Now that the post-9/11 Smiths fanboy bubble has fully burst (thanks Moz), this record is a great way to accurately assess the real value of such a hyped band. The World Won’t Listen was conceived in 1986 as a UK companion to US singles compilation Louder Than Bombs, which collected some of the band's most revered singles and b-sides which weren't readily available in the States. I’ve familiarized myself thoroughly with Louder Than Bombs and Hatful Of Hollow over the years but literally cannot remember what’s on this one every time I play it, despite having some of the coolest artwork and design of the entire Smiths catalog. You won’t find any of the (relatively weak IMO) early singles that filled out Louder Than Bombs; TWWL instead focuses mostly on the band’s fertile 1985-1986 period when they were really batting a thousand: “Shoplifters of the World Unite,” Black Mirror singalong “Panic,” “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side” (and equally killer b-side “Asleep”), “You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby” and kink anthem “Ask” (probably my all-time fave, this one). Ok so, what’s on here that I probably don’t have? - non-album versions of “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” and “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore,” slightly alternate mixes of “Stretch Out and Wait,” “Ask” and "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby,” all the essential non-album singles and b-sides, and Queen Is Dead highlight “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” because why the hell not. Actually this might be the one record you keep once you decide you've had enough of Mozzer's shit and clear out your Smiths shelf. The original Rough Trade pressing squeezed 16 tracks onto a single LP, but this edition spreads them out onto two 180g LPs with the inclusion of two additional tracks: instrumental b-side “Money Changes Everything” and odd Twinkle cover “Golden Lights.” Comes with poly-lined paper inner sleeves as well as replica lyric sleeves for safe keeping. Recommended.
- 180g black double vinyl pressing
- includes 2 tracks not found on the original LP
- full color printed inner sleeves w/ full album lyrics
- music label: Sire 2016
reviewed by Salford Lad 09/2019