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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 – a 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.

The Smiths – The Smiths (originally released as Rough Trade ROUGH 61, 1984)

Disc 1: Original LP and single tracks

  1. Reel Around the Fountain
  2. You’ve Got Everything Now
  3. Miserable Lie
  4. Pretty Girls Make Graves
  5. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
  6. Still Ill
  7. Hand in Glove
  8. What Difference Does It Make?
  9. I Don’t Owe You Anything
  10. Suffer Little Children
  11. Hand in Glove (Single Version) (7″ A-side – Rough Trade RT 161, 1983)
  12. Handsome Devil (Live at the Hacienda, Manchester – 4/2/1983) (7″ B-side – Rough Trade RT 161, 1983)
  13. This Charming Man (Manchester) (7″ A-side – Rough Trade RT 136, 1983)
  14. Jeane (7″ B-side – Rough Trade RT 136, 1983)
  15. This Charming Man (London) (12″ A-side – Rough Trade RTT 136, 1983)
  16. Accept Yourself (12″ B-side – Rough Trade RTT 136, 1983)
  17. Wonderful Woman (12″ B-side – Rough Trade RTT 136, 1983)
  18. This Charming Man (New York Vocal) (12″ A-side – Rough Trade RTT 136NY, 1983)
  19. This Charming Man (New York Instrumental) (12″ B-side – Rough Trade RTT 136NY, 1983)

Disc 2: Sessi0ns and alternates (previously unreleased except where noted)

  1. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1982 Decibel Studio Demo)
  2. Suffer Little Children (1982 Decibel Studio Demo)
  3. What Difference Does It Make? (1982 Drone Studio Session)
  4. Handsome Devil (1982 Drone Studio Session)
  5. Miserable Lie (1982 Drone Studio Session)
  6. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (Troy Tate Demo)
  7. You’ve Got Everything Now (Troy Tate Demo)
  8. These Things Take Time (Troy Tate Demo)
  9. What Difference Does It Make? (Troy Tate Demo)
  10. Hand in Glove (Troy Tate Demo)
  11. Handsome Devil (Troy Tate Demo)
  12. Wonderful Woman (Troy Tate Demo)
  13. I Don’t Owe You Anything (Troy Tate Demo)
  14. Suffer Little Children (Troy Tate Demo)
  15. Miserable Lie (Troy Tate Demo)
  16. Accept Yourself (Troy Tate Demo)
  17. Reel Around the Fountain (Troy Tate Demo)
  18. Pretty Girls Make Graves (Troy Tate Demo) (previously released on “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish” 7″ – Rough Trade RT 198, 1987)
  19. What Difference Does It Make?  (Troy Tate Alternate)
  20. Accept Yourself (Troy Tate Alternate)

Written by Mike Duquette

April 7, 2010 at 01:20

Posted in Features, Reissues, The Smiths

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