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on February 7, 2010
So, I've been a fan for many years, have seen several shows, bought many albums, posters, videos, etc. from this singularly unique man. I've even had the pleasure of meeting him once, however brief. And through the years, I have had my high and low opinions about his enormous body of work, from the early Smiths to the late Years of Refusal. Morrissey is probably my most favorite music artist of all time, but that's not to say that I have enjoyed all of his productions. Most range from awesome to great. Some are good. Some are OK. Some you'd like to forget about, and some make you race to the remote to skip a track.
HOWEVER, I am so very, very, very pleased with this latest compilation of b-sides that I feel like I'm in love all over again. What a great selection! What a wonderful sound! What an extraordinary mix of his talent all rolled into one very worthy CD! This is the collection that I have been waiting for for years as a long-time fan. Nearly every single track is brilliant. The mix in this anthology reveals that mystical, indescribable magic that resonates within the soul which only the maestro can evoke. It's the power, insight, cleverness, and emotions in this collection that has renewed my faith and has lead me to rediscover what makes this man so special to me when he works his magic. And also, with his team, the music matches the lyrical art song-for-song.
I don't think I have anything really specific to say about this CD; it's just the overall work and presentation that has just blown me away and has left me speechless, leaving me yet again exchanging the words in my head for the poetry in his songs.
I guess you could say that you should take this review of mine as more of a fan-based impression than a blow-by-blow critique of the CD. I guess the only thing I might put a fine point on is, like some others have said, is that, somehow, this collection of year's worth of b-sides is just simply better than, in my opinion, most of the stand-alone productions themselves in recent years. With this one CD, you get the quintessential artist at his very best, even after so many years have passed. It is the culmination of a career full of sincere, palpable humanity, proffered in a solid state of musical and lyrical bliss, a CD that stays in your head and has you rushing back to the console to hear it again and again.
Long-story-short, if you like Morrissey, I'd like to think that you'd love this CD as much as I do. If you are a new-comer to the legend, this CD is an excellent introduction. And if you can't relate to him by now, with this compilation in hand, then you probably never will.
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on November 3, 2009
Why not a two CD set to pick all the singles from this period.

Human Being
Song From under the Floorboards

and a few others could have filled out a second disc.

That being said,What is here is good. And, I am giving it four stars (instead of 3) for not throwing recent singles on it like Moz collections have in the past, ie World of Morrissey and My Early Burglary Years.
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This CD is a collection of B-sides recorded over the course of Morrissey's last three studio albums: "You are the Quarry", "Ringleader of the Tormentors", "Years of Refusal".

The primary reason I like this collection more than his last two studio albums might be the variety of atmosphere. His album "Ringleader" was sonically dark, and "Years of Refusal" was sort of stripped down music with a post-punk feel. Both albums were good, but wore me down, unlike "You are the Quarry" which had a very bright poppy sound. This CD balances all those sounds well.
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on January 4, 2016
He has always been famous for his quality B-sides, and this is a perfect example. For me, this is better than the proper albums recorded on either side of this release. So many good songs, so much variety, from rockers, to ballads to the beautiful and sad "Sweetie Pie". Something for every Morrissey fan. Lyrically at his best and miles above the last release "World Peace". A must.
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on November 5, 2009
friday mourning, so many good songs here. he is still doing what he does best, and he seems to be having fun. to some smith fans it all should sound like strangeways, to some moz fans it should all sound like vauxhall, me i have them all, and since quarry, i listen to new morrissey songs hoping to be floored. and he did it again with ringleader, and with refusal. daddys voice, christian dior, munich, some of his best work. ill keep buying them till they do not sound so good., singles, box sets, compalations, as long as new songs, that sound as good as these are included, i will support his music.
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VINE VOICEon December 30, 2009
Morrissey has been a remarkably prolific fellow in the last four years, and this collection funnels his leftovers onto one eighteen song CD. "Swords" is the remainders bin from Years of Refusal (2008), Ringleader of the Tormentors (2006) and You Are The Quarry (2004). While all of those records were strong, the songs on "Swords" are so good that the collection stands on its own as an album.

The usual villains are here; unrequited love, tender hooligans and a tongue in cheek humor. There's also some adventurous music rearing its quizzical head, like the Arabic feel on the disc's opener, "Good Looking Man About Town." There's a truckload of glam-guitar crunch on "It's Hard to Walk Tall When You're Small," plus a tip of the hat to David Bowie, whose "Drive In Saturday" gets a Moz overhaul. Morrissey gives the song a bit of a tweak by changing a line to reference The New York Dolls (whom Morrissey talked into reforming). One of my other favorites here is Chrissie Hynde dropping in on "Shame Is The Name."

Not everything here is worthy; "Sweetie Pie" gets irritating quickly. It's also easy to see how a couple songs here didn't make the cut for their proper albums. Despite the very Morrissey-esque title for "My Life Is A Succession of People Saying Goodbye," its the kind of song he's done a million times over, and better. The punchline of "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" gets dry after a few listens as well. But that's two out of 18, which is a pretty darn good ratio. "Swords" stands next to Morrissey's other odds/ends discs (World of Morrissey,Bona Drag) as side journeys into one of England's great musical minds, and wits.
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on November 20, 2009
Morrissey Swords

This latest Morrissey album (to date) provides his fans with the opportunity to collect a whopping 18 songs under the roof of one CD. These songs range from 2004 to 2008 and include many B side songs and singles which you may have missed upon the purchase of his last three or four CD albums. One example is the track "Don't Make Fun of Daddy's Voice" which Morrissey introduced in the `Who Put the M in Manchester' concert 2004. Another plus in this Swords CD is the 9 page insert containing some photos and an interesting Q&A interview of Morrissey by Hot Press Magazine. The CD itself was designed with that funky simulated 45 record-style you find on some of his other albums.
I own approximately 20 Morrissey/Smith albums and there were at least 10 songs I did not have already on this CD.

If you are a die-hard Morrissey fan who collects the vinyl records as well as the CD's you probably have most of these songs already, but if you want the CD version I would still recommend this CD.

Song/Track Highlights (3 songs):

1. "Don't Make Fun of Daddy's Voice" I really felt the instrumentals were too strong for such an innocuous song. Let's just say this song is not one of those that contain the usual Morrissey signature melodramatic earth shaking plots, but rather a more repetitive pop droning lyric.
2. "Ganglord" has a really nice vintage echoey Moz sound (but with an instrumental punch). Meaningful and yet very pop, I find Ganglord to be up to par with most of his other great works.
3. "The Never Played Symphonies" has that classic Morrissey tongue-in-cheek aura that I have come to love and expect from Morrissey. The never played symphonies (you know, all the happy ones) all the loves gained and all the people who really ever cared for the Mozzer (very smart). The instrumentals were poetic and very fitting to the punch-line, much like a rubber-ring.

Overall: All these rare B-sides and singles on one CD is a great alternative to collecting all the parent albums individually. I find this album to be a MUST HAVE for any serious Morrissey/Smiths collector.
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on November 18, 2009
If you have been a Moz fan for some time now, you've probably heard most of the songs on the CD - but, it is still worth buying for the ones you haven't heard. One song in particular - "My Dearest Love", oh god, Morrissey...I Love it!!! He's always been great at identifying with human emotion, but the lyrics + instrumental + voice, it's a masterpiece. When I listen to it it's as if Morrissey is holding my heart in his hands - feels warm and secure...and vulnerable, but that's good. Another song on it's level is by The The (Johnny Marr)on the Dusk album, Bluer than Midnight. Sweetiepie is good!
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on November 3, 2009
This is an awesome collection. Yes, it's officially a b-sides album, but Morrissey has been on such a creative roll lately and writing such great material that this more than holds up as a full album in its own right. I read that Morrissey actually picked the tracks for this himself, which gives it even more cred, in my book. Looking forward to hearing some of these tracks live when he gets to So Cal!!
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on November 3, 2009
I've been waiting for this! It's great to finally have all the tracks I have spread out on various CDs all in one place now. This one is going in the CD player (yes, a real CD player! ok, I'll probably drop them into my ipod too) and is going to stay there for a very long time.
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