The Smiths’ Complete box set out soon via Rhino, with remasters by Johnny Marr — Morrissey nowhere to be found

The Smiths' Complete box set out soon via Rhino, with remasters by Johnny Marr — Morrissey nowhere to be found

I hope you haven’t reached that point in your life when you start thinking you’re “over” The Smiths. You think it’s cool to say that you never really cared for the erudite playfulness of “Cemetry Gates,” or that “There Is a Light” just never “got to you”? You don’t have to be a depressive in a cardigan to enjoy The Smiths (Morrissey’s a different story), and that’s why, if you have a heart at all, you should be excited to hear about the new box set from Rhino: The Smiths’ Complete.

If you’re a superfan, sure, you probably already own the main records (maybe even the Rhino reissues). However, in addition to remastered versions of all four studio albums, the box includes four more albums you don’t see as much on vinyl: Rank (live album from 1988), and the comps Hatful of Hollow, The World Won’t Listen, and Louder Than Bombs (which doesn’t add up to as many duplicate versions as you might think). The remasters are done personally by Johnny Marr and Frank Arkwright at Metropolis Studios in London — oh, and it all comes with a poster, too.

In terms of a sales pitch, you’ve got three options (all of them expensive). There’s the CD Complete (A: the cheapest), the vinyl Complete (B: not so cheap), and the Deluxe Collectors Box Set (C: the antithesis of cheap). For being twice as much in price as the regular vinyl set, the deluxe version is housed in an indestructible “heavyweight trunk box” that’s sure to survive fires, floods, and dangerous break-ups (and of which there will exist only 4,000). The albums here come in both vinyl and CD formats, and are accompanied by all 25 Smiths 7-inch singles (vinyl), fancy prints of the aforementioned eight album sleeves, a poster of album artwork, liner notes by Lois Wilson, and The Complete Picture DVD (The Smiths’ music videos).

In conclusion, if you have $500, don’t spend it at bars and on silly LPs from the newest surf-beach-noise band. Forget about your rent. Don’t bother buying groceries. Preorder A, B, or C from Rhino today (physical release: A, B on October 18; C on October 25).

• The Smiths:
• Rhino:

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