The World Won't Listen

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The World Won't Listen
Compilation album by The Smiths
Released 23 February 1987
Recorded 1984–1986
Genre Alternative rock, indie pop
Length 59:26
Label Rough Trade (UK), Sire (US)
Producer Various (see main text)
The Smiths compilations chronology
Hatful of Hollow
(1984)
The World Won't Listen
(1987)
Louder Than Bombs
(1987)
CD reissue cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Blender 3/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork (7.1/10)[3]

The World Won't Listen is a compilation album by The Smiths. It was released in February 1987 by their record company, Rough Trade Records, and reached No. 2 on the British charts, staying on the charts for 15 weeks.

Background[edit]

The album was conceived as a collection of the singles and their B-sides from 1985 to 1987. Additionally, the scrapped single "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" (which was passed over for "Shoplifters of the World Unite") and the near-single "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" (a single candidate from The Queen Is Dead that was passed over in favour of "Bigmouth Strikes Again") were included.

The title reflects Morrissey's frustration with the fact that mainstream radio and record buyers still weren't paying attention to the band. As the album included many non-album cuts and single versions, it remains a fan favourite. The music press was critical, however, labelling the album "inessential".[citation needed]

The compilation was rendered largely superfluous only three months after its release when Rough Trade decided to release the similar but extended US-intended compilation "Louder Than Bombs" domestically. This was primarily done to save the consumer from paying high import prices. However, The World Won't Listen has some songs (or different versions of songs) that do not appear on Louder Than Bombs: "Money Changes Everything", "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side", "Stretch Out and Wait" (different version), "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore", and "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" (different version).

After WEA acquired The Smiths' back catalogue in 1992, all Smiths albums were re-released at mid price, including The World Won't Listen, which was expanded to include a cover of "Golden Lights" and the original Rough Trade cassette edition bonus track "Money Changes Everything" (the "Bigmouth Strikes Again" B-side, also later released on the deluxe edition of The Sound of The Smiths).

British Turner Prize artist Phil Collins produced an artwork inspired by The World Won't Listen with the same name, which was filmed in Turkey, Indonesia and Colombia.

Cover[edit]

The CD sleeve for The World Won't Listen is based on the cassette version of the sleeve layout; the original album featured a larger picture of a 1950s fairground scene, of which this is a crop. The sleeve was designed by Morrissey, using a photo by Jürgen Vollmer from the book Rock 'N' Roll Times: The Style and Spirit of the Early Beatles and Their First Fans.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Morrissey/Marr except "Golden Lights" written by Twinkle

No. Title Length
1. "Panic" (single A-side) 2:21
2. "Ask" (single A-side) 3:15
3. "London" (B-side of "Shoplifters of the World Unite") 2:07
4. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" (from The Queen Is Dead) 3:13
5. "Shakespeare's Sister" (single A-side) 2:08
6. "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" (from The Queen Is Dead) 4:05
7. "Shoplifters of the World Unite" (single A-side) 2:58
8. "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side (single version)" (single A-side) 3:16
9. "Money Changes Everything" (B-side of "Bigmouth Strikes Again" – only on CD and K7 versions) 4:43
10. "Asleep" (B-side of "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side") 4:10
11. "Unloveable" (B-side of "Bigmouth Strikes Again") 3:56
12. "Half a Person" (B-side of "Shoplifters of the World Unite") 3:36
13. "Stretch Out and Wait (alternate vocal)" (B-side of "Shakespeare's Sister") 2:45
14. "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore (single version)" (single A-side) 3:49
15. "Oscillate Wildly" (B-side of "How Soon Is Now?") 3:26
16. "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby (UK mix)" (Remix of aborted single A-side) 3:32
17. "Rubber Ring" (B-side of "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side") 3:48

Personnel[edit]

The Smiths[edit]

  • Morrissey – vocals
  • Johnny Marr – guitars, keyboard instruments, bass guitar on "Golden Lights"
  • Andy Rourke – bass guitar, cello on "Shakespeare's Sister" and "Oscillate Wildly"
  • Mike Joyce – drums
  • Craig Gannon – rhythm guitar on "Panic", "Ask", "London", "Half a Person", "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" and "Golden Lights"

Additional musicians[edit]

Technical staff[edit]

  • Johnny Marr – producer (track 7)
  • Johnny Marr, Morrissey and Stephen Street – producers (track 3 and 12)
  • Morrissey and Marr – producers (tracks 4, 6, 10–11, 17)
  • John Porter – producer (tracks 1–2, 9, 16, 18)
  • The Smiths – producers (tracks 5, 8, 13–15)

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Chart Position
1987 UK Albums Chart 2[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tim DiGravina. "The World Won't Listen - The Smiths | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "The Smiths: The Smiths Complete | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchforkmedia.com. 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2013-10-07.