(2017) The Queen Is Dead

The Smiths

... read moreMeat Is Murder may have been a holding pattern, but The Queen Is Dead is the Smiths' great leap forward, taking the band to new musical and lyrical heights. Opening with the storming title track, The Queen Is Dead is a harder-rocking record than anything the Smiths had attempted before, but that's...

02:25′:39″ 36 Songs

Disk 1

1
The Queen Is Dead (2017 Master)
The Smiths
6:24
2
Frankly, Mr. Shankly (2017 Master)
The Smiths
2:18
3
I Know It's Over (2017 Master)
The Smiths
5:48
4
Never Had No One Ever (2017 Master)
The Smiths
3:37
5
Cemetry Gates (2017 Master)
The Smiths
2:38
6
Bigmouth Strikes Again (2017 Master)
The Smiths
3:12
7
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (2017 Master)
The Smiths
3:16
8
Vicar In A Tutu (2017 Master)
The Smiths
2:22
9
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (2017 Master)
The Smiths
4:03
10
Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (2017 Master)
The Smiths
3:16

Disk 2

1
The Queen Is Dead (Full Version)
The Smiths
7:14
2
Frankly, Mr. Shankly (Demo)
The Smiths
2:19
3
I Know It's Over (Demo)
The Smiths
5:49
4
Never Had No One Ever (Demo)
The Smiths
4:41
5
Cemetry Gates (Demo)
The Smiths
3:01
6
Bigmouth Strikes Again (Demo)
The Smiths
3:07
7
Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (Demo)
The Smiths
3:57
8
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (Demo Mix)
The Smiths
3:19
9
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Take 1)
The Smiths
4:25
10
Rubber Ring (2017 Master)
The Smiths
3:54
11
Asleep (Single B-Side) [2017 Master] (Single B-Side; 2017 Master)
The Smiths
4:02
12
Money Changes Everything (2017 Master)
The Smiths
4:41
13
Unloveable (2017 Master)
The Smiths
3:56

Disk 3

1
How Soon Is Now? (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
5:25
2
Hand In Glove (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
2:58
3
I Want The One I Can't Have (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
3:24
4
Never Had No One Ever (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
3:26
5
Stretch Out And Wait (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
3:12
6
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
3:34
7
Cemetry Gates (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
3:01
8
Rubber Ring / What She Said / Rubber Ring (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
4:17
9
Is It Really So Strange? (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
3:22
10
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
4:09
11
That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
4:51
12
The Queen Is Dead (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
5:05
13
I Know It's Over (Live In Boston)
The Smiths
7:36
Released 20 October 2017, 2017 This Compilation Warner Music UK Ltd

Review

Meat Is Murder may have been a holding pattern, but The Queen Is Dead is the Smiths' great leap forward, taking the band to new musical and lyrical heights. Opening with the storming title track, The Queen Is Dead is a harder-rocking record than anything the Smiths had attempted before, but that's only on a relative scale -- although the backbeat is more pronounced, the group certainly doesn't rock in a conventional sense. Instead, Johnny Marr has created a dense web of guitars, alternating from the minor-key rush of "Bigmouth Strikes Again" and the faux rockabilly of "Vicar in a Tutu" to the bouncy acoustic pop of "Cemetry Gates" and "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side," as well as the lovely melancholy of "I Know It's Over" and "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out." And the rich musical bed provides Morrissey with the support for his finest set of lyrics. Shattering the myth that he is a self-pitying sap, Morrissey delivers a devastating set of clever, witty satires of British social mores, intellectualism, class, and even himself. He also crafts some of his finest, most affecting songs, particularly in the wistful "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" and the epic "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out," two masterpieces that provide the foundation for a remarkable album. [The Queen Is Dead is the first Smiths album to receive a Super Deluxe Edition and it rewards long-awaiting fans by offering not only a remaster of the 1986 classic, but a disc of demos and B-sides, a full live concert from August 1986, and a DVD containing Derek Jarman's The Queen Is Dead film, along with a high-resolution version of the album. Apart from an unexpected muted trumpet solo filling out the coda on "Never Had No One Ever," the previously unheard demos don't offer much in the way of surprises, but that's also a testament to the vision of Johnny Marr: he knew precisely how to layer his countless guitar tracks, so the demos carry the same majestic scope as the finished product. In contrast, the concert -- recorded at the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts in Boston -- feels loose and unpolished. Morrissey is prone to growl and overshoot the high end of his range; Marr eschews precision for feel, complemented by accompanying guitarist Craig Gannon; and the rhythm section of Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce rush as much as they anchor. It's exciting and offers a nice contrast to the concentrated craft of the studio album, offering proof that the Smiths weren't just bedsit pop poets, but were a hell of a rock & roll band too.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine