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Louder Than Bombs
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2005
Since Louder than Bombs is effectively a compilation of B-sides, sessions and singles, it is astonishing just how damn good the level of the music is here.
Though LtB features much of what was released on The World Won't Listen (the UK version at the time), this is definitely the better of the two. 24 songs, with a standard typical of Morrissey and Marr.
Bar the inexplicable Golden Lights (what were they thinking?), there are numerous stand out tracks here. Many of the more up-tempo songs (Sweet and Tender Hooligan, Shakespeare's Sister, These Things Take Time) are fantastic, though London is just awesome as a furious rocker.
There are those who accuse The Smiths of being miserable, and thus miss the point of Morrissey's lyrics and Marr's clever songwriting. Such songs exist here, in the shape of Heaven Knows I'm Miserbale Now, Half A Person and This Night Has Opened My Eyes, as well as utter classic Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.
If you're looking for a Smiths compilation, steer clear of the post-Smiths releases (Singles, Best I & II, Very Best Of). Hatful of Hollow is perhaps the definitive Smiths compilation, but you would do well to add Louder Than Bombs to your collection. Simply unmissable.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2004
In the spring of 1987, one year following the group's masterpiece "The Queen Is Dead," the Smiths released two albums. In the UK, they unleashed "The World Won't Listen." But in the United States, they released "Louder Than Bombs," a double album of singles, b-sides, and rare tracks. A compilation of this nature shouldn't work, but, amazingly, it did. "Louder Than Bombs" shows why singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr weren't just simply leaders in mope rock--they were also among the most vital and influential British songwriters of the 1980s. Morrissey exposes his utter contempt for pop music in the semi-controversial "Panic," croons though the brilliant and self-loathing "Unlovable;" shines through the potent "Rubber Ring," and is even funny in the snide "You Just Haven't Earned it Yet, Baby." But the heart of the album, I think, is the still-marvelous "Hand In Glove," the band's debut single replete with Johnny Marr's stellar guitars. But the songs I just mentioned only hint at the many riches this album has to offer. At 24 tracks, "Louder Than Bombs" is a huge platter of material, but the songs here are brisk and range from very good to brilliant. I played this to death when I first bought it, and it still gets the occasional spin in my stereo. A great album that earns its five stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2007
In an ideal world, this would be remastered by now. Actually, all Smiths albums should be remastered, starting with this and 'The Queen Is Dead'. Any latecomers to the Smiths will probably opt for 'Best' or 'Very Best' instead. Do yourself a favour and take the plunge here. This album is chock full of brilliant riffs from Marr and some legendary lines from Morrissey. I lost my copy 8 years ago and recently bought a new one. Listening to this now, I'm amazed how well it holds up. When this first came out, the general consensus was that only reclusive geeks could enjoy it. Probably something to do with Morrissey sounding like a cabaret singer at granny's funeral. And yet the funny thing is that he sounds almost cheerful when you listen to him now (almost). Maybe my ears have been softened by the likes of Radiohead, MMJ and Editors etc. Seriously, if you fancy the odd Smiths album in your collection, this is a great place to start. You get a perfect overview of the Smiths at a time when they reached their creative peak. And if you can't stomach 'Golden Lights', press skip (there's plenty more to tickle your fancy). This should be first on your list together with 'The Queen is Dead'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2002
Only The Smiths could put together a compilation of mainly b-sides and it turns out to be superb. Originally intended for the US only, there are 24 tracks on here, and bar the appalling cover "Golden Lights" which is loathed by the band themselves, there isn't a weak track.
Here you have some of the little-known songs from all through the band's career, the highlights being "Half A Person", "Girl Afraid", "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby", "Rubber Ring" and "Unloveable" - to name just a few.
This is an ideal album to buy as an introduction to the band and has proved hugely popular with fans as well. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2012
marr's rickenbacker guitar is now on full throttle on this compilation album of mostly singles and b sides.

originally on vinyl(dble), cassette and early cd (poor sound quality)

sound quality of this one is sublime on par with Jap CD pressings.

instr track "Oscillate wildly" allows you to fully appreciate the full extent of remastering by j.marr esq months ago in the privacy of a post-prod studio up north.

if you just want one smiths album to taste or start with then go for this one.

features track william - 2 mins of guitar bliss.

guitar nuts will appreciate: girl afraid and panic.

no bonus tracks on it as all time (79.59) used up on CD.

my personal favourite.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 February 2014
The Smiths are, of course, a band that have been the subject of (probably) more than their fair share of compilation albums (as indeed has Morrissey as a solo artist), but this 1987 collection (the 'extended US version’ of The World Won’t Listen) is one of my favourites. Here we have 24 tracks – singles A and B-sides, Peel session tracks, etc – 6 more than the re-issue of The World Won’t Listen. Essentially, other than some variations in the precise song recordings, plus the switching between the two compilations of some albums tracks (TWWL has Bigmouth Strikes Again, There Is A Light, The Boy With The Thorn, That Joke Isn’t Funny,.... while LTB has Sheila, William, Heaven Knows, Hand In Glove, Please Please Please plus some Hatful songs), the key difference is that TWWL has the instrumental Money Changes Everything whilst LTB has Is It Really So Strange? and Sweet And Tender Hooligan.

For me, the presence of the punky, vibrant Sweet And Tender Hooligan would certainly swing it in favour of Louder Than Bombs (plus simply the greater number of songs), but, in any event, one or other of the two compilations is a must have (unless you want to go the whole hog with the deluxe version of the recent The Sound Of The Smiths compilation). Certainly, the punky London, quirkily rhythmic Rubber Ring, wonderful piano-driven instrumental Oscillate Wildly, and sultry, soulful Morrissey vocals on Half A Person, Stretch Out And Wait and Unloveable ('If I seem a little strange, that’s because I am..’) are all essential Smiths songs. And although I’ve never quite understood the band’s attraction to 60s singer Twinkle’s (Lynn Ripley) song Golden Lights (of which a cover is included), to conclude Louder Than Bombs with the exquisite Asleep (for me, a natural companion-piece to Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want) is just about perfect.
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on 28 May 2012
This complication came out in 1987 as a US release of all singles and most B sides released there, with the This Charming Man and How Soon is Now singles being included on the US editions of the debut album and Meat is Murder. All new editions of these two albums in the UK include these tracks too so with this album after buying the four studio albums you are collecting the rest of the bands singles. It is of course a stunning collection, with the highlights being: Panic, William, Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, Ask and Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
Only down side is the inclusion of Hand in Glove, why put this on as it is on the debut?!
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on 16 May 2012
The latter half of this album is pure artistry, and easily shows why the former half exudes a brash swaggering manner. From the beautiful perfection of "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" to the astounding "Unloveable".The second half of this album underpins the success of The Smiths. I wouldnt want to seek high and low for alternative, remixes, revamped or remastered or whatever. There is nothing out of place in these songs, like you wouldnt correct an errant hair strand on an otherwise beautiful bouffant.You'd let it be. Just why this compilation hits the right spot.
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on 29 October 2000
This compilation of Smiths tracks is a musical masterpiece, and offers the listener a variety of Smith's modes... With humour blended with suicidal fantasies (Shakespeare's Sister, Is it Really So Strange?, and Morrissey's literary genius (Girl Afraid, William It Was Really Nothing) this album is by far one of the most influential CDs a person is ever likely to buy (along with the rest of The Smith's collection...) Johnny Marr's musical adeptness ignites the lyrics, and his solo composition 'Oscillate Wildly' is by no means inferior to any other Smith's song.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 6 February 2006
If, like me, you hate the idea of compilations then this may be the compilation to change all that. Originally released in the US to coincide with the UK release of 'The World Won't Listen', I was fortunate enough to purchase this as an import when it first came out and have loved it ever since. 23 out of the 24 songs on this album are brilliant - the only bad apple is 'Golden Lights' - a tribute to the original singer 'Twinkle' (one of Morrissey's favourites from the mid sixties) which to be honest is a poor song and stands out like a sore thumb.
This is a fine introduction to The Smiths and showcases the brilliant lyrics penned by Morrissey and the awesome tunes written by Mr Johnny Marr. A pleasure to own. Buy It!!
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