The Smiths - The World Won't Listen (Vinyl)

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The World Won't Listen is a compilation album by English rock band the Smiths, released in the United Kingdom on 23 February 1987 by Rough Trade Records. The album is the second of three compilation albums—following Hatful of Hollow—released by the Smiths in the 1980s.

The album was conceived as a collection of the band's singles and their B-sides from 1985 to 1987. Additionally, the scrapped single "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" (which was passed over for "Shoplifters of the World Unite") and the near-single "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" (a single candidate from The Queen Is Dead that was passed over in favour of "Bigmouth Strikes Again") were included.[9]

The title reflects Smiths singer Morrissey's belief that mainstream radio and record buyers weren't paying attention to the band. The compilation was succeeded three months later by Louder Than Bombs, released in the US by Rough Trade and featuring a similar, but extended track listing. The World Won't Listen contains two versions of songs that do not appear on Louder Than Bombs: the single version of "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" and the single edit of "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore". Additionally, The World Won't Listen contains different versions of two songs that would appear on Louder Than Bombs: "Stretch Out and Wait" features an alternate vocal, and "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" appears in a slightly different and longer mix. In some territories, a double LP (and double cassette) second edition was released with an additional 12 tracks on the extra disk. The 12 extra tracks are mostly sourced (in order) from Louder than Bombs as well as "Panic" B-side "The Draize Train", which doesn't otherwise appear on either. The 2011 reissue replaced the single version of "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side" with the album version. Also of note is the fact that "Ask" appears on both The World Won't Listen and Louder Than Bombs in a slightly different and longer mix than its single version.

After WEA acquired the Smiths' back catalogue in 1992, all Smiths albums were re-released at mid-price, including The World Won't Listen, which was expanded to include a cover of "Golden Lights" and the original Rough Trade cassette edition bonus track "Money Changes Everything" (the "Bigmouth Strikes Again" B-side, also later released on the deluxe edition of The Sound of The Smiths).


I completely see why some criticise this compilation for being redundant next to Louder Than Bombs, and there's a wee bit of truth to that; I didn't get it myself until I got around to shelling out for the Complete boxed set (an excellent group of reissues which finally save Rourke and Joyce from the burial they suffered under the previous CD versions).

However, taken by itself as a piece of music, this is a truly excellent collection of singles from the latter half of the Smiths' career and an excellent companion piece to their studio albums at the time and Hatful of Hollow. It's also not *entirely* redundant; the more compact running time and the different running order offer a distinct listening experience from the more sprawling Louder Than Bombs, and thus deserves a place in the collection of any Smiths fan who isn't afraid of a bit of redundancy. It's been reissued and repackaged: now it's time to re-evaluate the songs.

By: Warthur.

A1 Panic 2:19
A2 Ask 3:16
A3 London 2:06
A4 Bigmouth Strikes Again 3:12
A5 Shakespeare's Sister 2:09

B1 There Is A Light That Never Goes Out 4:02
B2 Shoplifters Of The World Unite 2:56
B3 The Boy With The Thorn In His Side 3:15
B4 Money Changes Everything 4:41

C1 Asleep 4:09
C2 Unloveable 3:54
C3 Half A Person 3:35
C4 Stretch Out And Wait 2:44

D1 That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore 3:49
D2 Oscillate Wildly 3:26
D3 You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby 3:30
D4 Rubber Ring 3:49
D5 Golden Lights

Art Direction [Art Coordination] – Jo Slee
Bass Guitar – Andy Rourke
Drums – Mike Joyce
Guitar, Music By – Johnny Marr
Lacquer Cut By – F.A.*
Layout – Caryn Gough
Photography By – Jurgen Vollmer
Voice, Words By, Sleeve – Morrissey
Includes glossy inner sleeves with printed lyrics.
Pressed on heavyweight vinyl.

Made in the E.U.

Label does not appear anywhere on the release.

Unlike original LP and CD pressings, 'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side' here is the album version from 'The Queen Is Dead'.