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Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Smiths “Hatful of hollow”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: The Smiths
Album Title: Hatful of hollow
Year released: 1984
Year reissued: 2011
Details: Remastered, gatefold sleeve, part of box set that includes booklet and poster

The skinny: Now that I’ve gotten through the four studio LPs, it’s time to start in on the multiple compilation albums that were released by The Smiths, starting with “Hatful of hollow”. I’ve mentioned in replies to comments on a previous post in this series that I actually prefer their singles, many of which don’t appear on the albums, over their proper studio albums. So for me, these compilations are where the meat of The Smiths best work resides. Released in 1984, “Hatful of hollow” gathers together recordings of the multiple live performances by the band on the BBC, all made prior to the release of their debut, as well as a few A-sides and B-sides of singles released around the time. This compilation is a compelling listen because those BBC versions are often quite different from those found elsewhere. Finally, of all the great tunes on this record, I’ve chosen the song below because this is the only disc in the box that includes “This charming man”. And well, it is a great tune!

Standout track: “This charming man”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Smiths “Strangeways, here we come”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: The Smiths
Album Title: Strangeways, here we come
Year released: 1987
Year reissued: 2011
Details: Remastered, part of box set that includes booklet and poster

The skinny: How do you follow an album like “The Queen is dead”? Apparently, you break up your relatively short-lived but beloved band and months later, release your final album. “Strangeways, here we come” is considered by some, including both Morrissey and Johnny Marr, as The Smiths’ best album. I’m not sure I’m completely on board with this but it definitely counts a couple of my favourites in its track listing, tracks like “Unhappy birthday” and the one I’ve highlighted below. Perhaps I’ll throw this one over to Geoff at 1001albumsin10years, who I know is a big fan of these Manchester legends but has yet to chime in on his favourite of the studio releases. How about it Geoff?

Standout track: “Girlfriend in a coma”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Smiths “The Queen is dead”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: The Smiths
Album Title: The Queen is dead
Year released: 1986
Year reissued: 2011
Details: Remastered, gatefold sleeve, part of box set that includes booklet and poster

The skinny: There was a brief difference of opinions between two commenters on last week’s post and I stepped in to say that I always found The Smiths’ singles preferable to their proper studio albums. Our friend at Aphoristic Album Reviews agreed, but commented that this third album by The Smiths, “The Queen is dead”, was ‘very good though’. And I’m with him. This one was my favourite of their studio albums. So many great tracks like “Frankly Mr. Shankly”, “There is a light that never goes out”, “Cemetry gates”, “The boy with the thorn in his side”, and the one below, “Bigmouth strikes again”. In fact, it’s near impossible to point out a weak link here. I defy you to try.

Standout track: “Bigmouth strikes again”