars The one collection to rule them all!
I'm a newly found Smiths fan, and I had owned "The Sound of The Smiths" album and bought it out of sheer chance, as I had heard that they had so much hype back in the 80's. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Moorhouse
5.0 out of 5 stars the smith complete
Bought this item for someone who is really into the smiths and they were really happy with the set as they have been after one for a while. The item arrived very quickly thank you.
Published 8 months ago by Julie Prosser
5.0 out of 5 stars Husband's Birthday Present
This has every song my husband loves and more. My husband is a huge Smiths fan and it takes him back to his youth.
Published 8 months ago by SNS
5.0 out of 5 stars The Smiths Complete is indeed complete
I have been aware of the Smiths for many years of course, but they were never really a band that I would rush out and add to my collection. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Peter Holding
5.0 out of 5 stars Repackage, Remaster and a varying price
The Repackage is just business, I would have preferred jewel cases but hey cardboard LP sleeve replicas will do. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Another life improved because of The Smiths
I bought this not as a die-hard avid fan, more of a casual listener who knew a few of The Smiths songs. I thought it was a gamble purchasing it, but wow it's paid off. Read more
Published 9 months ago by jonnye29
5.0 out of 5 stars Isn't Auto-Rip briliant?
I prefer to physically own a CD but tend to listen to anything I buy through my PC. So Auto-Rip for an 8CD set is a definite boon. In this case, there is good news and bad news. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Stuart R Mortimer
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