When a band from the UK released their
eponymous debut album on indie label Rough Trade way back in 1984,
little did the world realize how much they would come to revere the
four lads from Manchester known as The Smiths. A mere three years later, with
four iconic albums on shelves everywhere, the band succumbed to
internal strife, real or imagined and split.
The Smiths, comprised of singer (Steven) Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, drummer Mike Joyce, bassist Andy Rourke, and, eventually, second guitarist Craig Gannon, delivered politics and evocative personal vignettes in healthy doses in their engaging songs, many of them non-LP singles. When the dust eventually settled, The Smiths, short in life, were long in quality.
On October 3rd of 2011, the UK arm of Rhino Records will do what UK labels are often keen to do, get on with the business of bringing music to the fans, something the US labels struggle with. Rhino UK will release The Complete Smiths: Collector's Edition Box that will leave nothing to the imagination where Smiths fans are concerned. Upon announcement of the set, the forums lit up with anticipation of the release. However, the race is on as there are only 3000 of these boxes expected to be issued, making these Limited Editions a valuable collection from the start.
The box will contain all of The Smiths'
released albums (The Smiths - 1984, Meat Is Murder - 1985, The Queen Is Dead - 1986, Strangeways, Here We Come - 1987), remastered under the supervision
of Johnny Marr (with engineer, Frank Arkwright) from the original
In addition to the albums, the box will include three highly regarded compilation sets (Hatful of Hollow - 1984, The World Won't Listen - 1987, Louder Than Bombs - 1987), and the live album, Rank, released in 1988 by both big markets (US/UK) labels. In this Deluxe Edition, both the CD and the 180g LP are included for every album mentioned. The CDs will be encased in gatefold mini-LP cardboard popularized by the CD market in Japan.
The box will be further enhanced by the addition of all (25) Smiths singles on 7” vinyl, a DVD (The Complete Picture) of collected videos, films, and taped live appearances, a detailed poster of releases, a set of eight prints of the album covers, an 8-page collectible booklet with Marr notes, and download rights of the albums from this massive set in high quality 320k MP3s. Everything from this huge set will be stored in a heavy-weight trunk box.
CD-only clamshell box-sets containing the eight discs are slated for release on September 26 in the UK, while, the LP-only box sets (with poster) are expected on the same date as the Deluxe Edition. Although there are currently no US releases set (or expected), it is safe to note that the 3000 numbered Deluxe Editions will be all that will be made available... period!
There are Smiths fans, and then, there are Smiths fans. One will settle only for the rare, highly collectible massive trunk Box set. Which are you?