While The Smiths were one of the most important bands of the '80s, their album catalog is a complex mess. While the band issued four official studio albums, many of their finest tracks were originally released as singles and then assembled onto collections much like this one. Here, a few excellent album tracks (“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side”) are accompanied by indispensable singles and b-sides such as “Panic,” “Ask,” “Half a Person” and “Shoplifters of the World Unite.” It makes for a headache when trying to complete their catalog. The group recorded few missteps. “Oscillate Wildly” is an instrumental that begs for a Morrissey vocal, but it also makes for a perfect karaoke performance for anyone with ambition to score their own lyrical theme over Johnny Marr’s jangly guitar purr. Yet there’s no arguing with the band chemistry on “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby” or “Stretch Out and Wait.” In four short years, The Smiths accomplished a decade’s worth of first-rate material.
Bigmouth Strikes Again
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
Shoplifters of the World Unite
The Boy With the Thorn In His Side
Money Changes Everything
Half a Person
Stretch Out and Wait (Alternate Vocal Version)
That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore (Single Version)
You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby (UK mix)
18 Songs, 1 Hour
℗ 2014 Rhino UK, a division of Warner Music UK Ltd.