The Very Best of The Smiths

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The Very Best of The Smiths
Greatest hits album by The Smiths
Released 4 June 2001
Recorded 1983–1987
Genre Alternative rock, indie pop
Length 78:34
Label WEA
Producer John Porter, The Smiths, Roger Pusey, Dale "Buffin" Griffin and Stephen Street
The Smiths compilations chronology
Singles
(1995)
The Very Best of The Smiths
(2001)
The Sound of The Smiths
(2008)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Blender 5/5 stars[2]

The Very Best of The Smiths is a compilation album by The Smiths. It was released in June 2001 by WEA in Europe, without consent or input from the band. It reached #30 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was not released in the United States.

About the album[edit]

After Singles (1995), the previous Smiths compilation album that WEA (now the Warner Music Group) had issued, went out of print in Europe, Australia and Taiwan, the record company decided to revamp the package slightly and release it under the name The Very Best of The Smiths. WEA scrambled the running order and added five tracks, and enticed the record buyers with the incentive of digital remastering.

The album was widely criticised by the British music press, who, after stopping to praise the actual music, went on to condemn what they saw as a money grabbing exercise. They were quickly joined by singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, who distanced themselves from the album, stating they had had no input whatsoever and that it should be ignored by fans. Both ridiculed the cover design and Marr additionally denounced the sound quality.[3]

In the tradition of other Smiths compilations which largely overlapped except for a few songs, this album does contain two versions not available on any other of The Smiths' albums: a new edit of "Ask" and the original 7" version of "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me". The Singles compilation used the album versions of these songs.

Cover[edit]

The sleeve for The Very Best of The Smiths features Charles Hawtrey of Carry On fame, one of Morrissey's favourite actors (he wrote an obituary to him in the NME). The band members had no say in the cover, which has been described as "an adman's approximation of a Smiths cover" by Mojo magazine.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Morrissey/Marr. Songs marked "*" are exclusive to this compilation.

  1. "Panic" – 2:20
  2. "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" (single version) – 3:17
  3. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" – 3:35
  4. "Ask" (new mix)* – 3:09
  5. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" – 3:13
  6. "How Soon Is Now?" (album version) – 6:45
  7. "This Charming Man" – 2:42
  8. "What Difference Does It Make?" – 3:51
  9. "William, It Was Really Nothing" – 2:12
  10. "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" – 3:17
  11. "Girlfriend in a Coma" – 2:02
  12. "Hand in Glove" (album version) – 3:24
  13. "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" – 4:04
  14. "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" – 1:53
  15. "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" (album version) – 4:59
  16. "I Know It's Over" – 5:49
  17. "Sheila Take a Bow" – 2:41
  18. "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" – 3:47
  19. "Still Ill" – 3:22
  20. "Shakespeare's Sister" – 2:09
  21. "Shoplifters of the World Unite" – 2:58
  22. "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" (single version)* – 3:10
  23. "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" – 3:33

Personnel[edit]

The band[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Technical staff[edit]

  • John Porter – producer (1, 3-4, 6-9, 14, 19), remixer (12)
  • The Smiths – producers (12, 15, 20)
  • Morrissey and Marr – producers (2, 5, 10, 13, 16)
  • Johnny Marr – producer (21)
  • Johnny Marr, Morrissey and Stephen Street – producers (11, 17-18, 22-23)
  • Steve Lillywhite – remixer (4)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Blender review
  3. ^ Morrissey-solo (19 June 2001). "Marr comments on "The Very Best Of The Smiths"". Retrieved 2008-04-13.