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Morrissey: Greatest Hits

Morrissey

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Album Review

Apparently the key to Morrissey's complaint about endless repackages and reissues in "Paint a Vulgar Picture" is that they're done without the artist's consent. As long as the star is in on the game, those releases can keep on coming, as the 2008 release of the rather pointless but harmless Greatest Hits suggests. Purportedly, Greatest Hits has been assembled according to the British charts, concentrating on singles that reached the Top Ten, but the logic behind that approach is flimsy: chart placement is a mere guideline to both merit and popularity, especially for cult artists like Morrissey whose earliest records didn't sell as well initially as his latter-day albums, so Top Ten hits aren't quite an accurate indicator of how long a record stuck around, either in the charts or in the memory. And so it is with Greatest Hits, with the great majority of the 13 songs here — there are two new tracks, one the brand-new OK "That's How People Grow Up" and the other a live cover of Patti Smith's "Redondo Beach" — dating from the 21st century. Nine, to be exact. That's a lot, especially when you take into account that he's released just two albums in the course of the decade — solid records both, but picking out highlights from them hardly constitutes a satisfying greatest-hits collection. Instead, it plays a bit like expanded label sampler, really, and on that level, it's all right — it has solid singles like "First of the Gang to Die," "Irish Blood, English Heart," and "I Have Forgiven Jesus" buttressed by the classics "Everyday Is Like Sunday," "Suedehead," "Last of the Famous International Playboys," and "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get," shortchanging such superb albums as Your Arsenal and Vauxhall and I, not to mention all those various singles that never popped up on an official album. So, if that kind of hodgepodge is what you're looking for, well, you've now got it. Enjoy, then go out and get The Best of Morrissey, which comes closer to fulfilling its title promise than this.

Customer Reviews

Sorry, fans, not the best of me?

I love your music, Morrisey, but this is not the best of you. Giving us songs mainly from your last albums gives great moments, but a "best of" stretcing over your whole carrier would have been more just - both to the fans and you.

Biography

Born: 22 May 1959 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As the lead singer of the Smiths, arguably the most important indie band in Britain during the '80s, Morrissey's theatrical crooning and literate, poetic lyrics — filled with romantic angst, social alienation, and cutting wit — connected powerfully with a legion of similarly sensitive, disaffected youth. These fans turned the Smiths into stars in Britain, exerting tremendous pull over much of the country's guitar-based music for many years after their breakup, and even if the group remained...
Full bio

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