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4.6 out of 5 stars70
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 16 February 2009
The music is excellent. It defined an era and is catchy, sincere, interesting and wryly bleak but melodic and jangly at the same time. If you've never heard 'The Smiths' before buy this and see if you like them. I would never have bought any of the original albums if I hadn't come across this so ignore the somewhat elitist and pretentious negative reviews because the music itself rocks.
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on 7 February 2009
For those of us who started their teenage years in the mid eighties and were perhaps on the sensitive or alternative side of life, this CD may evoke many mixed memories. Those of you who were "dressers" might in fact prefer a reminiscence album from 5 star though! It's a good album with fair representation of all the most important Smiths tracks there, but it's more likely to make you cry into your beer over your lost teenage years and loves than to make you full of glee. Sing along for the best experience if you can remember the words!
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on 14 November 2008
Let's just start by addressing some of the gripes in the other reviews:

Morrissey and Marr are NOT "working together"... Marr oversaw the remastering of the original tapes for this compilation - and the tracks really do sound better than ever. Morrissey simply provided a perfunctory title (if Warners press releases are to be believed...). A statement on Morrissey's (semi)official website confirms that he does not endorse this "slapdash" compilation and asks his fans to spend their money elsewhere.

The reason why there is no "proper", "comprehensive", "in depth" (call it what you like) issuing of Smiths out-takes, rarities, etc, whether as stand-alone discs or incorporated into expanded editions of the original studio albums, is really very simple indeed: Morrissey has made it abundantly clear that he will NEVER agree to anything that will financially benefit Mike Joyce, the Smiths' drummer who took Morrissey & Marr to Court. So Warners/Rhino will always be limited to simply reissuing only the material they have and in formats that do not require permissions from Morrissey and Marr. This new compilation is about Warners/Rhino wanting to make more money, not Morrissey being "down to his last eight million" as someone has stupidly commented.

So let's stop reviewing the Smiths legacy and dwelling on all the irrelevant "What if?"s and concentrate on the disc in hand... the sound is phenomenally good. The one-disc edition is a superb introduction to The Smiths for newcomers - the two-disc edition is more for die-hard fans (who will probably resent not being able to buy the second "rarities and extras" disc on its own).
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 June 2015
Note: This is a review for the standard single CD version, with provides the perfect introduction to the timeless sound of The Smiths. Avid fans though will want to be pointed into the direction of The Sound of the Smiths: Deluxe Edition [2CD], where not only will you be able to have this album, but also a bonus disc containing a further 22 songs, consisting of B sides, live recordings, and other rarities.

Morrissey is credited with having coined the compilation's title, while Johnny Marr was involved in the project's mastering of these classic tracks, which really do sound superb. Among the 23 songs, you get every important hit single like the indie anthem 'This Charming Man', 'Hand in Glove', 'Shoplifters of the World Unite', 'You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby', and 'How Soon is Now?'. The latter is represented by the 12'' single version, and isn't the only song on the album which is an alternative version, 'What Difference Does it Make?' is the Peel Session version, and 'Barbarism Begins At Home is the 7''.

If you really don't care to own any deeper album cuts and rarities, 'The Sound of the Smiths' is actually the only Smiths CD you'll probably ever need (if you're willing to go without the glaring omission of ''Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others'). Manchester born Morrissey and his band were a real voice of the 1980s, with honest, down-to-earth and relatable lyrics, brilliant storytelling and delivery. These lads are among the most influential artists of all time, and are virtually responsible for inventing indie music. With 23 tracks, I don't think that this collection will go anywhere in helping to contradict the popular myth the Smiths are a depressing band, but there are a couple of upbeat and catchy songs like 'Panic', which are anything but.

This compilation, spanning The Smiths complete years of recording between 1983-1987, contains no liner notes or song lyrics, but makes up for that by publishing many excellent pictures of the band.
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on 18 September 2014
Well, I like the tracks but I was incredibly disappointed with the quality. I buy CDs so that I can store the music in as close to original quality as possible. The free MP3s offered for download by Amazon are better quality than the lossy-compressed audio on the CD.

I guess they have tried to put too many tracks on one disk and had to compress them.
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on 20 December 2013
For any Smiths fan, or somebody looking to be introduced to the Smiths, this album is excellent. The Smiths sound today feels as current as I imagine it would have during the 80s, and their music has lasted the test of time, perhaps having more of a following today than back in the 80s.

I'd given this album 4 stars however because despite the music being fantastic, there are only 22 songs (which sounds a lot) but there are many excellent songs missed out. Nevertheless, the album price represents fantastic value for money.

If you want a physical album with (nearly) all the songs of the Smiths, I'd go for 'Complete'
Smiths Complete

However, 'Complete' is significantly more expensive and so I might recommend buying this album, and separately downloading the remaining songs from amazon/iTunes as you may make a saving this way.
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on 1 November 2013
Morrisey shirt "akimbo" with Daffodils drooping from his jean back pocket remains firmly in my visual memory but more importantly it is the music and poetry of the Smiths repertoire that will remain with me forever. Morrisey exposes his own insecurities and observations on the world around him brilliantly via the medium that is the Smiths. Each crafted sociological "sonnet" takes you across a tumultuous sea of industrial emotion. Even in the darkest moments you have to love the wonderful ebony darkness that exudes from within this compilation representing the best of the Smiths." I would go out tonight but I haven't got a stitch to wear" is such a casual screaming commentary of the insecure that we can all draw comfort from.Typical Morrisey exposing all our wonderful insecurities a National Treasure and everybody are The Smiths.
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on 3 December 2010
Everyone should own this album. The songs are brilliant and will make you laugh and cry. As a lyricist Morrissey is a genius and Johnny Marr's guitar and melodies fit with the great man's words beautifully. I would have loved to have seen The Smiths live but we are lucky to have some cracking songs to remember them.
'This Charming Man' is epic, 'How soon is now?' is stunning and 'Girlfriend in a coma' is hilarious. There are songs on this album which will change your life and your outlook on life and that's what brilliant bands do. 'Barbarism begins at home' is a great song and a great title for a song too. 'There is a light that never goes out' is a beautiful song sang with real poignancy by Morrissey.
Just a beautiful collection of songs by an iconic band-the most influential band in the last 25 years.
5 stars-a must buy.
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on 23 November 2010
The Sound of The Smiths may not be a record endorsed by Morrissey or Johnny Marr but is certainly a great disc to get if you are looking for a taster of some of their finest material. It provides the listner with a feel for The Smiths' ethos and their topical and often controversial (not to mention ambiguous) views on Britain and the World at that time. I would certainly recommend it. I had not listened to them properly prior to purchasing it and have since bought their original, self-titled album. A must have to complete anyone's collection. Even if you don't think they will be your thing, get it as The Smiths played a core part in paving the way for the indie movement.
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on 18 November 2009
For a young listener of The Smiths, this was the first album I bought of theirs. You've got to remember that this collection is not for the hardcore fan, but for somebody new to The Smiths like myself. Now I'm a hardcore fan, simply because of this album. No point in complaining about it - it got me and many others into this great band. What more could you ask for?
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