Customer Review

79 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Keep Mine Hidden", 2 Oct. 2008
This review is from: The Sound of the Smiths: Deluxe Edition [2CD] (Audio CD)
It's really serious. The Smiths probably have the messiest catalogue there is. Around two thirds of their songs appear on the four studio albums while the remaining third are scattered across several compilations and rare CD-singles. Warner, unlikeEMI, have never been interested in milking a catalogue (or creating coherent and necessary reissues).

Looking through the dozen or so titles down your local retailer, the racks are clogged up with no less than four "greatest hits" collections and three rarities sets. These really need to be consigned to the bargain bin so they can be replaced with more streamlined compilations that would supplement the albums with at least some degree of logic: all the non-album songs (with a vocal) would fill a CD. Add to that a second disc of instrumentals, alternative versions, and live b-sides and you have a superlative two-disc set. A CD of BBC sessions is also required.

And so to the Rhino 45-track "The Sound Of The Smiths": judging by the title and cover photo of the group themselves, this was not sanctioned by Morrissey and Marr. The first disc is a chronological run-through their "greatest hits" with a couple of slightly different versions thoughtfully substituted. But the perfectly titled andartworked "Singles" from 1995 was the definitive best-of for all time, comprising every A-side in chronological order.

The second disc presents an alternative view of The Smiths career, digging deeper and throwing up some rarities in the process: the live version of "Handsome Devil" and the Troy Tate produced version of "Pretty Girls Make Graves" appear on CD for the very first time; while "Jeane", "Wonderful Woman" and the live James cover "What's The World?" have at last been compiled. You'll still have to buy the "Panic" CD single if you want to hear the studio version of "The Draize Train". And locate the US CD-single of "Sweet And Tender Hooligan" to find "I Keep Mine Hidden" and "Work Is A Four Letter Word".

The catalogue of what many regard as the greatest musical force since The Beatles remains still ill.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Nov 2008 00:51:27 GMT
Agree with almost everything, especially the desire for a BBC sessions CD. This comp however was put together with full cooperation of Morrissey and Marr (inc. name and cover artwork). See: http://www.rhino.co.uk/news-community,new-smiths-collection-of-classic-recordings-rarities_62.htm. The 1995 Singles and 2001 Best Of weren't sanctioned by either of them and consequently suffered from poor mastering and dodgy Morrissey-for-hire artwork. This compilation is the one to go, for if only for the Marr supervised remastering.

Posted on 9 Nov 2008 15:49:07 GMT
Yep, read the background before heading for the "Review this..." section. Marr insisted on being involved in the mastering. As for the cover, well, you choose you're designer you makes your choice (...this time not the best, but if its that bad - chuck it away make your own without infringing any copyright ;¬p )

Posted on 9 Nov 2008 23:04:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Nov 2008 13:46:09 GMT
Mr. D. Lewis says:
"The Draize Train" sounds fantastic on 12" single, if you can find one try and locate the German red vinyl (b side of German single only "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others").- Its much cleaner sounding than the version on the b side of Rough Trade UK 12" of "Panic". Either 12" trounces the CD version though!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2008 23:46:11 GMT
Marc B says:
Don't believe everything you read.... The Very Best of was remastered by the highly respected Bill Inglot and is still the best sounding cd currently available. Musician's are musicians not mastering engineers

Posted on 21 Dec 2008 00:11:30 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Dec 2008 00:11:43 GMT
D. Walker says:
Excellent review, I completely agree with everything you said. There are far too many 'best of' compilations now, so it'd be nice if Warner compiled a definitive collection of remastered non-album tracks - one that will never need replacing.

May I also add Accept Yourself to the list of songs people still need to purchase the singles to acquire? The version on the This Charming Man 12" (or CD reissue) is different to the one found on Hatful of Hollow and I don't think it's available anywhere else - correct me if I'm wrong!

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Dec 2008 11:20:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Dec 2008 11:20:21 GMT
A. Walker says:
Yes, that is correct but I thought I'd just mention the actual songs that aren't anthologised. The alternative versions is another minefield!

Surely it's a basic need to be able to own every song the band wrote/recorded in a clear and concise way but it seems Morrissey is blocking this now.

A.Walker

Posted on 27 Feb 2010 18:27:51 GMT
Neale Harmer says:
"But the perfectly titled andartworked "Singles" from 1995 was the definitive best-of for all time, comprising every A-side in chronological order."
Agreed, except that the wrong version of Hand In Glove was used - see Hatfull Of Hollow or Louder Than Bombs for the original recording. Good review, though - how about a campaign for a definitive box set?!

Posted on 17 Mar 2010 14:09:26 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 12 Apr 2010 21:24:45 BDT]

Posted on 9 Aug 2012 21:15:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Oct 2012 17:49:11 BDT
Hey, can you tell us if the UK edition is packaged in a jewel box or a digipak?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2014 20:08:39 BDT
A. Fromme says:
The version you get in shops in Ireland (which I assume is the same as the one you get in the UK) comes in a digipak.
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