The Smiths - The Sound of the Smiths

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The Smiths
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Depending on your count, The Sound of the Smiths is the third or fourth posthumous Smiths compilation -- a number that may be a bit excessive considering the group's rather concise catalog, containing just four studio albums and singles rounded up on three singles compilations (and two of those covered the same essential territory, too). That's a lot of repetition but whether it's taken in either its single-disc or double-disc deluxe editions, The Sound of the Smiths is the best of these posthumous overviews. The single-disc -- which is the first disc of the deluxe set -- is the hits disc, containing every cut from the 18-track 1995 compilation Singles and expanding it with five cuts all dating from the mid-'80s: "Still Ill," "Nowhere Fast," "Barbarism Begins at Home," "The Headmaster Ritual," and "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby." As a Smiths-basics goes, it's first-rate, an introduction and summary that's compulsively listenable. The second disc on the deluxe The Sound of the Smiths splits the difference between a rarities compilation and a "more of the best" collection of album tracks, rounding up non-LP singles and B-sides like "Jeane," "Wonderful Woman," "Money Changes Everything," and the New York Vocal version of "This Charming Man," live versions of "Handsome Devil," "Meat Is Murder," "What's the World?" and "London," the Troy Tate demo of "Pretty Girls Make Graves," and a bunch of great Smiths songs including a hefty chunk of The Queen Is Dead. It falls short of being the long-awaited collection of Smiths rarities, the absence of which remains a mystery, but it's the best stab at one to date and a pretty entertaining listen in its own right. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Disc 1:
1) Hand In Glove (03:17)
2) This Charming Man (02:43)
3) What Difference Does It Make? [Peel Session Version] (03:13)
4) Still Ill (03:22)
5) Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (03:35)
6) William, It Was Really Nothing (02:11)
7) How Soon Is Now? [12 " Version] (06:47)
8) Nowhere Fast (02:38)
9) Shakespeare’s Sister (02:09)
10) Barbarism Begins At Home [7" Version] (03:51)
11) That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore (03:52)
12) The Headmaster Ritual (04:54)
13) The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (03:18)
14) Bigmouth Strikes Again (03:14)
15) There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (04:05)
16) Panic (02:20)
17) Ask (03:17)
18) You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby (03:34)
19) Shoplifters Of The World Unite (02:58)
20) Sheila Take A Bow (02:42)
21) Girlfriend In A Coma (02:03)
22) I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish (03:48)
23) Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (03:11)

Disc 2:
1) Jeane (03:06)
2) Handsome Devil [Live] (02:56)
3) This Charming Man [New York Vocal] (05:36)
4) Wonderful Woman (03:10)
5) Back To The Old House (03:05)
6) These Things Take Time (02:23)
7) Girl Afraid (02:46)
8) Please, Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (01:52)
9) Stretch Out And Wait (02:45)
10) Oscillate Wildly (03:28)
11) Meat Is Murder [Live] (05:39)
12) Asleep (04:10)
13) Money Changes Everything (04:41)
14) The Queen Is Dead/Take Me Back To Dear Old Blighty [Medley] (06:26)
15) Vicar In A Tutu (02:24)
16) Cemetry Gates (02:40)
17) Half A Person (03:36)
18) Sweet And Tender Hooligan (03:35)
19) Pretty Girls Make Graves [Troy Tate Version] (03:35)
20) Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before (02:05)
21) What’s The World [Live in Glasgow] (02:38)
22) London [Live] (02:38)

The Sound of the Smiths
Main Format
Explicit Lyrics
Keyword Index
The Sound of the Smiths | The Smiths