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4.9 out of 5 stars
Louder Than Bombs
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112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
If you own all four of the Smiths albums..."The Smiths", "Meat Is Murder", "The Queen Is Dead" and "Strangeways, Here We Come"...the album "Louder Than Bombs" is like the Beatles "Past Masters 1 & 2" collection but not as complete. This album does collect a nice piece of The Smiths songs not released on the four albums though. With "Louder Than Bombs", you have all of The Smiths non-album singles along with most of the B-Sides but not all of them...

"Louder Than Bombs" scrapes up the following songs...

Non-Album Singles:

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - 3:34 (1984 non-Album UK Single)
William, It Was Really Nothing - 2:11 (1984 non-Album UK Single)
Shakespeare's Sister 2:08 (1985 non-Album UK Single)
Panic - 2:20 (1986 non-Album UK Single)
Ask - 3:12 (1986 non-Album UK Single)
Shoplifters Of The World Unite - 2:58 (1987 non-Album UK Single)
Sheila Take A Bow - 3:02 (1987 non-Album UK Single)

B-Sides:

Back To The Old House - 3:04 (1984 B-Side of "What Difference Does It Make")
These Things Take Time - 2:23 (1984 B-Side of "What Difference Does It Make")
Girl Afraid - 2:49 (1984 B-Side of "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now")
Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want - 1:52 (1984 B-Side of "William, It Was Really Nothing")
Oscillate Wildly - 3:25 (1985 B-Side of "How Soon Is Now")
Stretch Out And Wait - 2:46 (1985 B-Side of "Shakespeare's Sister")
Asleep - 4:11 (1985 B-Side of "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side")
Rubber Ring - 3:48 (1985 B-Side of "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side")
Unloveable - 3:56 (1986 B-Side of "Bigmouth Strikes Again")
Golden Lights - 2:43 (1986 B-Side of "Ask")
London - 2:08 (1987 B-Side of "Shoplifters Of The World Unite")
Half A Person - 3:36 (1987 B-Side of "Shoplifters Of The World Unite")
Is It Really So Strange? - 2:42 (John Peel Session) (1987 B-Side of "Sheila Take A Bow")
Sweet And Tender Hooligan (John Peel Session) - 3:33 (1987 B-Side of "Sheila Take A Bow")

The other 3 songs on the album are:

Hand In Glove - 3:15 (Single Version)
You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby - 3:33 (Taken from mispressings of the "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" single)
This Night Has Opened My Eyes (John Peel Session) - 3:40 (Also can be found on "Hateful Of Hollow")

The CD booklet that comes with the album has the lyrics to all 24 songs featured across 10 pages with about 2 or 3 songs per page.

On another note, there are only a handful of songs you don't have with this collection and the four albums released by the band. Below are the remaining 9 songs and where you can get them on CD...

"The World Won't Listen" album:
Money Changes Everything

"Hateful Of Hollow" album:
Accept Yourself
Handsome Devil

"Rank" Live album:
The Draize Train (Live)

"Sweet And Tender Hooligan" single:
I Keep Mine Hidden
Work Is A Four Letter Word
What's The World

and now the last and hardest of the songs to get...

"This Charming Man" Single:
Jeane
Wonderful Woman

...Not all releases of "This Charming Man" has "Jeane" & "Wonderful Woman". You have to find a copy made before the 1992 re-release. There are many different versions but just make sure it has the two songs above on it. There are also two CD Maxi-Singles of "This Charming Man" that are easy to get that were released in 1990...You have to buy both of these to get the two songs "Jeane" and "Wonderful Woman"...

The first CD Maxi-Single features:

1.This Charming Man (Manchester)
2.Jeane
3.Accept Yourself

The second CD Maxi-Single features

1.This Charming Man (Manchester)
2.This Charming Man (London)
3.This Charming Man (New York Vocal)
4.This Charming Man (New York Instrumental)
5.This Charming Man (Peel Session)
6.This Charming Man (Single Version)
7.This Charming Man (Original Single Version)
8.Wonderful Woman
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90 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
There are things in life that will always defy explanation to those who have not experienced them. I can try to tell you what it is like having a son or falling in love, but will you really understand until it happens to you? The Smiths are one of those things that I could TRY to explain to you, but alas my feeble attempt to verbally express the impact The Smiths had on my life would never be properly conveyed. During my 20th summer on this planet, LOUNDER THAN BOMBS played nonstop on my 1984 Dodge Charger's Blaupunkt stereo as I drive from my part time job at the movie theatre in West LA to summer classes downtown at USC. From "Is It Really So Strange?" to the last song "Asleep" and back again I had BOMBS playing endlessly. For that moment in time it became as important to me as air and blood. I don't listen to LOUDER THAN BOMBS over and over again anymore, but I don't really have to as the changes it affected in me have already been done (for better or worse). Like REM's first studio album Murmur, or losing my virginity, I think about LOUNDER THAN BOMBS and smile with a mix of pain, happiness and regret. The songs are timeless; alas it is me a mere mortal that has grown old. Feel free tender hooligans to take this for your own, for your summer of any year yet to come, and let it melt into the pores of your being.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
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 favorite 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is the American version of The Smiths' "The World Won't Wait", which collects b-sides and independently released singles that couldn't be found in America. I would recommend anybody getting in to The Smiths to pick up "Louder Than Bombs". Specifically because The Smiths were a singles band and in England bands tend to put more emphesis on the singles market; therefore many of The Smiths best songs and most popular songs (some of them are even b-sides) were never released on albums. I think even The Smiths most well known song, "How Soon Is Now?" was not originally slated to be on a studio album. The disk is packed with Smiths gems, most notably "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby", "Panic", "Shoplifters of the World United", "Girls Afraid", etc, etc. Even some of the less notable Smiths songs that are pretty good are on the disk such as "Stretch Out and Wait" and "Unlovalbe"
Louder Than Bombs also showcases some of The Smiths musical diversity which in opinion is something that the band has never really gotten credit for. This is mainly because Johnny Marr at this time in his musical career was so jingle jangle with his guitar playing. "Is It Really So Strange" has a coutry feel. "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" and "London" are punkish. "Heaven Knows I'm Misreable Now" is motownish and "Stretch Out and Wait" is a stab at folk music.
For anybody getting in to The Smiths, "Louder Than Bombs" will add to a more complete picture to a great a band.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album when I was 15 years old, having never heard any Smiths music before (only rave reviews). It changed my life forever. Out of 24 total tracks on the album, almost every single one grabs your heart and your mind and hardly gives any room for a break. The Smiths were the greatest pop music outfit ever to be exported from the UK. This compilation of singles demonstrates how brilliant they were at combining the emotional with the intellectual and the melencholy with the witty. I can't even begin to get into specific songs, because almost every one is a masterpiece in its own right. Anyone who would like to get to know the Smiths and enjoy poetic lyrics combined with beautiful, jangling guitars must get this collection. Life wouldn't be the same without it.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2005
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
i'm a very seasoned classic rock and jazz listener. i just do not know how this fantastic band escaped my eye for such a long time. this is simply the apex of pop music and when you listen to them you know there's something special here - it is just magic. morrissey's vocals, poetry and idealism are so rare in the music industry where talent and originality have become a byline. he catches your imagination with his art, wit, openness and compassion. johnny marr's shimmering fret work provides the able foil to his band leader's genius. if you fall in love with this album but still don't want to buy the other individual albums, check out the other great collection - singles (with the legendary jacket cover). there're only seven overlaps between the two and you'd get another 11 extra songs there. great great great stuff!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
A friend recommended the "Singles" album to me but after hearing the raves for this one, I decided to get Louder Than Bombs. I have to say that this is on its way on becoming a classic amongst my collection. I would classify it (if I could) as jangly guitar brit pop-rock with a touch of punk here and there. With the nonsense being peddled as music nowadays (Ms. Spears, anyone?) I have to go back about 20 years to find something that is just musically satisfying.
The collection of songs are quite wide, from slow and melancholy to rocking beats. As a 'lyric' person, I adore the dark, morbid, self deprecating, and yet witty poetry - especially when contrasted with almost cheerful melody and insistent beat. A lot of the songs are the illustration for youthful restlessness and inner chaos - sometimes I feel as if Morrisey was speaking to me. The lyrics are straightforward, yet thoughtful. Pissed, and yet resigned. Especially terrific during grey cloudy days, when one is in a pensive mood. It is terrific to hear songs that actually say something.
"Sixteen, clumsy and shy.... The story of my life." Sheer genius and insight into the mind of youths! I only wished I had found this album when I was in my angst-ridden teenagehood, I think I could use this one. I found this gem a little late, but better late than never....
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm way into extreme metal, grindcore, death metal, black metal, industrial, noise rock, and super tough-guy hardcore, but I turn into a weepy little fangirl every time I throw on the Smiths. They're just too good!!

Morrissey's gorgeous voice and Wildean wit are the real stars here. Johnny Marr's great and all, but you don't see him with an excellent solo career, do you? Morrissey's croon is nearly overwhelmingly powerful and beautiful, and his lyrics complement his voice perfectly. While it's true that the lyrics generally revolve around depression, isolation, and a generally bleak view on life, they (as well as his voice) are really not as consistently whiny as some naysayers claim; he certainly has a dramatic flair, which many foolishly mistake for melodrama.

The melodies of the songs...positively tickle me pink! You honestly can't help but shiver in amazement when you hear pop songs as good as "Is it really so strange?" and "Half a person." You will savor every second of the songs like you were enjoying time with a lover or an old friend. God, all of this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but hey, the Smiths are really that good!

I'm really horrible at expressing exactly how I feel about this band because they are simply too good for words. That, and I chose to review a singles collection instead of a proper album, but this has 24 tracks! 24 glorious tracks! That's 74 minutes of pure, unfettered bliss!! You NEEED!!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
These are the songs that saved your life if you were a Smiths fan in the 80s. While I've tried to avoid compilation albums out of a misguided sense of purity for the Morrissey/Marr oeuvre, my resolve has eroded over the years, and I only recently bought Louder Than Bomb. I've been missing out.

"Sing Me To Sleep" and "Back to the Old House" are gorgeously sad as only Morrissey can be. "Ask" is the Morrissey/Marr collaboration at its most representative, with shiny guitar riffs that make your head want to explode driving Moz's weird, morose lyrics. "Panic" and "Shoplifters of the World" are clever to the point of philosophy. And what other pop singer would use the refrain "In the midst of life we are in debt, et cetera."

Call me morbid, call me pale, but Morrissey's melancholic worldview is seductive to the point of addiction. He's the thinking man's teenage suicide grown middle age, and arguably the greatest lyricist in rock who was lucky enough to hook up (if only briefly) with arguably the greatest pop guitarist.

Only a record executive could not like this album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The Smiths released many singles that weren't on their 4 original albums, and this stellar compilation features all of the A-sides and most of the B-sides. A couple are taken from DJ John Peel's BBC radio show. Of all the tracks collected here, only "Hand In Glove" made an album appearance.

Morrissey's lovelorn lyrics and pleading vocals established him as the foremost romantic figure of the 80's, and turned him into the idol of all who felt alienated and lonely. He tosses off some great lines, but my favorite is: "if it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together" (from "Ask"). Choose love, people! Johnny Marr's muscular guitar keeps the songs from getting too maudlin. Marr wrote all the music, and Morrissey wrote all the words. The two balanced each other.

When issued on vinyl, this was a 2-record set. It's amazing to me how well all these disparate singles and B-sides from over the years cohere into a complete whole. There's a natural ebb and flow. If they had recorded this in one session, it would be mentioned in the same breath as...(name your favorite much-praised 2-record set by a famous rock band). As it is, it's the best odds-and-sods collection I've ever heard by ANY band. (For those unfamiliar with the term, it means "a little of this, a little of that".)

Most groups start out strong, only to become less good as the years progress. I'd say The Smiths were good at the beginning, but became great by the end. For me, each successive album was better than the one before it. "Meat Is Murder" was better than their debut "The Smiths", "The Queen Is Dead" topped them both, and the concluding "Strangeways, Here We Come" was the best of all. Together they comprise the "official" four studio releases.

There's other compilations of A and B-sides, and several "greatest hits", but none pack the heat and heft of "Louder Than Bombs". It's perfect.
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