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Hmv/Parlophone Singles '88-'95 Set
Import, 3 CD
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2009 three CD collection from the former Smiths frontman containing all his solo singles released between 1988 and 1995. Featuring the a and B-sides of each single, this triple disc set is the ultimate Morrissey collection and is a must-own, even if you have already purchased all of the original singles! From 'Suede head' straight through to 'A Swallow on My Neck', this set includes 62 tracks including plenty of non-album cuts, live recordings and so much more. Contains the hits 'Everyday Is Like Sunday', 'The Last of the Famous International Playboys', 'The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get', 'My Love Life', 'Suede head' and many others. Absolutely essential! Parlophone.
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Most fans admit, Morrissey's albums have never eclipsed his work with The Smiths. That's not to say he hasn't had his fair share of fine ones. Your Arsenal & Vauxhall certainly top the list. But like the mid 60's Beatles, Morrissey has this maddening British habit of releasing a stand alone single coupled with a B- side or two that pulls the rug out from under. Material that never sees the light on any album. Look, there are a ton of single compilations to choose from and if Bona Drag is the best, this is Bona part II and III. All the hits, misses and unexpected gems.
Disc 1 chronicles the start of an unexpected solo career with nary a misstep. "Suedehead" and "Every Day Is Like Sunday" pick up right where the Smiths left off. B-sides "Sister, I'm A Poet", "Disappointed", and "Will Never Marry" are A -side worthy. But its the impossibly rare cuts like "I Know Very Well How I Got My Name", "Oh Well, I'll Never Learn" that make this essential. From start to finish all of these 23 tracks are classic and essential Morrissey.
Disc 2 documents the sophomore slump. "Our Frank" kicks things off in high gear but all goes up and downhill from there. At times things verge on self parody. When covers of "That's Entertainment" and "Cosmic Dancer" surpass the middling likes of "My Love Life" it speaks volumes. Among the B-sides there are a bit too many live tracks tacked on to pad things out. That said, a ferocious live version of "Alsatian Cousin" puts its studio counterpart shame. A punch in the gut as opposed to a voyeuristic peek through the window. As for the originals, "The Loop", "I've Changed My Plea to Guilty" and "There Speaks A True Friend" are the gems here.
Disc 3 shows signs of creative resurgence. The A sides stand up to the B. "The More You Ignore Me" and "Hold On To Your Friends" are classic Morrissey. "You've Had Her", "Jack the Ripper" and "I'd Love To" are three of the finest things he cut in 90's. As for his top hat and tails take on "Moon River" and "Interlude", "Moon River" has all the charm "Interlude" lacks. Meanwhile, combine the one off singles , "Boxers" and "Sunny" in their A & B entirety and its a total KO compared to the drawn out slug fest that was Southpaw Grammar.
In terms of his post Smtihs output, Morrissey's always been for better and for worse. Why settle for anything less than the full story in terms of his singles and B-sides? This may be no match made in Heaven, but then again, fans all know the joys of being miserable by now.
See his most recent greatest hits as an example. You get the new singles which makes sense, but then there are 3 or four old singles, which are redundant to the greatest hits that came out a few years before, and to add insult to injury the two new songs many people would have bought the collection for end up on his next album.
My understanding is Morrissey did not approve this package, but all the more reason to buy it (what he has approved is frustrating). Because it makes at least 3 of his random collections pointless and gets rid of the redundancy. A good place for new fans to start and for old fans who would like to drop Bona Drag, World of Morrissey, and My Early Burglary Years. iTunes has made artist like Morrissey more manageable , but as a fan coming up in the 90's Morrissey's catalog has always been frustrating. I love the guy's music, but it seems like he has taken advantage of his fan base, or maybe it is just the big bad record company. Anyway these are all complaints for pre-iTunes thinking and for those of us who like a hardcopy of the music we buy.
This is a very good one stop shop for the years 88-95, which overall were his best years-post Smiths. The proper albums are still worth a tour:check out Viva Hate, Your Arsenal, and Vauxhall and I.