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The Smiths

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 17 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sire-Wbr
  • ASIN: B000002L5P
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,174 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Reel Around The Fountain
2. You've Got Everything Now
3. Miserable Lie
4. Pretty Girls Make Graves
5. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
6. This Charming Man
7. Still Ill
8. Hand In Glove
9. What Difference Does It Make?
10. I Don't Owe You Anything
11. Suffer Little Children

Product Description


Les Smiths ont marqué de leur empreinte indélébile la pop alternative britannique des années 80. Beaucoup d'exclus, comme c'est souvent le cas dans le rock, se reconnaissent dans les chansons composées par le tandem Morrissey/Johnny Marr pour The Smiths. Le Thatcherisme faisait alors des ravages en Angleterre mais Morrissey ne parle pas la langue de bois et son mélange de grâce, d'humour et de préciosité sincères touche. Avec ses arpèges hérités des Byrds, la guitare de Marr enchante. Quant à la voix de Morrissey, haut perchée et ambiguë, elle fascine comme sur "Hand That Rocks The Cradle" et surtout "Suffer Little Children" inspiré par un horrible fait divers qui a profondément marqué Morrissey. Ce premier essai est un coup de maître. S'y profile ce qui fera le génie des suivants. --Hervé Comte

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Back in 1984, when Culture Club, Wham!, and Duran Duran dominated the charts and airwaves, a group of four young Englishmen called the Smiths released their debut on the indie label Rough Trade. Although they recorded only four non-compilation studio albums, this Manchester-based quartet would be remembered as one of the most influential pop bands of all time. "The Smiths" is a smashing debut of a classic that was so unique in its flavor and form, that it really couldn't be compared to anything else. The recipe for the group's success was--in addition to John Porter's raw production--its clever and original songwriting. Singer Morrissey's sensitive and thoughtful lyrics and guitarist Johnny Marr's intricate melodies highlighted key tracks such as the opener "Reel Around the Fountain," the catchy "This Charming Man," and the ever-haunting "Hand in Glove." What's more, Morrissey's lyrics tackled some unconventional topics few pop stars in 1984 would bother to broach, from child abuse to homosexuality. "The Smiths" debuted at Number Two on the UK charts upon release, and while it never duplicated the same success stateside, it has quickly gained popularity as an underground classic. Two years later, the band would outdo themselves on their 1986 masterpiece "The Queen Is Dead" before disbanding the following year. Both that album, as well as this stunner of a debut, come highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This is my favourite Smiths album(not counting compilations). I'm not alone in this either; a Rolling Stone article agreed with me, and so does Mark Simpson, author of 'Saint Morrissey.' (OK, now I probably sound like a Smiths fanatic, but I'm not, I promise; I just happen to like intelligent, accessible, and enthusiastic writing about popular culture!) I admire 'The Queen is Dead,' and 'Strangeways' and 'Meat is Murder' have their many virtues. If you fell in love with 'The Queen is Dead,' it's possible you may not like this as much, because it's quite different. If, however, you liked 'The Queen is Dead' but came away not fully understanding the fuss over this band--try this, as well as (and perhaps first)'Hatful of Hollow,' a radio sessions and B-sides compilation that has better versions of some of these tracks plus more great songs in the same vein.
Popular music history has been unkind to The Smiths' debut album because the band had already generated enormous expectations before they even released an album and because the legendary poor production apparently failed to do justice to the songs' potential as proven in live performances. This is pure dusty, cobwebbed abstraction to those who discovered The Smiths after they split up, like me. I consider the unpolished nature of the production and of Morrissey's riveting and unearthly voice at this stage an aesthetic enhancement, perfect for these songs about romanticized desolation and squalor. The theme of the album (intended or not) is the passage from innocence to experience through sex or trauma (or traumatic sex), conveyed through ambiguous, evocative and suggestive lyrics that hint at kinkiness without ever being vulgar or sensationalistic.
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Format: Audio CD
The Smiths did a couple of things for music. They showed that it was still cool to have guitar in the synth filled 80s popscene, and they showed that music could still make you think and feel.
The sound of the Smiths? Jangly guitar pop, thanks to Johnny Marr and morbid crooning, thanks to Morrissey. As they were on an independent label at the time, rather than a big record company, the sound isn't as manufactured as a lot of contemporary 1980s recordings. It's more real, more raw. The treble and echo heavy production has dated a little, though.
The performance is great. Morrissey sings with passion, a little rawer than later albums, but just as powerful. Johnny Marr is a wizard on the guitar, to be brief. Andy Rourke's bass is particularly catchy, especially on tracks like "This Charming Man". Mike Joyce, the drummer, keeps a tight time as he should, and often adds a great intensity to the songs, such as on "Miserable Lie" and "Hand in Glove".
Morrissey, even at this early stage has witty and evocative lyrics, a combination of compassion and disgust. Lusty girls and passive guys make up a lot of the lyrical content, like on "Reel Around the Fountain", "Miserable Lie", "Pretty Girls Make Graves". Homosexuality features in "Hand in Glove". Unemployment crops up too, on "Still Ill" and "You've Got Everything Now" , (who else would have the guts to sing "I've never had a job because I'm too shy"). Worth a mention are the haunting lyrics of "Suffer Little Children", about the moors murders.
"Fresh lilaced moorland fields
Cannot hide the stolid stench of death"
The sampled child's laughter in that song makes things all the more creepy.
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Format: Audio CD
I can't remember exactly when I got into Morrissey/Smiths. It certainly has been a while. However, I just recently began to buy their albums, and I figured I would start with this one, being as how it was their debut album and also came first in the chronological order I'll be buying them in. I had already heard close to half the album when I bought it, but it still did not cease to amaze me. From the opening track, the sublime "Reel Around The Fountain," you can already tell that you've got a masterpiece on your hands. I think "Reel Around The Fountain" is probably my favorite song on the album. It really shows off Morrissey's outstanding voice and knack for poetry/songwriting. The following track, "You've Got Everything Now," is not quite as good, but still very energetic and well-written. As with a few of Moz's songs, the lyrics are a tad bit bitter. But, then again, who isn't bitter, eh? The next song, "Miserable Lie," is one of the truly different songs on the album. It starts out rather normal, then about 40 seconds into it, the bands speeds up tremendously and about 2 minutes into it, Moz starts singing in the strangest falsetto-like voice I've ever heard. The lyrics are wonderful, and I also enjoy the weird energy in the song, too, though some Smiths fans seem to think of it as a sort of failed attempt at trying to "rock out." The next song, "Pretty Girls Make Graves," is the song that made me go to record store and buy the album. I have no idea what it is about that song, but I listened to it on repeat for a week, and kept craving more. Moz shows off his vocal abilities once again. The celibate lyrics are also very, umm, interesting. "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" is also one of the shining moments on the album. Very serene and beautifully executed.Read more ›
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