Hit or Miss: The Smiths Complete

Hit or Miss: The Smiths Complete

It’s a shame that most music listeners these days only know The Smiths because of the film 500 Days of Summer. But now all Smiths neophytes can start from scratch and invest in a new Smiths box set simply titled The Smiths Complete.

This massive set includes remastered versions of all four studio albums, the 1988 live album Rank and three compilation albums released by the Manchester quartet. The deluxe version of the set includes all previously mentioned albums on both CD and vinyl, and the 25 singles that the band released on seven-inch vinyl.

The most impressive aspect of  the  collection is the amount of material the band released during their recording years between 1984 and 1988.  In
retrospect the 25 singles are what is most extraordinary, with their remarkable titles such as “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want,” “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and “Shoplifters of the World Unite.”

The singles embody the band’s legacy, a group that had a tremendous influence on the alternative rock genre. Although they dissolved in 1987 and Morissey has sworn off possible reformation, loyal fans can indulge in a taste of reunion with this collection. Their history of music spoke to listeners who emoted with their lyrical content, which was built around Morrisey and his clever wordplay.Despite the controversy surrounding the band, including an intense rivalry between Johnny Marr and Morrisey, their buzz and love from the United Kingdom audience made them significant to the musical landscape overseas.

Mixing sounds of punk and rockabilly, The Queen Is Dead is seen as their magnum opus. The success of that record brought them huge acclaim and love among their native country. The Smiths would see success on the U.S. Dance charts with “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side.”
Johnny Marr and Morrisey are considered to be the foundation of The Smiths and this set is a testament to their work.  The jangly riffs of Marr complimented the contemporary Baroque poetry and soaring vocals of Morissey so much so that it created both innovative indie-pop and cultural manifestations for the youth of the United Kingdom for generations to come.

There have been a lot of these mega-box sets that have come out in recent years to underwhelming reviews, but despite a couple of sketchy compilations, i.e. The World Won’t Listen and Louder Than Bombs, the material in this set is trulycomplete and it exemplifies the band’s greatness perfectly.