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Archive for April 7th, 2010

Reissue Theory: The Smiths – “The Smiths”

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One of the books devoured by this author over the Easter break was The Smiths: Songs That Saved Your Life by Simon Goddard. If you’re a fan of The Smiths, are thinking about being a fan of The Smiths or just like ’80s alt-rock in general, you would do well to add this to your bookshelf. It provides an in-depth account of every song released or recorded by the band in their too-brief career and covers Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce through prose that’s both artistic and technical. It’s as detail-oriented as any self-respecting Smiths fan would be, too, armed with plenty of appendices to collate their work as ornately as possible.

Needless to say, reading the book provoked some thought on what deluxe editions of their albums would look like Рa difficult proposition if ever there was one. The Smiths recorded many of non-LP tracks (both singles and B-sides) in their four-year career, but they were quick to collate them. Indeed, Hatful of Hollow (1984) and Louder Than Bombs (1987), which collect many of these tracks, stand tall next to the studio LPs in general. That, coupled with the many Smiths compilations released by WEA/Rhino in the 1990s and 2000s, make it difficult to figure out how to configure such a set of reissues.

Ultimately, the way I see it is those non-LP tracks create a rounded experience with the album proper, and should be included even if they are readily found elsewhere. And believe me, there’s still a lot of unreleased material to go around, as this Reissue Theory look at The Smiths’ first LP shows. There’s a whole alternate version of this record, recorded with Troy Tate and heavily bootlegged, that would be worth a release. Take a look at this charming tracklist after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 7, 2010 at 01:20

Posted in Features, Reissues, The Smiths

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