The Smiths

The Queen is Dead (Deluxe Edition)

Warner Bros.

Nov 03, 2017 Issue #62 - Julien Baker Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

There's not much left to say about The Queen is Dead, arguably the high point of The Smiths' formidable catalog, that hasn't been written before. Nevertheless, the notable thing about this reissue is the previously unreleased material on the bonus discs, which is enough to entice the interest of long-time fans who thought they'd heard everything there is to hear.

Of the 13 songs on disc two, nine are previously unreleased. These include the "full" version of the title track and demo versions of seven of the album's songs along with an alternate take of "There is a Light That Never Goes Out." None of the demos or alternate takes will replace the album versions as the definitive ones, but it's nice to hear each song's gestation in their demo form compared to their more familiar final versions. If you have Louder than Bombs, you've already heard "Rubber Ring," "Asleep," and "Unloveable" (timeless classics equal to anything on the album) countless numbers of times, but it's nice to be reminded that they were once mere B-side tracks from this era. It's also nice to have the instrumental "Money Changes Everything" included, it was previously only released as a 12-inch B-side.

The real treasure here, though, is disc three. Comprised of an entire 1986 live set from Boston that's a better document of their live prowess than Rank, the group mixes material from each of their first three albums along with tracks from singles. Of these, the most notable is "Stretch Out and Wait," which features a completely different set of lyrics from its 1985 studio version.  (www.officialsmiths.co.uk)

Author rating: 10/10

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