Rhino announces the release of THE SOUND OF THE SMITHS, a new collection of classic and rare recordings that will be available November 11. The compilation was completed with the full cooperation of Morrissey, who provided the title, and Johnny Marr, who personally supervised the mastering. They both assisted in the track selection, and their joint involvement ensures that this will be the most comprehensive look back at The Smiths’ extraordinary career to date.
THE SOUND OF THE SMITHS will be available as either a single-disc or two-disc collection. Each will be available at all retail outlets, including www.rhino.com, for a list price of $18.98 for the single disc and
$29.98 for the double-disc. THE SOUND OF THE SMITHS will also be available digitally $11.99 (single-disc) and $25.99 (double-disc). The same day, The Smiths full catalog (seven albums) will be available
digitally from all digital partners.
The Smiths were the definitive British independent band of the ’80s, releasing a remarkable series of singles and albums between 1983 and 1987 that was both commercially and critically successful. The Smiths laid down a marker for guitar pop-rock that remains unsurpassed. They were the inspiration for the guitar-driven rock that dominated the ’90s and for the spiritual revival of today’s indie scene.
Disc One contains 23 tracks and presents all of The Smiths’ memorable single releases, reinstating singles that were scheduled but eventually unreleased in that form (“Still Ill” and “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby”); plus European-only singles (“Barbarism Begins At Home” and “The Headmaster Ritual.”) The core of Disc One, however, is that matchless run of singles from the band’s first Rough Trade 7-inch “Hand In Glove,” to the posthumous “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me.” The
collection includes classic hits such as “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” “How Soon Is Now,” “Panic,” and “Girlfriend in A Coma,” which marked the pinnacle of that unique creative collaboration between
vocalist Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr. Indeed, Morrissey’s eloquence and proselytizing was always matched by the compelling musicianship of Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce.
The two-disc version offers an additional 22 tracks, including rare B-sides, tracks that were exclusive to 12-inch releases and selected live recordings. Among the rarities are the Troy Tate-produced “Pretty
Girls Make Graves”; a live version of “Meat Is Murder” from the vinyl 12-inch single version of “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”; and “What’s The World,” a cover of the fellow Manchester band James that was recorded live in Glasgow and originally released only on cassette single.
The Smiths disbanded in 1987, just weeks before the release of their fourth album, Strangeways Here We Come. Few groups packed so much originality and notoriety into a relatively short span. The Smiths
continue to be one of the most enduring and fascinating groups of the ’80s.