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The songs on this album are probably more familiar to the casual Smiths fan, with songs like Panic, The Boy With the Thorn In His Side and There Is A Light That Never Goes out still getting fairly regular play on channels like VH2, and occasionally crop up on the radio. The sound here had become more pop orientated than the songs on Hatful... with Johnny Marr layering a number of different jangling guitar tracks and gorgeous melodies, which were really taking a greater dominance over the more pedestrian drums and bass. Panic is a great way to start the collection, with a sound that is very much in keeping with the other highlights of this collection and has that great lyric, "hang the DJ", which, I'd imagine, is familiar to people who don't even like The Smiths. This leads seamlessly into Ask, London (the great cover-version of this by the band Cinerama is well worth checking out), Bigmouth Strikes Again and the slight rockabilly of Shakespeare's Sister, before we reach the sublime beauty of There Is A Light... which is quite often, my personal favourite Smiths' song in the world.
Two more pop classics follow, with the storming Shoplifters of the World Unite and the bouncy, The Boy With The Thorn in His Side, which again, has that trademark Smiths' sound that has yet to be recreated by anyone since (including Morrissey solo).Read more ›
Get "Louder Than Bombs" instead - it does, as well as lots of additional tracks, most of which are also on "Hatful Of Hollow".
The only selling point of this collection over "Louder Than Bombs" is the alternate version of "Stretch Out And Wait".
Add to that the rather poor instrumental "Money Changes Everything" which Johnny Marr gave to Bryan Ferry for the basis of his "Right Stuff" single. "The Draize Train" would have been a better choice of Smiths instrumental to include in my opinion.
Another problem with this collection is that 5 of the tracks appear on "The Queen Is Dead" and "Meat Is Murder" LPs which makes the omission of "Sheila Take A Bow", "Is It Really So Strange" and "Sweet And Tender Hooligan" even more disappointing.
The songs get 5 stars but this is the least essential original Smiths release.
(I'm ignoring The Very Best Of, Best Of I and II, and Singles)
The World Won't Listen is an excellent accompaniment to Hatful, this album covering The Smiths' later repertoire, and Hatful their earlier work (with Louder Than Bombs a cunning blend of the two). While they may have lost their youthful sketchiness by their later work, the lyrical and musical genius of Morrissey and Marr remains dumbfoundingly evident, especially on tracks such as the jaw-droppingly beautiful Asleep, the thumping, chugging Shakespeare's Sister and London, and the almost fully without hope (but in the most wonderfully articulated way) of Unloveable. The beauty and complexity of The Smiths is even more apparent when compared to the bland, meaningless pap produced by most pop 'stars' nowadays.
Buy it and revel in the genius.