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32 Reviews
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated album is one of their best.
Whilst seen as a major disappointment by some music critics, who slammed it's production as "leaden and uninspired", the album has an exciting, raw feel to it which the polished later albums lack. Certainly there are lesser songs present here, but the classics outweigh the fillers. The standouts? 'You've Got Everything Now' is an absolutely marvellous track and...
Published on 25 Jan 2002 by R. Burin

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed?
The Smiths were robbed of the debut they deserved by John Porter's incredibly lacklustre production. The production is very flat, and lacks any real conviction. That aside, the album benefits from the strength of the songs, "Hand in glove", "Reel around the fountain" and "I don't owe you anything" the stand-out tracks. If you really want to hear The Smiths' early...
Published on 14 Jun 2004 by unclemogs


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the smiths rawest album. genius., 20 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
ah this album could be called under produced but the vocal is of such perfect intensity Morrisey's flat tones articulating adoselence in one go. the whole tone is brilliant, rourke's bass, marr's sublime guitar, Joyce's yet to be cultured drum beats. Listen to it one day and you'll think it is okay, listen to it another you'll see its true beauty and never want it to stop. It's a sleeper alright and it took me 4 months to see its true beauty but its there and well worth waiting for. Only one band have ever done a better debut albu(Stone Roses of course).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Start Of Something Special, 18 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
Stunning debut. Be amazed by these talented men (Marr and Morrissey especially). If you're not moved by Morrissey's wonderful lyrics, then you must be a heartless soul.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent., 5 Aug 2004
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
Much has been made of John Porter's production on this album, but I say just ignore it and focus on what really matters: the music. No amount of crap can detract from the beauty and complexity of the Smiths, and although Morrissey and Marr may not have settled fully into their songwriting niche on this album, no other Smiths work can compare to this one for sheer relentless abandon. This was their first opportunity to realise their dreams and it shows. If anything, the sketchiness of the production ADDS to the album as a whole - it matches the lack of experience the Smiths themselves had.
The chemistry between Morrissey and Johnny Marr is evident even in the Smiths' beginning stages, and this album features some of my favourite Smiths songs, including the beautiful 'Hand That Rocks The Cradle', 'Reel Around the Fountain', 'Pretty Girls Make Graves', and 'Still Ill', a song that has got me through many tough times. As always, Morrissey manages to express my innermost thoughts (including ones I didn't know I had) in a much more articulate way than I could ever hope to achieve. Even the more well-known songs on The Smiths (such as 'What Difference Does It Make?' and 'This Charming Man') never grow tired, no matter how many times you listen to them.
Although this is the hardest Smiths album to get into, it is also the most gripping and worthwhile once you're there.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best debut album ever, 24 Jan 2000
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
The Smiths are perhaps the most influential band ever to have come out of the Manchester area. Whilst Mozza has lost it a bit since going solo (with the exception of "Viva Hate"), his days with Marr as The Smiths form perhaps the most impresive allience in pop ever.
With "The Smiths" debut album, they have produced a masterpiece. With tracks ranging from the Moors Murders inspired "Suffer Little Children" (for which Moz got permission from all the families of the children involved), through "Reel aroud the fountain" (which the bloody stupid Sun newspaper thought was about underage gay sex ... it's not), to the masterpiece that is "The hand that rocks the cradle", Mozza and Marr redefined the nature of pop group as we know it.
People will always have a go at the Smiths for being "depressing" or "morbid" ... well it just depends upon the context that the songs are taken in. If meaningful lyrics, beautifully aranged guitar work and melody are what you require in an album, then the smiths is for you. And Morrissey is one of the wittiest songwriters ever ... it basically comes down to whether his slightly off-key warble is for you or not. If so, then this is a definite "MUST HAVE" for any record collection ... if not, then there is no way you'll be converted.
A masterpiece.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the smiths, 30 Aug 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
Great debut, by a great band.
If you look beyond the iffy production of this album, after a few listens you'll come to realise that this is The Smiths second best album (The Queen is Dead being the best).
It's flirted with the usual emotional Smithisms that you come to expect from a Smiths album, sadness (Reel Around the Fountain, I don't owe you anything, and Suffer Little Children), suicide (Pretty girls make Graves), lust (You've got everything now), and all those other wonderful and horrid little things.
P.S
THERE'S MORE TO THIS ALBUM THAN "THIS CHARMING MAN"
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Smiths, 20 April 2011
By 
J. Stinson "Stinsy" (SE London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
Being a Smiths fan of course I'm happy with this purchase. Third time I've bought this CD for various reasons...!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A start of a fantastic career, 14 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
As first albums goes, this is perhaps not as spectacular as the Stone Roses, but it placed the Smiths on the path to greatness. The relationship between Marr and Morrissey was still developing, but gems such as This Charming Man and Reel Around The Fountain show greatness. As for Suffer Little Children, a stark, sombre tale of the Moor Murders, it is a frank and beautiful piece of music.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed?, 14 Jun 2004
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
The Smiths were robbed of the debut they deserved by John Porter's incredibly lacklustre production. The production is very flat, and lacks any real conviction. That aside, the album benefits from the strength of the songs, "Hand in glove", "Reel around the fountain" and "I don't owe you anything" the stand-out tracks. If you really want to hear The Smiths' early carnation as they should have sounded then get "Hatful of hollow" instead.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The worst Smiths album..., 18 Nov 2002
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
This was a solid debut album, though the raucous sound of songs like Handsome Devil is exchanged more for slight over-production. The songs are verging from fine to great, The Smiths material would become much stronger on the very good Meat is Murder and the great Queen is Dead & Strangeways albums.
There is still much here to enjoy, Reel Around the Fountain has some gorgeous piano/organ from Paul Carrack (Squeeze/Mike & the Mechanics)and a classically ambiguous lyric from Morrissey (which is what is so great about lots of his songs- kind of summed up by the gender-twist on Sheila Take a Bow). You've Got Everything Now is not as raw as the take on Hatful of Hollow and I've never been that keen on Miserable Lie- which should have been replaced by something like Jeane instead.
Pretty Girls Make Graves is semi-funky stuff with great backing vocals- far from the greatness of songs like Some Girls are Bigger Than Others and What She Said though.
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle is one of their early classics, up there with Back to the Old House & Suffer Little children (more on that later). This CD issue comes with This Charming Man, which was not included on the original album (but was an extra track on the tape version)- a great song of course. As are Hand in Glove, Still Ill & What Difference...- though I preferred the session versions from Hatful of Hollow (probably cos I heard that first...).
I Don't Owe You Anything is another early classic, that classic guitar sound that is found on songs like Accept Yourself, Wonderful Woman and This Night Has Opened My Eyes. Pity the b-sides of This Charming Man etc didn't make it as extra tracks though...
Finally the album ends on the bleak reportage/poetry of Suffer Little Children- the strongest song here. I listened to this the other day after hearing that Myra Hindley had died- and it remiains a potent song saying things in a brave manner- trying to give voice to the unspeakable. No one has been able to write a song like this before or after, despite some pitiful attempts by the Manic Street Preachers on events like Hillsborough and the Holocaust. Marr's music is suitably elegiac, complementing the beautiful horror of Morrissey's lyrics: Manchester, so much to answer for...I think he wrote this with the best intentions and permission from the victims families, though this is far from the exploitation of tabloid hacks or true crime parasites that surround the horrific murders committed by Brady/Hindley. Pity WhSmith chose to ban the Heaven Knows... single, which this was a b-side to- incorrectly stating that the cover of Viv Nicholson was in fact Myra Hindley. One of the reasons why THe Smiths were one of the most important bands...
This album is worth getting , though is far from the best debut album of all time- which must surely go to albums like The Velvet Underground & Nico, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Murmur, Real Life, Unknown Pleasures, Cut, The Winding Sheet, Music from Big Pink etc.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the smiths - debut album CD, 11 April 2012
By 
This review is from: The Smiths (Audio CD)
for my money this debut album is the weakest of all their o/s albums.

absolutely no bonus cuts on the remastered CD in 2012.

sound quality of 2012 CD is brilliant.on par with Jap CD pressings.

"Charming man" is brill but all the others except the very last one "suffer little children" are well below the later standard that the smiths set themselves.

i would only grade this one as a good solid debut album which promises greater things later on and they achieve that in spades.

still a necessary purchase if you are to fully appreciate the smiths viewpoint of life in general - only 7 more albums to collect which is very affordable.

recommended purchase.

nothing wrong with Mozza's lyrics only Marr's guitar arrangements are weaker than usual - a distinct lack of variation in terms of style, i think.
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