Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
on 31 August 2006
It's really pointless to discuss whether or not the right tracks have been chosen for this release, since everybody will have a different opinion on what should or shouldn't be there. A "Very Best Of" set could easily have included Reel Around The Fountain, Girl Afraid, The Headmaster Ritual, Well I Wonder, Rusholme Ruffians, Rubber Ring, Asleep, Cemetry Gates, The Queen is Dead, Frankly Mr Shankly, You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby, Half a Person, Death of a Disco Dancer, A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours ... the list goes on. But there isn't a "dodgy" track in this selection - they're all among the best works of the band, and perhaps more importantly, they're all very accessible songs to new listeners. This makes "The Very Best of The Smiths" the perfect CD to introduce somebody to the band.
Another plus point is the audio quality, which is excellent. Some have complained about it, and the songs do indeed sound different to their original releases, but in almost every case, it is an improvement (especially the songs from the debut album, which always sounded poor). Don't listen for the difference on your PC or laptop - a quality CD player and speakers will reveal just how great this sounds is.
There are a couple of quibbles, however. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side sounds weaker and less melodic here, probably because they have remastered the single version of the song, as opposed to the superior version from The Queen is Dead. Also, the beautiful two-minute intro to Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me has been cut completely, as in the single release - while the song still sounds great, it now lacks the punch that makes the complete piece one of the Smiths' best. I'd have been happier to see a song like I Started Something I Couldn't Finish dropped totally from the CD to make room for the full intro.
Still, these are minor quibbles. For the new fan, this CD is perfect. If you're already a fan and are a devoted completist, and have a few quid to spare, this might be worth a look purely for the digital remastering, and to own the single version of Last Night I Dreamt ... on CD. But at this price, you can't really beat it as an introduction to the Smiths.