The Smiths have always felt like some kind of a secret. Morrissey had a way of making you feel like he was only singing to you, was it that which made them so special? Skimming down many people’s catalog of the greatest bands of all time and you will find them. They are a band who has built their entire music repertoire around loneliness and seclusion, and have gathered a following greater than they ever thought possible during their early days. The Smiths, a name that brings about thoughts of frustration and sadness, a name so great in the history of music for those who came of age in the 1980’s. They defined that era which was a decade of revolutionary changes on the music scene. They were the definitive indie rock band from the 80’s, who are forever indebted to the British invasion by the Fab 4 themselves; The Beatles. The Smiths are one of the best of 80’s music scene leading into the 90’s and this is the proof!The Smiths – Panic by Fon Kumuro
Morrissey and Johnny Marr were obsessive rock fans who were inspired by the D.I.Y ethics of punk and strangely enough the two also had a fondness for pop music, girl bands, and rockabilly. Musically, Morrissey’s role in the band was to create vocal melodies and lyrics. His songwriting would be influenced by punk rock and post-punk bands such as the New York Dolls, The Cramps and The Cult; along with 1960s girl groups, and singers such as Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Marianne Faithfull and Timi Yuro. Morrissey’s lyrics, while apparently depressing, were often full of sarcastic humor as he wrote about commonplace people and their experiences with desolation, rejection and death. Marr’s guitar-playing was influenced by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, Neil Young, George Harrison and James Honeyman-Scott of The Pretenders.
The Smiths newly released box set, titled ‘The Smiths Complete’, features 112 remastered song versions off eight albums on CD and on vinyl! Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr, the band also included Andy Rourke on the bass and Mike Joyce on drums. The four young men from Manchester, England led by the iconic front man sang about boredom, misery, and feeling awkward but always with a knowing wink as Morrissey sings “there is a light that never goes out” especially not on The Smiths. This new release offers a fantastic clarity in sound that every fan should add to their collection. In the age of digital remastering; The band sounds better than ever.
The Smiths are often compared to The Cure, another great band from the 80’s into the 90’s. For any fan of one, you’re sure to find they love the other as well. They also share the 80’s Indie, punk, Brit pop genre with The Clash, The Postal Service,The Psychedelic Furs, Dead Kennedys, Flock of Seagulls, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Morrissey, New Order and many others.
This is an awesome box set compiling the eight albums The Smiths released on Rough Trade in one clamshell box. Johnny Marr and Frank Arkwright remastered the music .The Smiths compact disc includes occasional bonus track “This Charming Man” (not the LP however), “The World Won’t Listen” on CD and LP includes both “Golden Lights” and “Money Changes Everything”. Meat Is Murder does not feature “How Soon Is Now?”. The CDs are housed in LP-style replicas of the original artwork. The sleeves are gatefold when the original LP was “Hatful Of Hollow”, “The Queen Is Dead”, “Louder Than Bombs” and “Rank”. The inner sleeves were modeled on the original ones and the discs modeled on the original labels. “Rank” includes a replica of the poster just like with the one that came with the original LP release. “Hatful Of Hollow”, “The Queen Is Dead”, “The World Won’t Listen” and “Rank” have a sticker on the front of the sleeve advertising the contents, just like their original LP counterparts. The LP boxset is limited. It includes a 12″ booklet featuring expanded liner notes by Lois Wilson and a 36″ x 24″ poster of the cover artwork. Now you can hear their music with clarity never before imagined, better than ever! No more 80’s sound on cd, welcome The Smiths into a new decade, the decade of digital music.
Written by Kayt Westerlund
Original Release Dates: USA CD and LP box sets: 18 October 2011 USA deluxe box set: 25 October 2011