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The Smiths


Price: £6.92 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Biography

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 + Meat Is Murder [VINYL] + Strangeways, Here We Come
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Nov. 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00002496V
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,061 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Reel Around The Fountain
2. You've Got Everything Now
3. Miserable Lie
4. Pretty Girls Make Graves
5. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
6. This Charming Man
7. Still Ill
8. Hand In Glove
9. What Difference Does It Make?
10. I Don't Owe You Anything
11. Suffer Little Children

Product Description

Product Description

THE SMITHS The Smiths (German issue 11-track CD includes the amazing tracks This Charming Man and Hand In Glove and so many more classics! picture sleeve booklet with lyrics and black and white photos)

BBC Review

It is difficult to describe just how different The Smiths sounded when it was released in early 1984. In an era of overproduced crash, bang and very often, wallop, this album defined northern British pop in a manner not unlike the Beatles had two decades earlier. Vocalist and lyricist Steven Patrick Morrissey cut a very singular swathe with lyrics that quoted freely from kitchen sink dramas, great literary heritage, and, in doing so, gave awkward youth its new (and enduring) hero.

After the group crashed on to the scene with their debut single, “This Charming Man”, in summer 1983, The Smiths was initially recorded with ex-Teardrop Explodes guitarist Troy Tate as producer, before abandoning it and getting ex-Roxy Music producer and bassist, John Porter, in to re-record. The sound – playing to Johnny Marr’s obsession with 60s guitar supported by Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke’s economical rhythm section – created a music, that like its accompanying lyrics, was completely out of step with the times, yet has come to define them as much as any Frankie Goes To Hollywood track.

Morrissey's utter disdain for playing pop's game, combined with the group's control over their artwork and being part of Rough Trade mapped out a new stage of indie music; blending classic, focussed melodies with this witty intensity, tackling taboo subjects such as child abuse (“Reel Around The Fountain”), the Moors Murders (“Suffer Little Children” with its infamous “Manchester, so much to answer for” line) and sexual politics, dressed in pretty, northern music. Although it’s not their greatest work, The Smiths remains an incredible statement of intent. --Daryl Easlea

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Percy Frizelle on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD
None of The Smiths had great experience before joining together in this particular little enterprise, Morrissey had briefly been a member of a couple of bands, although not always as the singer. Still, upon hitching up with Johnny Marr, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke he suddenly found himself with an outlet for his writing and dreams.

But here we find a classic situation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Nobody had ever quite matched lyrics like his before to what were essentially Rock a Billy songs, although quite out of step with other music of the era, especially commercial chart music. Understanding or deciphering Morrissey's lyrics is hard full of contradictory statements and unless told the homoerotic metaphors are not immediately obvious

The music and arrangements of Johnny Marr and the sticking lyrics of Morrissey complement each other perfectly. The lyrics are jam-packed full of tongue in cheek humour and Marrs infectious hooks are simply wonderful.

There is a common misconception surrounding Morrissey lyrics, dour and miserable they are not. Not really, not exactly, and some of the lyrical imagery and scene setting is pretty much unsurpassed if you happen to be a lost romantic type.

The Smiths signed to leading independent label Rough Trade, there was already a buzz surrounding the group, but the debut single and 'Hand In Glove' failed to chart.

The second single was 'This Charming Man', is very distinctive, immediately reminds one of Sixties groups it's 'jingle jangle' nature and sound.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Marrissey on 2 Aug. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Upon first listen I dismissed The Smiths as a distinctly average album by their standards and in comparison to the heights of The Queen is Dead. However, this album above all others has been the biggest grower on me over the course of say a year, and songs that once seemed a little tuneless and overly meandering (Still Ill, Reel Around the Fountain) and hardly up to the pop catchiness of later albums are somehow now more powerful and beautiful than those songs I'd be singing along to as soon as I stuck The Queen is Dead on, or Strangeways Here We Come.
The Smiths is an album that takes a touch of perseverence - perhaps due in part to the legendary under-production, done on only £20,000 after a less than satisfactory effort by Troy Tate. As much as the production is murky and often leaden, it has a charm which lends itself to the sheer darkness and gravity of many of the songs' subjects and lyrics - Morrissey here is exploring child abuse (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle), serial child murder (Suffer Little Children), homosexuality (Hand in Glove) and raw sexuality in general (Reel Around the Fountain). And he handles them with the subtelty only a master poet, backed up by Marr's mesmerising guitarwork, could.
Highlights of the album include "Still Ill", a nostalgic look back at Morrissey's experiences growing up in Manchester, filled with disolution and that wonderful despairing lyric "Am I Still Ill" with the grave feeling of prelongued sickness a terrifying thought when used as an analogy of life. "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" is a mesmeric lullaby with a hideous implication of child abuse mixed with terrifying images of shadows looming eerily over a child's bed - the feeling amplified no end by Johnny Marr's subtle and hypnotic guitar hooks.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Darthy on 25 July 2006
Format: Audio CD
It might lack the impact of later albums, but I would agree with several other reviewers that "The Smiths" is the second-best Smiths album, after "The Queen is Dead". Perhaps its lack of recognition in regard to later albums is partly due to the slightly leaden production, partly the "atypical" nature of some of the songs, but for me "The Smiths" contains some of the band's most beautiful, haunting and memorable work.

The obvious early Smiths classics are all there. "This Charming Man" remains as catchy and whimsical as ever, and is perhaps the greatest early example of a perfect combination between Marr's composition and Morrissey's lyrics. "Hand in Glove", the group's first single, is still one of the most romantic songs ever written - Morrissey's observations on the experience of being in love are remarkably astute. "Still Ill" is a stunning nostalgic tale, and "What Difference Does It Make?", while not quite achieving the impact of the three tracks already mentioned, sits comfortably among the group's best work.

Despite these songs, some of the most beautiful work on the album is found on the slower ballads. The opening track "Reel Around the Fountain" is a wistful yet strangely relaxing tune of contradictions - though at first it sounds like a beautiful love song, closer attention to the lyrics reveals that it is about nothing more than sexual desire. "Pretty Girls Make Graves" is a clever and memorable song about confused sexuality, and "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" is surely one of the group's most underrated songs. Full of haunting imagery and with a subtly unsettling edge, it deserves recognition as one of The Smiths' greatest ever songs, and features one of Morrissey's best lyrics.
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