22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The very best introduction to the Smiths...,
This review is from: Hatful Of Hollow (Audio CD)
Many people regard the Smith's studio albums (with the exception of the Queen is Dead) as patchy affairs, skirting dangerously between absolute classics and downright filler. Though, that is an opinion alien to me (I think the first Smiths' album, along with Strangeways Here We Come, are two of the greatest records of the 80's), I can see how such a viewpoint could arise, especially when you measure the success of something like Meat is Murder, alongside the undeniable genius of this.
Hatful of Hollow surfaced in 1984 and would elaborate on the style and sonic template developed by the Smiths on their self-titled debut. The range of styles and ideas, both musically and lyrically, is unparalleled here, with the group culling tracks from their first album, from demos and b-sides, and from various radio sessions, to create a collection that, along with the similar/later compilation, The World Won't Listen, represents the very best introduction to the music of the Smiths. The fact that the band had so much great material just laying around at such an early stage of their career, led John Mulvey of the NME to opine, "there's a sense that the band are rolling out of bed and writing a great song a day"... and it's true! You can't imagine modern-day bands like Coldplay or Keane having so much material left over from their first albums, to the extent that they could easily release a compilation months before starting work on their second...
It is, of course, a testament to the strong songwriting partnership of Morrissey and Marr during this era of fruitful creativity... with Marr providing those bouncing, jangly rhythms, whilst Morrissey, in his words, launched his diary to music. Each of the sixteen songs found herein is a little symphony to angst, loneliness, boredom, malaise, indifference and the role of the outsider, (which are classic themes within the world of the Smiths), with evocative imagery working against broad humour and enthralling melody. There's no real need to give an in-depth analysis of these songs... suffice to say, tracks like What Difference does it Make?, This Charming Man, How Soon is Now, Handsome Devil, Still Ill, Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, Reel Around the Fountain & Please, Please, Please... figure as some of the most iconic and celebrated Smiths' tracks ever produced, and, if you enjoy at least one, you're likely to enjoy them all.
Hatful of Hollow remains one of the very best Smiths' releases and acts as a great introduction to one of the best bands of all time. For a more comprehensive listen, get this alongside The World Won't Listen and immerse yourself in the joys of songs like You've Got Everything Now, William- It Was Really Nothing, This Night Has Opened My Eyes and Back to the Old House, before progressing to the wonders of The Smiths, Meat is Murder, The Queen is Dead and Strangeways- Here We Come.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Dec 2008 11:47:26 GMT
John Tree says:
Clearly written by a genuine fan who has taken real interest in the minutae.
Thanks for sharing your view with such a considered and well written review.
Posted on 6 Mar 2011 20:20:58 GMT
and, if you like at least one, you're likely to like them all. fair enough mate
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