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Supreme CD set of seminal
indie/alt-rock act

The Smiths - The Sound of The Smiths
5 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2008
The Smiths

Review by Andy Argyrakis

What can be said about The Smiths that hasn't already been written? Everyone who's ever listened to an indie or alternative rock record has heard the group's influence to some degree, while members like Morrissey and Johnny Marr continue to make headlines with solo projects and the latter's time in Modest Mouse. Add in the fact that countless acts including Radiohead, Oasis, Blur, plus more recent rockers like Interpol or The Killers, and The Smiths is indeed an act for all ages, even if members broke up over twenty years ago.

Even with the iconic nature of these Manchester men, very few complete hits compilations have released throughout the years, allowing The Sound of The Smiths to not only fulfill a void, but also prompt an unsealing of the band's rarity vaults (on the double disc deluxe edition) to provide additional depth to those who already own all the singles. Each and every one of the twenty-three tunes on the first CD sound superb in remastered contexts, including all the obligatory broken-hearted sing-a-longs like "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out," "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me," "How Soon Is Now?," "Panic" and "Girlfriend in a Coma."

But there's plenty more for Smiths' enthusiasts on the particularly impressive second disc, revolving around B-sides, rarities, live tracks and demos. Concert cuts include "Meat Is Murder," "Handsome Devil" and "London," while a medley of "The Queen Is Dead/Take Me Back To Dear Old Brightly" is alone worth the price of admission. Even with these so called "leftovers," the band is on top of its innovative game, once again confirming its seminal status and future inspiration upon multiple generations of listeners and musicians to come.

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Watch The Smiths - "Hand in Glove" Live

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