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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark for eighties music
Much of what the Smiths represent has already been addressed in these reviews, so I will share only a few other things in addition to personal recollections of the band.

The Smiths were all too brief a force in music, but what they lacked in time, they made up for in fecundous output. Few groups recorded as much or as brilliantly as the Smiths did in their four...
Published on December 6, 2005 by tick tock

versus
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic album amidst quality issues
I love The Smiths and Morrissey has an amazing voice. This is the perfect "rainy day" album.
Unfortunately, I was sent a scratched album that I immediately returned. The replacement album I was sent is also scratched and warped. Amazingly enough, it plays just fine. I am guessing scratches are an issue that began @ pressing, so the next one sent would...
Published 20 months ago by Alison0305


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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark for eighties music, December 6, 2005
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
Much of what the Smiths represent has already been addressed in these reviews, so I will share only a few other things in addition to personal recollections of the band.

The Smiths were all too brief a force in music, but what they lacked in time, they made up for in fecundous output. Few groups recorded as much or as brilliantly as the Smiths did in their four year tenure as kings of british pop. Musically, no one even came close to the sheer beauty of what Johnny Marr created. Any guitarist worth his salt will admit as much, but music was only half of the equation. Morrissey is, like Robert Smith and Ian McCullough, a wordsmith of the highest order, creating rarely seen literary parallels between himself and the writers he so often championed.

As for the man's sexuality.... well, for all of the press it has received over the years, it was simply irrelevant to his craft, and he only underscored that notion by remaining aloof and deliberately ambiguous on the subject. For those who actually remember the Smiths while they were together, Morrissey was a declared celibate throughout his partnership with Marr, Joyce and Rourke, having given himself over to his art to such a degree that, when Johnny split, the man was literally bedridden.

The Smiths. Where would I have been without them? Some like to talk of this group as depressing but they got me through some very bad times indeed. Rarely had I heard anyone speak so honestly about his feelings... and those lyrics often reminded me that I was not the only one out there suffering. As unbelievable as it may sound, I think this band may have actually saved my life, and it's hard to speak objectively of such an influence... but anyone who has been desperate and heard the optimism in 'please, please, please...' will understand.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Smiths: Hatful Of Hollow, August 9, 2004
By 
Moz Marr "Smith" (Mt. Laurel, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
The Smiths released their second album, Hatful Of Hollow, in November of 1984. The album is basically a compilation, consisting of two BBC sessions (John Peel, 9/21/83 and 4/7/83),

as well as singles released from the previous album and unreleased tracks. The album is worth it simply because of guitarist Johnny Marr's stunning guitar work alone.

1. William, It Was Really Nothing: The album kicks off with one of The Smiths' new singles. A short and upbeat song, it contains the funny "fat girl" verse.

2. What Difference Does It Make (BBC): This song doesn't differ too much of the album version, but it is still a great song.

3. These Things Take Time (BBC): A song that was left off of the debut album in favour of Still Ill, it is a fast song with tight lyrics.

4. This Charming Man (BBC): The BBC version of this single is fantastic. Everything runs well in this song, it is one of the best of this album.

5. How Soon Is Now?: Arguably The Smiths most famous song, this is what gave the band the push they needed during their early years, proving that the band were no one-hit wonders. A long single with a unique sound that only The Smiths can provide.

6. Handsome Devil (BBC): An underrated song which was on the Troy Tate version of the debut album. Morrissey again faces controversy with the lyrics of the song. Is it controversial? You decide.

7. Hand In Glove: The Hatful Of Hollow version of this song was the original single used. In the beginning it fades in, surely a limp start to such a great, hard-rocking track. It was remixed by producer John Porter for the The Smiths debut album.

8. Still Ill (BBC): This version includes a harmonica both at the beginning and the end of the song. It gives the song a strange feel, wouldn't you agree?

9. Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now: What a great song the band chose for their single. The music is great and the lyrics are excellent. This is a song that will never tire you out from listening.

10. This Night Has Opened My Eyes (BBC): This BBC version is the only version of this song to be released. Such an underrated song.

11. You've Got Everything Now (BBC): A very good song, it doesn't differ greatly from the album version.

12. Accept Yourself (BBC): Some silly lyrics with a surprisingly average performance from Marr proves that this is just a normal B-Side.

13. Girl Afraid: You will listen to this song over and over again, since the guitar and bass lines are perfect together.

14. Back To The Old House (BBC): You will find this song better than the original album version due to Marr's guitar and Morrissey's lyrics.

15. Reel Around The Fountain (BBC): A great song, it is equal to the album version.

16. Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want: This song is extremely short, but it will touch you unlike any other way. What a tremendous song.

Overall, a nice album to fit in between the solid debut and the third album, this is really one that you can't leave behind. The BBC versions are truly amazing, as well as the other songs on this album. You will love "How Soon Is Now?". I definitely recommend this album to music fans. You will love it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ALL-TIME ESSENTIAL ALBUM, June 25, 2004
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
One of the greatest albums of all-time...extra appealing because most of it is lo-fi, but beautifully lo-fi. Every song is a masterpiece of intelligent vulnerable British pop music. The music, written by Johnny Marr, is brilliantly melodic. The words are worthy of Oscar Wilde, one of lyricist Morrissey's major influences, along with early 60's black and white British working class films like Taste of Honey (snatches of dialogue from this film can be found in the lyrics to This Night Has Opened My Eyes, an extremely powerful song). This album is the greatest Smiths album, and that's saying a LOT, since every Smiths album was BRILLIANT. The Smiths recording career lasted from 1984-1987, but they were extremely prolific. This was their second release, technically a collection of radio recordings and singles, but it works perfectly as an album with its own theme.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why buy a Peel Session boot when you can get this instead?, January 8, 2002
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
I was a little disappointed when I bought this, because it contained a lot of the Peel Session recordings I had recently bought. These are much better quality though, since the recordings I had were of the whole show with the interview parts over-running the songs. Peel tracks- "What Difference Does It Make", "Handsome Devil", "Reel Around the Fountain", "This Night Has Opened My Eyes", "Still Ill", "This Charming Man", and "Back to the Old House". There are also three tracks from the David Jensen show (which I've seen passed off as Peel Sessions, but arent!). "These Things Take Time", "You've Got Everything Now", and "Accept Yourself".
Some performers do these in studio songs as throwaway tracks, but if you've heard the Peel interviews, you know that John Peel was one of the first people to play the Smiths on his show, and hence they're not only different, but sometimes even better versions than what you get on the regular editions. If you're a completionist, you must own this CD. If you're a casual fan, and may have some of these tracks already on various other CDs (the regular album release), don't worry about owning a second version of these songs. They're unique enough to stand on their own in most cases. Skip "best of" collections altogether. There are only four or five albums that consist of the bulk of the Smiths cannon, you're much better off with them all, than with the poor compilations that have been released to date. I own thousands of CDs, and nothing really stands out like the Smiths did during the 80s. Nobody sounds like them before or since.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Ignorant Some of the New Listeners Are..., October 5, 2005
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
It's obvious that people who will say The Smiths as a band for gay people just goes to show how ignorant these new emo kids are to yesterday's music.These emo kids were prolly in their primary school when The Smiths came out of the British scene in the 80s. I should know because I was in High School back in the 80s when The Smiths first hit the NME charts with their first album. I'm a straight guy, along with five of my buddies who are into The Smiths long before these EMO kids learned to pop a CD in a sound system. Anyways...I just get a bit upset when people begin judging a band simply because the singer represented a specific community. Hey I like This Charming Man because it does have some of the best lyrics. This Night Has Opened My Eyes is another.

This is a good album. It's probably the best album they ever made. They have a Peel Session version of "Still Ill", has an interesting harmonica intro. Other songs are "How Soon is Now" and "Girl Afraid." This is an album that you should definitely buy if you want to listen The Smith's best years. Take note of Johnny Marr's guitar-playing here and Rourke's bass playing. Fantastic. Spend your money on this. By the way, I still have my vinyl version of this album. Mint condition. To new listeners who are just discovering the music of MY generation, get this album. You will cherish it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE SMITHS ALBUM REVIEW 2!!!!!!!!, July 12, 2005
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
Released late in 1984, Hatful of Hollow was a compilation of songs left of their first album.

Only released in the UK and several other European countries, and not released in the States till 1996, the album also included the British Radio 2 Peel sessions, of songs originally released on the first Smiths album. The songs included were UK top thirty hits What difference does it make and This Charming Man, also included was Hand in Glove, Still Ill, You've got everything now, and Reel around the fountain.

The album includes the bands first UK top ten hit Heaven Knows I'm miserable now, and the UK top twenty hit William it was really nothing. It also includes the bands most famous song How soon is Now, originally a b-side to Heaven knows I'm miserable now, the song was released as a flip side in 1985 peaking in the UK at 25, it was later re-released as a single in 1992 this time charting at 16.

Though not officially an album release more a compilation, Hatful of Hollow is often refered to as the bands second album release because of top quality tracks such as Handsome Devil, These things take time, Back to the old house and a gem timed at only 1 minute 50, Please, please, please let me get what I want.

The album holds more of a Pop/Indie concept than the first album, most of the songs (except How Soon is Now, and Accept Yourself and some of the BBC outtakes) are between 2-3 minutes, e.g. Girl Afraid, These things take time. Indeed it probably works out to be the easiest Smiths album to get into (though I'd always recomend The Queen is Dead as a starting point to The Smiths)

Hatful of Hollow would peak in the UK album charts at number 7, and if anything proves that even throwaway Smiths tracks were better than most bands classics. Overall a definite must have to your Smiths and Morrisey collection.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Early Smiths (Not just for the "limp-writsted"), August 12, 2005
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
You can't go wrong with this album if you love the Smiths, it has tracks you can't find anywhere else and is a good introduction to the band's early period.

Message to "Shotgun Method": If you actually think that the primary fan base for the Smiths and Morrissey are "limp-wristed emo kids (your tasteless homo-baiting is telling)," you truly are uninformed. In reality, Morrissey has a shockingly huge number of straight male fans. And females, like me, while we're at it. Not to mention his extreme popularity with Latinos. Make these comments to some of his rough-looking, intimidating fans (there is one in particular at the end of the "Who Put the M in Manchester" DVD) at your own peril. I guess you thought that it was a sure bet to make the "all Morrissey/Smiths fans are gay" statement, but, no. Incidentially, Michael Stipe is a huge Morrissey fan. And Robert Smith (who I also love) is famously jealous.

New listeners--don't listen to people who say the Smiths are "gay!" If you aren't moved by Morrissey's unmatched vocal delivery, I don't want to know you.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Smiths Record, September 5, 2007
By 
ASA (Northern California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
In 1984, I went Licorce Pizza Record Store. There were two tapes for sale that were guaranteed to by amazing. First, was REM's Reckoning (and it was amazing). The other was the The Smith's first record. I'd never heard of them, but since it was guaranteed, I spent the $4.99 and got.

I was blow away. I listened to it non-stop. I could hardly wait for more Smiths. During Christmas Vacation 1984, I went to a music store and saw this for sale. It was an import, so it was $9.99, quite a bit of money. But I bought it.

The music was simply amazing. I could care less if the obviously gay songs (or maybe not obvious - maybe I'm wrong) were about gay love. This is a record about the human experience, about love and lonliness. This is record with amazing guitarwork. This is a record that when you get done listening to it you want to give each member a hug and say "It will be alright."

The feeling is of honesty. Nothing fancy...just perfect songs recorded in less then perfect conditions.

Of course the Queen is Dead is amazing, as is Meat is Murder, but this will always be my favorite. It is perfect.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not Queen, not Bombs, not Meat,, February 26, 2002
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
...and *definitely* not Strangeways...THIS is the Smiths' most dynamic and comprehensive disk. The Smiths actually kind of 'rock out' on some of these songs, in contrast to the typical pop-rock style their other releases were done in. Even though most of these tracks are contained somewhere on the 20 or so other albums and cash-in compilations that make up the bulk of the Smiths' catalogue, this album is definitely worth having for anyone who doesn't hate the band.
This album is better because the songs were recorded during different sessions and the production sounds 'grittier' and less doctored (think Steve Albini producing PJ Harvey or Nirvana). The HOH versions sound like rock songs, whereas the LTB versions sound like pop-rock. The most obvious example is "These Things Take Time" - the LTB version sounds like a watered-down radio single, but the HOH version really kicks, especially with Mike Joyce's skillful and rocking drum style and Andy Rourke not being swallowed by the voice and guitar as they usually are. The version of "What Difference Does It Make?" is also much better on this album. You can practically picture these guys rocking out in some Manchester garage, it's pretty cool! As another reviewer commented, listeing to this album on vinyl is probably the ultimate Smiths experience.
Besides Morrissey's witty lyrics and Marr's obvious talent and skill, it's usually overlooked that the Smiths had a fantastic drummer and bass player as well. It's too bad more Smiths albums weren't done in this style.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Smiths at their best, January 18, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Hatful of Hollow (Audio CD)
This is an incredible record, especially when you consider the fact that it was a compilation of B-sides and alternative recordings slapped together. Oh, that others could come up with such great stuff if they tried! Johnny Marr is without a doubt one of the most underrated guitarists ever. His subtle riffs are extremely engaging. He and Morrissey formed one of the great songwriting duos ever, for the music fit the lyrics perfectly and vice versa.
"Handsome Devil" is an unqualified classic. "Hand in Glove", "William, It Was Really Nothing", "Reel Round the Fountain", "You've Got Everything Now". I could go on forever. There is not a bum song on the disc.
If you want to understand the Smiths and hear their best work, buy this record. It is one of the best albums ever recorded and it captures the true essence of the band and makes you realize why they were so great. They simply outthought and outplayed their contemporaries and left a legacy that will never be forgotten.
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Hatful of Hollow
Hatful of Hollow by The Smiths (Audio CD - 1993)
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