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Smiths - Hatful of Hollow Click here to see this CD at Amazon.com!

By Steve Landau

The Smiths tend to be thought of as a band one grows out of--music you listened to as a depressed adolescent and then abandoned when you overcame it all. Such a notion denies them their place in the rock pantheon, not only as an inspiration to countless indie-rock outfits but also as the band that challenged the received wisdom of rock & roll machismo. Fronted by the fey, sexually ambiguous Steven Patrick Morrissey, who married painfully honest lyrics--almost embarrassing in their self-effacement--with arch humor and a melancholic delivery, the British band was quite an anomaly to an America still emerging from the bloated-rock tyranny of the likes of Journey and REO Speedwagon. Hatful of Hollow, released as an import in 1984 and domestically in 1993, is a collection of singles, many recorded live for various radio shows. More-muscular versions of most of the tracks here can be found on the collection Louder Than Bombs, but Hatful has a vitality to it that the studio-bound, somewhat antiseptic Bombs lacks. Check out Johnny Marr's delicate acoustic guitar on the aching "Back to the Old House" or the band's looser workouts of such now-classics as "This Charming Man" and "Still Ill." Two songs not found on other albums make this a must for fans: "Handsome Devil" and "Accept Yourself," a bouncy, jangly number on which Morrissey croons convincingly, "Others conquered love, but I ran / I sat in my room and I drew up a plan." Perfect music for your awkward inner child.

Tracks
1. William, It Was Really Nothing9. Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
2. What Difference Does It Make?10. This Night Has Opened My Eyes
3. These Things Take Time11. You've Got Everything Now
4. This Charming Man12. Accept Yourself
5. How Soon Is Now?13. Girl Afraid
6. Handsome Devil14. Back to the Old House
7. Hand in Glove15. Reel Around the Fountain
8. Still Ill16. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

 

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MUSICAL NOTES

Artist: Smiths

Released: November 30, 1984

Availability: CD, Vinyl

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