The Smiths Are Out of the Bag: Massive U.K. Box Planned

As we at The Second Disc HQ love to point out, Morrissey once set his scathing lyrical pen on record companies’ propensity for reissues on The Smiths’ “Paint a Vulgar Picture.” Currently, he must be shitting bricks: Rhino U.K. is planning The Smiths – Complete, a box set compiling the influential band’s entire discography, all newly remastered.

Clever fans spotted the presence of the set on the label’s site late last night (we have super-reader Dean H. to thank for hipping us to it), and our good friends at Slicing Up Eyeballs did a post on the whole affair earlier. But trying to order the set would yield nothing.

Now, however, the set is official: the band’s eight albums – studio albums The Smiths (1984), Meat is Murder (1985), The Queen is Dead (1986) and Strangeways, Here We Come (1987); non-LP singles compilations Hatful of Hollow (1984), The World Won’t Listen (1987) and the U.S.-only Louder Than Bombs (1987) and the live album “Rank” (1988) – will be included in the set, all newly remastered by former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr with engineer Frank Arkwright in London’s Metropolis Studios.

The set is available as a vinyl offering or on CD (with mini-LP replica packaging included throughout), but die-hard fans are going to want to check out the super-deluxe version. And what’s on that, you say? Hit the jump to find out!

This giant-sized box, limited to 1,000 copies, has:

  • All of the remastered albums available on CD in mini-LP replica packaging and on 180-gram vinyl (spread over 11 LPs – five single albums and two double albums)
  • Twenty-five of the band’s 7″ singles, pressed with “specially reproduced rarities”
  • The Complete Picture DVD, which compiled the band’s various videos, short films and Top of the Pops appearances
  • Artwork aplenty: A 36″ x 24″ poster compiling every album and single sleeve the band ever put out and 8″ x 12″ prints of all of the album sleeves
  • A 12″ x 12″ book of liner notes
  • Download codes for all the tracks as 320 kbps MP3s

While it’s certain that some fans can pass this up (there are a few notable omissions from around the band’s discography – the full 12″ B-side of “Rubber Ring” and “Asleep,” segued as one track, springs to mind – and there are no previously unreleased outtakes), if you’re a collector, you’ll want to put this one on your shelf. It’s not cheap (at £249.99, or just about $410 in the States), but for the superfan, it’s hard not to say “reissue! repackage! repackage!” to this one.

A domestic release has not been set, but you can order The Smiths – Complete at Rhino U.K. right now, with an expected shipping date around September 26 (for the CD edition) and October 4 (for the vinyl and super deluxe set).

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