What Difference Does It Make? THE SMITHS POLL!!

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What Is The Best Album By THE SMITHS?

The Smiths (debut)
3
15%
Hatful Of Hollow
3
15%
Meat Is Murder
0
No votes
The Queen Is Dead
11
55%
Louder Than Bombs
2
10%
Strangeways Here We Come
1
5%
 
Total votes: 20

worpswede
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What Difference Does It Make? THE SMITHS POLL!!

Postby worpswede » Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:37 pm

I just finished reading Joe Pernice's first work of fiction entitled "Meat Is Murder." It's published by that company that has taken the Hornby approach by releasing books about the impact that certain albums have made on the writers commissioned for the series. Typically, the works are non-fiction, but Joe took a different approach with his effort. It's nicely done, and he talked with Jack Rabid once about why he chose "Meat Is Murder" as the album of focus. He responded that it was his first exposure to The Smiths. Although it's not my favorite album, it was the first album I ever bought by them too. I'm guessing that I'm not alone when I say that this band did impact my life in some fashion. So what album do you think represents the best of The Smiths? The poll only provides the discography released while they were still a working band. Greatist hits are for pansies. Comment and argue until, heaven knows, you're miserable now.

infectiousdisease
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Postby infectiousdisease » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:41 pm

I haven't had the time to give the Smiths a truly proper listen yet, but I have heard all of them. Still...I think, of Smiths albums, it's a first impression thing; I heard the self-titled one first, and it's the one I like best/impacted me most.

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Postby dieblucasdie » Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:36 am

I almost bought that same book today. That whole 33 1/3 series looks pretty cool, especially the Colin Meloy volume about Let It Be (The 'Mats one).

I've always had a soft spot for the s/t Smiths album. It's one of those cases where I like The Queen is Dead better in theory, but I listen to The Smiths more often.

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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:24 am

This question has always driven me crazy. I always found myself coming back to The Queen Is Dead. I think in terms of it's impact on Popular music, that album was their zenith. It is the most solid record they made. Even the name of the album drew massive attention (in the UK where it was shouted about in the Commons). Several of the songs on The Queen Is Dead continue to pop up as covers by this or that band every other year. Plus, the album kicks arse from beginning to end.

Their freshman album is great, but it doesn't have the subtlty of their later albums. Strangeways is a bit thin, and the album suffers from the obvious tensions that ripped the band apart. Louder than Bombs isn't really an album, and goes on too long, including too many songs that would have been (and were) culled from a record that should have fit on one piece of vinyl. Meat Is Murder has some just plain lame songs on it and it's title track is too "in your face". Tatfull of Hallow isn't an album any more than The Smiths Best is an album.

worpswede
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Postby worpswede » Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:24 am

Sugarcubes Forever wrote:Tatfull of Hallow isn't an album any more than The Smiths Best is an album.

Disagree. This is the album that really did it for me, which is why I must argue. I understand that it's just a compilation, but it's done so masterfully. It demonstrates how great these guys were at the beginning of their career and in settings that avoided studio trickery, notably on the included BBC sessions. This clarity proved to me how truly remarkable Marr was as a guitar player and Moz's delivery seems more natural, thereby articulating his strength as a groundbreaking songwriter. I'm hard pressed to think of any compilation that sounds like it could be taken as a proper release. The oddball might be the inclusion of "How Soon Is Now" as it contains a lot more studio tan that the rest of the material, but it's one of the most important singles in modern history and it sounded out of place even on the original domestic release "Meat Is Murder."
Totally agree on your assessment of "Meat Is Murder" and "Strangeways." Pernice's book brought me back to the former once again (same opinion as before, but it still holds fond memories for me and serves as the tour that I saw them live) and time has proven to be increasingly favorable to "Strangeways." Perhaps because I miss them and none of Morrissey's solo material can even come close to his old band's eviction notice.

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Postby D. Phillips » Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:30 am

I am really mulling this over. My first inclination is to go with the Queen is Dead, but I have stronger ties to Meat is Murder. More later...

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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:54 am

D. Phillips wrote:I am really mulling this over. My first inclination is to go with the Queen is Dead, but I have stronger ties to Meat is Murder. More later...


I am waiting with baited breath, to tear your opinions apart.

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Postby Jake » Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:38 pm

I've been thinking about this a lot. Overall, I think Queen is Dead is the best. But I think Meat is Murder has the best production. There are two bad songs on MIM: the title track and "Barbarism Begins at Home." Other than those, MIM is pretty fucking perfect. And it just sounds so damn good. Unlike the debut, which has the worst production of all Smiths albums. The first album sounds like it was recorded underwater. That's why everybody loves Hatful of Hollow: the songs are great and the recordings sound so much better than they do on the first album. Louder than Bombs is a great collection of singles and contains some of the best Smiths songs ever, like "Rubber Ring."

I don't like the production on Strangeways that much, but some of it is totally perfect ("Death of a Disco Dancer," "Paint a Vulgar Picture"). On that album, you start to feel the crappy Johnny Marr layers of indistinct slurry that he carried over to some of his work with Billy Bragg and Kirsty MacColl. The worst example of this is Bragg's "Cindy of a Thousand Lives" (produced by Marr) that sounds like there are 1,000 crappy keyboards all playing at once underneath 100 layers of muffled background vocals. Yuck. Sometimes it worked ("Sexuality") but a lot of times it just sounds bad. Wall of Slosh.

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Postby Tim » Wed Dec 08, 2004 1:31 pm

Two of my favorite songs by the Smiths are "Big Mouth Strikes Again" and "Boy with Thorn in his Side," so I'll have to go with The Queen is Dead. That cd is one that I never get tired of.

I do love Louder Than Bombs (one of the best collections, in my opinion) and Strangeways as well. Strangeways is more sentimental to me though, as I played in a band back in the day in high school and we covered "Death of a Disco Dancer." Probably didn't sound too good as our lead singer's voice cracked the whole way through, but it was fun playing the big ending to that song.

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Postby trainwreck2 » Wed Dec 08, 2004 2:13 pm

why not RANK? Im not the biggest on albums, I like the songs within em...


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