Louder Than Bombs was the American counterpart to The World Won't Listen compilation in that it compiled all the Smiths non album tracks that hadn't been available on single or album in the US. Therefore it is a treasure trove of the lesser known part of their back catalogue with well known hits interspersed with rarely heard B sides. Brilliant throughout despite the singer's subsequent attempts at ruining everything.
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The Smiths had a habit of releasing B-sides and EPs that were as good as the tracks they released on full length albums. Along with Hatful of Hollow, Louder Than Bombs is an example of such a record and contains 'Panic', 'William, It Really Was Nothing', 'You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby' and 'Ask' (the latter being my personal favourite Smiths song of all time).
I think the reason that this record was so successful is because it was a much more stripped down version of the Smiths that we don't see in their full releases. It had huge commercial success in the US and was eventually sold domestically after a surge in demand from Brits. It was rated as 10/10 by NME, 9.4/10 by Pitchfork and is ranked in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, but even away from the big scores it struck a chord in the hearts of nerdy and political kids in the 80s at the time of an absolute shitshow in British politics. That feeling still resonates today which is why it still sells well in stores and is considered a classic Smiths record.
Breaking the one and half hour track list down isn't necessary. If you're already a Smiths fan you'll appreciate the majority of songs without me having to tell you to do so, and if you're not already a Smiths fan here is your chance to delve into them; use Hatful of Hollow and Louder Than Bombs as a starting point to open your Smiths collection.
Each track on this compilation is so different and thought provoking, I honestly struggle to find records like it at the moment. Of course the Smiths sound is super recognisable but they had a quirk about them that made them very listenable. Some folks can't shrug the political direction that Morrissey has taken, which to be honest, is really fucking awful. Who would've thought that this geeky, bookish boy would turn out to be an apologist for the nationalist right? But, you have to dissociate the music from the musician sometimes otherwise you end up over analysing something that should be enjoyable and fun - like the Smiths.
Right, I better get back to the music of today and leave records from the 80's in my vinyl collection. Speaking of which, anyone heard that new Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber track yet? *Slightly upset sarcastic eye-roll*.
8/10 Alice 30th April 2016
I found this record through the book 'The Perks of being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky. I then found out that my family owned several records by the band, so I had a dig around. This was my favourite. The album includes tracks 'Shoplifters of the world Unite', 'Half a Person' and of course the beautiful and moving 'Asleep'.
Chbosky writes about a photograph of one of the characters, "It would be impossible to describe how beautiful it is, but I'll try. If you listen to the song "Asleep", and you think about those pretty weather days that make you remember things, and you think about the prettiest eyes you've known, and you cry, and the person holds you back, then I think you will see the photograph."
10/10 Jack 1st February 2015
This is the Smiths album I would give a friend if they wanted to know what the Smiths sounded like. There are 24 amazing tracks on here full of the MOZ wit and the MARR guitar sound. This album reads almost like a greatest hits series. I can't think of one song on here that lacks that Wilde wit and bittersweet feeling that Moz delivers in his songs. I must admit my favourite tracks here are "Half a Person", "This Night Has Opened My Eyes", "Heaven Knows Im Miserable Now", and the always fun "ASK". This album makes me want to pull my black turtle neck out of the closet and go spend the afternoon in the park sketching or having a pic-nic with a close friend who can recite Shelly and Poe. If you know the Smiths, you know what I mean. If you don't know the Smiths, here's your chance!
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