Once you realize this 1988 CD was quickly released by a record company facing passionate demand for a band that no longer existed, the release of this so-so CD becomes clear.
Live records are, as John Lydon put it, "record company stuff." You get the hits, just sloppier. I can remember only a handful of live CDs that offered something more. (PiL's "Paris in Spring", Throbbing Gristle's total reworkings, Ani DiFranco's "Living in Clip", John Cale's "Fragments of a Rainy Season" stand out.) I file this Smiths CD in the just-ok/humdrum bin. I play it sometimes, but in the space of years, not days.
Most of this Kilburn UK 10/23/'86 show consists of songs from "The Queen is Dead" or recent singles of that period. Performances here don't touch the studio mastery of that truly wonderful record. The tempo of most songs is sped up, not always a good thing. And then there's Morrissey, who sounds crankier than usual. This works well for "Bigmouth Strikes Again" which sounds like a thrilling riot, not so well for other tracks.
Legalities prevent me from recommending bootlegs that are far stronger, but I can safely say the great live Smiths were recorded - the material is out there - and this CD falls short. "Rank" is a live Smiths document, little more. It might have made a better video, however. Morrissey's fade-in/fade-out vocals suggest this was a rambunctious physical show, where he was swamped by fans. Reissue/Repackage anyone?