God bless Morrissey, Marr, Rourke, and Joyce....
Grigory's Girl | NYC | 05/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was my first Smiths album, an embarrassment of riches. It has 24 tracks on it, and there really isn't one in the batch that reeks. In fact, can I say that they are all brilliant? Can I say that I really dig The Smiths? Yes.
The Smiths were one of the best bands of the 1980's, and none of their music has dated. Whenever I listen to it, I don't think "80's Smiths", I just think it's brilliant, timeless music. Many of these songs show off Morrissey's brilliant, sardonic wit, something that many critics of this band miss, and Johnny Marr's amazing melodies. They call the lyrics whiny and they called Saint Morrissey a p***y, but he's the furthest thing from a whiny you-know-what. I think many are just jealous of his enormous talent. There's a lot going on in between the lines. The more I listen to any Smiths music, the better it gets.
Louder than Bombs has some of the best Smiths songs EVER. Is It Really So Strange? is a pop masterpiece. I adore Panic with its brilliant and stunning chours "hang the DJ" and the line "the music that they play/it says nothing to me about my life". Most of the stuff I heard when growing up never said nothing about my life, and it's nice to hear someone saying it so beautifully. I love the prickly, hilarious William, It Was Really Nothing. And Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now is a great, great song. I agree with Morrissey on "why should we give valuable time to people who don't care whether we live or die". The Smiths's music was always universal. It doesn't belong to any time frame. 100 years from now, this stuff will still be awesome."
Best "Odds And Sods" Album
Mike B. | 05/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Smiths released many singles that weren't on their 4 original albums, and this stellar compilation features all of the A-sides and most of the B-sides. A couple are taken from DJ John Peel's BBC radio show. Of all the tracks collected here, only "Hand In Glove" made an album appearance.
Morrissey's lovelorn lyrics and pleading vocals established him as the foremost romantic figure of the 80's, and turned him into the idol of all who felt alienated and lonely. He tosses off some great lines, but my favorite is: "if it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together" (from "Ask"). Choose love, people! Johnny Marr's muscular guitar keeps the songs from getting too maudlin. Marr wrote all the music, and Morrissey wrote all the words. The two balanced each other.
When issued on vinyl, this was a 2-record set. It's amazing to me how well all these disparate singles and B-sides from over the years cohere into a complete whole. There's a natural ebb and flow. If they had recorded this in one session, it would be mentioned in the same breath as...(name your favorite much-praised 2-record set by a famous rock band). As it is, it's the best odds-and-sods collection I've ever heard by ANY band. (For those unfamiliar with the term, it means "a little of this, a little of that".)
Most groups start out strong, only to become less good as the years progress. I'd say The Smiths were good at the beginning, but became great by the end. For me, each successive album was better than the one before it. "Meat Is Murder" was better than their debut "The Smiths", "The Queen Is Dead" topped them both, and the concluding "Strangeways, Here We Come" was the best of all. Together they comprise the "official" four studio releases.
There's other compilations of A and B-sides, and several "greatest hits", but none pack the heat and heft of "Louder Than Bombs". It's perfect.
okdude | new england, usa | 09/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
the entire album is good, a mixture of many different types of songs and melodies. the lyrics, music, everything 1st rate