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Album Review

The Sound of the Smiths

November 13, 2008

Overseen by Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, this compilation emphasizes the compositional might behind the miserablism of England's most idiosyncratic and influential Eighties band. Sound traces the quartet's four-year evolution from savage tenderness...

Album Review

Rank

November 17, 1988

Rank, a concert album from the late, great Smiths, offers the liveliest postmortem imaginable. Rather than being an exploitative rehash, it realizes the greatest goal of a live album, namely, to offer a full reinterpretation of a band's work. The songs...

Album Review

Louder Than Bombs

May 21, 1987
Not Rated

Morrissey is modern pop's most creative masochist. From the start, the Smiths' singer and lyricist knew how to turn self-loathing into a virtue — by redeeming it with humor. Now after three U.S. albums establishing that M.O., this double package...

Album Review

Meat is Murder

May 23, 1985
Not Rated

Lead singer and wordsmith Stephen Morrissey (who goes by his surname professionally) is a man on a mission, a forlorn and brooding crusader with an arsenal of personal axes to grind. Drawing on British literary and cinematic tradition (he cites influences...

Album Review

Strangeways, Here We Come

December 3, 1987
Not Rated

"This story is old — I know/But it goes on," bleats Morrissey on the Smiths' fifth album. Perhaps it will, but not in this form. Recorded last spring, before guitarist Johnny Marr left the band (followed in turn by Morrissey's announcement that...

Album Review

The Queen is Dead

September 11, 1986
Not Rated

"Has the world changed/or have I changed?" Morrissey asks on "The Queen Is Dead," the opening cut on the Smiths' third U.S. album, and for once it's not a rhetorical question. Not that he's forsaken his hobbies or anything: this LP has songs about being...

Album Review

The Smiths

June 21, 1984

When Tom Robinson sang "Glad to Be Gay" back in 1978, he did it as a dirge — the irony, while bracing, was entirely obvious. Six years later, the singer and lyricist of the Smiths — a man called Morrissey — has little use for the ironic...

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