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Louder Than Bombs Best of

4.8 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 4 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: Sire-Wbr
  • ASIN: B000002LBH
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Is It Really So Strange?
2. Sheila Take A Bow
3. Shoplifters Of The World Unite
4. Sweet & Tender Hooligan
5. Half A Person
6. London
7. Panic
8. Girl Afraid
9. Shakespeare's Sister
10. William, It Was Really Nothing
11. You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby
12. Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
13. Ask
14. Golden Lights
15. Oscillate Wildly
16. These Things Take Time
17. Rubber Ring
18. Back To The Old House
19. Hand In Glove
20. Stretch Out & Wait
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Double vinyl LP pressing. Digitally remastered edition of this 1987 collection from the legendary British quartet. Another compilation of singles, B-sides, album tracks, and BBC sessions, this time assembled for the American market, Louder Than Bombs is a sizeable collection that boasts a wealth of brilliant material. It includes hits such as the irresistible "Ask," the bouncing pop of "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" and the sad "Unlovable." With a solid collection of singles and a number of tracks virtually unavailable elsewhere, Louder Than Bombs is a necessary purchase for any Smiths fan.


This 1987 collection of Smiths album tracks, B-sides, and singles (and roughly half of Hatful of Hollow) is a worthy essential Smiths due to its scope and size. Twenty-four tracks in all, it includes hits such as the irresistible and bouncy "Ask," the Smiths prototype "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now," "William, It Was Really Nothing," "Panic," and "Hand in Glove." Lesser-known tracks like the lovely, piano-driven instrumental "Oscillate Wildly," the dark "Rubber Ring," and the weary "Half a Person" are strong enough to stand without the benefit of support from the hits. There are a few misses here, but they're hardly noticeable when surrounded by all the great tracks. Plus, a number of must-haves ("You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby," "Stretch Out and Wait," "Half a Person") are virtually unavailable elsewhere. --Lorry Fleming

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I didn't really pay attention to the music of The Smiths until rather later in their career but by the time I tuned in, I was amazed. You could make endless jokes about the perennially pessimistic frontman Morrissey and his moods but you could never dismiss his clever and sarcastic lyrical turns, nor could you ever ignore the astounding musicianship of Pete Joyce, Andy Rourke, and especially Johnny Marr. Some may never enjoy the style of their output but it is some of the best pop music to come out of the 1980s and maybe even beyond.

I don't know how many hundreds of times I played my old cassette copy of this (purchased barely after it was released in 1987) and I was glad to get it on CD so that I could keep on enjoying these old favourites. It's not an exhaustive collection of their tunes (and a good number of them appear on the earlier release "Hatful of Hollow") but if you only wanted to buy one Smiths recording, this would be a great starting point. If it piques your interest, you could check out full album releases such as "Meat is Murder" or "The Queen is Dead" for more classics.
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Format: Audio CD
take a listen and you will be hooked on this great collection of singles and b-sides from one of the most influential bands of the 1980's: the Smiths. Of course, the Smiths aren't for everyone and of course they were never meant to be.
Of all the great great bands to come out of Manchester the Smiths are certainly one of the best, as tracks such as "panic", "half a person", "william it was really nothing", heaven knows i'm miserable now" and "ask" certainly attests.
In addition to the unforgettably smooth voice of Morrissey, the guitar accompaniment of Johnny Marr helped elevate the Smiths from a great band to, perhaps, one of the best ever. Listening to the tracks on this album one is struck by the seamless way that Morrissey's voice merges with and into the music of Marr, Rourke and Joyce, all complimenting each other beautifully as the music meanders through subtle and at times dramatic shifts in rhythm, melody and tone. Combine this mastery of harmony with lyrics that are often intense, provocative and always impassioned one can see why the music of the Smiths was so appealing to so many disaffected by the culture of alienation and isolation that has become one of most recognizable hallmarks of the 80's.
While many mainstrem bands and performers were mindlessly celebrating the escapist world of sex, drugs and rock n' roll, the Smiths were providing a voice for all those who could see that such excess was simply a symptom of a cultural milieu awash in greed and blind conformity. If you think Van Halen is "cool" or think that owning a porsche makes you a somehow "better" or more "complete," then this is probably not the music for you, however if you are one of those people who loves music with depth, passion and more than a tinge of melancholy, well this IS for you. "Yes, we may be hidden by rags, but we have something they'll never have, and if people stare, then, the people stare, I really don't know, and I really don't care"
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Format: Audio CD
While I feel that "Meat Is Murder" is, song for song, the best thing the Smiths ever did, "Louder Than Bombs" deserves special recognition for being one of the few B-sides/rarities collections that isn't mostly filler. Most of these songs are legitimate keepers that hold up surprisingly well.
It's hard to imagine a band from the 80's not sounding dated in 2002, but the Smiths were born to break rules. Their stripped-down vocals/guitar/bass/drums approach was a rarity in the age of big hair and shoulder pads. The songs were what mattered, and even if lead singer/lyricist Morrissey put his depressed, broken heart on his sleeve one too many times, it was still good songwriting performed with talent and charisma. Johnny Marr's prowess as a musician and songwriter is in full form here as well.
"Louder Than Bombs" makes for a nice Smiths sampler...the album covers roughly the entire timespan of their career. Highlights include the breezy "Ask," the anthemic "Panic," the brilliant single "Hand in Glove" and the frenetic "Shakespeare's Sister." Of the 24 songs, there's maybe two or three I don't care for. Not a bad ratio at all.
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Format: Audio CD
Although some Smiths fans prefer "Hatful of Hallow"
over "Louder Than Bombs", citing the rawness over "Louder Than Bombs" polished singles and b-sides, "Louder Than Bombs" is essential to any Smiths collection.
The Smiths not only made good albums,they were masters of the 3 minute pop single. Morrissey and Marr were influence by alot of 60's bands who often worked at a breakneck speed and sought to emulate them in the studio, which accounts for the quality and amount of work they did in such a sort period of time. They did some of their best work on their singles releases which often contained songs such as "Panic", "You Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby", "Ask", etc, that never appeared on albums. "Louder Than Bombs" is a much more thorough account of the Smiths singles and b-sides than "Hatull of Hallow" which only accounts for about half of the Smiths singles releases, altough a fine record in its own right. But "Louder Than Bombs" truly cements the Smiths place of being one of best English bands of the 80's.
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Format: Audio CD
First off, let me say that this is an excellent album. There are tons of great songs here. However, what troubles me is that sum of it all seems to be less than its parts. This should be a 5-star album, but it falls a little bit short. The main problem is that it comes across as a greatest hits album. (Admittedly, this album is a collection.) However, I think the songs could've been arranged in a better order than they were. It seems a little top heavy; most of the best material appears in the first half of the album. This not only makes the weaker songs stand out more (although, I hesistate to use the word "weak"), but it also tends to diminish the greatness of the stronger songs. It's almost like the great songs work against the album as a whole. Again, I think this problem may have been solved with putting more thought into the sequencing of the tracks. (I guess that might be solved by using the programming feature on your CD player!) Also, because of the "greatest hits" feel, the album seems to lack a mood and/or aura. It comes across a little bit cold.
However, there still are a lot of great songs here. There's no way it deserves less than four stars out of five.
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