Louder Than Bombs Best of
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See all 24 tracks on this disc
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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"
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.
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.
However, there still are a lot of great songs here. There's no way it deserves less than four stars out of five.
Most recent customer reviews
Although this album takes you only up through 1987 (so no songs from the Strangeways LP) it is about a great a collection of songs as any band's greatest hits. Read morePublished on Aug. 2 2009 by Brian Maitland
If you don't own this album you really ought to get with it - a majority of the songs on this singles collection are absolutely essential, and most all of the songs are... Read morePublished on June 8 2004 by aloverofgreysilentdays
What an original sound...great party music.
Looks like Morrisey started something!
There are things in life that will always defy explanation to those who have not experienced them. I can try to tell you what it is like having a son or falling in love, but will... Read morePublished on May 11 2004 by meccano
I just bought this cd yesterday at a local music store and i have listened to the whole thing twice already. This is a classic. Read morePublished on March 20 2004
This is a classic record that rivals the Queen is Dead, not as a cohesive album, but for sheer listening enjoyment.
Fabulous. Read more
This release from The Smiths is very strong at points, but then turns around and drops off at others. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2004 by Chris G. Tyler
With 24 tracks, Louder than Bombs is the best value Smiths CD. Every track is quality. You'll get Morrissey's wit, his compassion, his keen observations, his emotion, his misery -... Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2004 by Matt Poole
This is the only album released during the lifespan of the Smiths that I cannot recommend. 'Hatful of Hollow' and 'The World Won't Listen'--I found both of them new for $15... Read morePublished on Dec 13 2003 by Keith T. Johnson