Rhino Records just announced that it will release a deluxe boxed set of all eight of the Smiths' full-length albums, reworked and remastered by Johnny Marr. They failed to mention, though, that this new collection comes complete with a 24 oz. can of snake oil.
Here is the official announcement from Rhino:
Records UK is proud to present 'Complete', eight albums by The Smiths
lovingly reworked by Johnny Marr and Rhino UK and packaged together for
the first time - the ultimate The Smiths collection.
collection includes all four of the band's studio albums - 'The Smiths'
(1984), 'Meat Is Murder' (1985), 'The Queen Is Dead' (1986),
'Strangeways, Here We Come' (1987) and their sole live album 'Rank'
(1988) as well as firm fan favourite compilations 'Hatful Of Hollow'
(1984), 'The World Won't Listen' (1987) and 'Louder Than Bombs' (1987).
Each has been taken back to original tape sources and remastered by
master-engineer Frank Arkwright, assisted by Johnny Marr at the world
famous Metropolis Studios in London.
Speaking of the releases,
Johnny Marr goes on to say... "I'm very happy that the remastered versions
of The Smiths albums are finally coming out. I wanted to get them
sounding right and remove any processing so that they now sound as they
did when they were originally made. I'm pleased with the results."
eight albums will be available on both CD and 12" format. The CD
version will consist of all the albums 12" artwork (including gatefolds
and inner bags where relevant) shrunk down and housed in an elegant
clamshell box. The vinyl format will represent the original albums in
all their 12" glory with beautifully refreshed artwork.
albums will also feature in a super-deluxe version, a must have for any
super-fan of The Smiths. Individually numbered and strictly limited to
3000 copies only, the super-deluxe version will include all eight albums
on both CD and 12", accompanied by 25 of The Smiths 7" singles,
including rare and deleted artwork, alongside fresh liner notes by
renowned journalist Lois Wilson. The package will also include 'The
Complete Picture' DVD of the band's music videos and eight high quality
12" prints of the album sleeves as well as a large poster.
Please allow us to break this well-weaved block of text down:
For the totally reasonable price of £249.99 (We're not good at math 'round these parts, but we estimate that to be in the neighborhood of $400-500 dollars.) you get represses of eight records. You also get a handful of CDs,a poster and a DVD. At first glance, it looks to be a little underwhelming. It also means that if you are a collector of vinyl, your original pressings will decrease in value again.
We aren't the only ones who feel this way. Fans have aired their grievances on Rhino's official Facebook page:
"How long after I buy this will the 'lovingly reworked by Morrissey' version come out?"
"For $500 I hope it comes with a 'tacky badge' as well."
"The price for the so called super deluxe package is a joke, rhino you should be ashamed of yourself."
"Hey!!! Not a single unreleased demos / live recording L.P in the deluxe boxset...so bad :("
This also comes as a shock, considering that Rhino re-issued four of the Smiths' albums on 180 gram vinyl in 2009. It should also be noted that these are not the same recordings as the
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original pressings of the records. They've been stripped down and
re-worked by Johnny Marr. It should be noted that Morrissey has very
publicly stated that the possibility of a reunion will never, ever happen, going as far to say that he would "rather eat [his] own testicles than re-form The Smiths..."
We're curious as to how Morrissey feels about all of this.