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The Smiths [Original recording]

The SmithsAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Price: $15.96 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2008 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2012 $11.99  
Audio CD, Original recording, 1990 $15.96  
Vinyl, Original recording remastered, 2009 $22.91  
Audio Cassette, 1995 --  

Amazon's The Smiths Store


Image of album by The Smiths


Image of The Smiths


Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

The Smiths were the definitive British indie rock band of the '80s, marking the end of synth-driven new wave and the beginning of the guitar rock that dominated English rock into the '90s. Sonically, the group was indebted to the British Invasion, crafting ringing, melodic three-minute pop singles, even for their album tracks. But their scope ... Read more in Amazon's The Smiths Store

Visit Amazon's The Smiths Store
for 62 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B000002L5P
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,109 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Reel Around The Fountain
2. You've Got Everything Now
3. Miserable Lie
4. Pretty Girls Make Graves
5. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
6. This Charming Man
7. Still Ill
8. Hand In Glove
9. What Difference Does It Make?
10. I Don't Owe You Anything
11. Suffer Little Children

Editorial Reviews

With their debut album, the Smiths launched an all-too-brief, but profound career that, largely owing to their outspoken lead singer, would be enshrouded in controversy and cultlike devotion. Lyrically, Steven Patrick Morrissey waxed haute poetic about homosexuality ("Hand in Glove") and child murders ("Suffer Little Children"). Musically, this album kicked a hole through the lip-glossed synth-pop that dominated the early-'80s music scene. Still cloaked in the lingering influences of New Romantic new wave and Clash-like punk, this album, like most great rock debuts, represents the group at its most raw and stark. But the core elements of the Smiths' sound, rooted in Morrissey's subtly off-key, morose crooning and nearly freeform lyrical arrangements floating over guitarist Johnny Marr's plucky, concise guitar riffs, are well-established here. The rhythm section displayed a similar relationship: Andy Rourke's mobile bass lines seemed almost to disregard any supportive undertones they could have lent to Mike Joyce's straight-ahead, no nonsense drum patterns. All the tugging and pulling worked brilliantly, cementing the sound that made the Smiths a landmark band of the 1980s. --Beth Bessmer

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manchester, so much to answer for .... February 7, 2002
Format:Audio CD
The Smiths were the best musical moment of the 1980s -- I know, I lived through them. This album is probably my favourite, and must be in the canon of amazing debuts: nothing like it before, and nothing since. For one thing, there was the cover art. At at time when most bands favoured monochromatic "new wave" dots and blobs, the covers were sober, nostalgic, personal and iconic. Crushingly vivid colours and their signature style made it exciting just to *see* their albums. In this case, the murky photo of Joe Dellesandro gives a hint of the Morrissey world view and aestheticism, but it's ambiguous and out of context, meaning that the Smiths became very hard to "brand."
But of course the appeal of this record came from its musical beauty. Morrissey's plangent, steady voice was astonishing, but moreso were his lyrics. "I dreamt about you last night, and I fell out of bed twice/ you can pin and mount me, like a butterfly." Reel Around the Fountain still gives me goosebumps -- it's an anthem which evokes not just the usual teen angst, but what is unusual, and sad, and real about it as well.
I love every track, but most of all its wonderful beginning, the glorious insouciance of "Hand In Glove," and the mordant "Suffer Little Children" which evokes the grisly Moors Murders as a foundation myth for Mancusian angst, but also for all of us who were trying to sort out the sixties of our childhoods in the early eighties. Morrissey & Marr, along with Squeeze, were the poets of the eighties, and this cd will give you a rich sense of its virtues, rather than the gelled and synthesised excess most people know.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet me at the fountain May 29, 2007
By Bernie
Format:Audio CD
I'm not a kid, and I'm not a music reviewer. But the soundtrack of my collegiate life -- and even on into my middle-aged life now -- was dominated by The Smiths and Morrissey. (And just to gloat, I got to see Morrissey in concert Friday at a tiny venue, and it was awesome.)

I can't recall the first Smiths song I ever heard, but I know who played it for me. My best friend had musical tastes far more wide-ranging than me, and he convinced me to give them a listen. I won't go so far as to say it changed my life, as another reviewer did, but The Smiths' music stunned me with its depth and raw emotion. I acquired one CD of theirs after another, then got Morrissey's solo work, adding each new recording as it came and loading up on imports, bootlegs and singles.

When I went to England, "Everyday Is Like Sunday" was the song I listened to repeatedly on the flight. And when a break-up with a girlfriend devastated me, I turned to the live version of "I Know It's Over" from "Rank" -- and to The Smiths' stark debut album. "It's time the tale were told of how you took a child and you made him old." My youthful, angst-ridden, college boy self found no better words to express how I felt.

Now I'm older, happier, married and largely angst-free. But I still love The Smiths and Morrissey's entire canon of work. It is inextricably bound to my memories, and with Morrissey still recording, it promises to go on with me as the future turns into the past.

One reviewer here said there's a dud on every Smiths album. I disagree. Every Smiths song, from the most tortured to the most frivolous, works on an emotional level; you just have to hear it at the right time.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE album that changed my life! October 14, 2007
Format:Audio CD
1984. The year I was supposed to graduate from high school but I did not. I had to make up a phys-ed class worth 1/16th of a credit. All because I got an "F" because I told the drunk and vile phys-ed teacher to F***off. I was in-the-closet in high-school, suicidal, lonely, and this phys-ed teacher made it clear that he hated fags. Back then teachers - any teacher - could get away with anti-gay remarks.

This album, with its unabashedly homo-erotic cover art and covertly gay references - was what saved me not only that year but became the essential soundtrack for the rest of my life. It has become the album I come back to always -- more than any other Smiths or Morrissey work. I use to think the other later works from the Smiths and Morrissey were my "favorite" but over time it is this album that I find is the most sharply-focused and has the most "soul".

The Village People, David Bowie, Boy George, and others toyed with and were coy about sexuality, androgyny, and homosexuality - but to me The Smiths and this album in particular was the first real honest, and unabashedly direct about being homosexual. Gay life whether it was laid out in romantic longings and sentiments, or pure outright lust, were given equal (i.e., to "straight" love) and forthright treatment for the first time in my musical experience. The directness of the music, the way the instruments were played, and the production were a perfect match.
If you can distill Morrissey's and the Smiths sound, this work would be 95% proof. Others may say the production is so-so but I disagree. The sound is crisp, the drums and cymbals are tight, the entire album appears to have been played with such an alacrity - no other Smiths or Morrisey work seems to have such a directness about it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars CRISPS
When the shoplifters of the world unite and take over they will destroy this incompetent rubbish. Along with the players of this drek. Read more
Published 2 months ago by GCD
5.0 out of 5 stars If There was a Better Debut Album by Anyone, I Don't Know What It Is
I actually have a CD with Japanese writing and additional tracks, but I can't seem to find that on Amazon, so I'll talk about the tracks on this album here. Read more
Published 10 months ago by dancinhomer
5.0 out of 5 stars The feels...
My favorite album of all time and my favorite band of all time. When people ask me what my favorite album by The Smiths is, or how would I describe their sound, I tell them to... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Paperbackfox
5.0 out of 5 stars Great songs.
It's interesting to see someone writing about teen years from a Catholic point of view. Not as consistent as some of The Smiths other albums, but still worth of 5 stars.
Published 13 months ago by Dr. Stephanie Jourdan
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Packadged
The record was wrapped well, but the vinyl itself had a slight skip but that is quite okay with me as it is not completely brand new. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Brooke R R
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful album, Incorrect tracklisting
Though its still a wonderful must-have record, Amazon has listed "this charming man" on it, which I though was on their debut record too. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Faust
5.0 out of 5 stars First special album...
This first album of Smiths is amazing, I liked very much. And recomend of all people. Buy it. There are many specials songs.
Published 14 months ago by marcelo galache
1.0 out of 5 stars Skipping Issues with Vinyl Re-Release
This review is specifically about the vinyl re-release (which is probably what Amazon is currently shipping). Read more
Published 17 months ago by Tim Chiu
5.0 out of 5 stars exccellent debut
The Smiths is most legendary for its jangle pop style of Johnny Marr and the deep throat of Morrissey. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Andy H.
5.0 out of 5 stars classic love it!!!!!!!!
If u like the smiths chances are im waisting my time typing this because you already own this but if not and you want to start listening to them start here with theyre 1st lp here... Read more
Published on September 9, 2012 by John A. Loper Jr.
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