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[Off The Record]
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If you can make it past the lethally pretentious liner notes by Michael Bracewell — which compare our hero with everyone from Noël Coward and Montgomery Clift to Henry James and Alan Bennett and predict that 'One day there will most probably be a Faculty of Morrissey Studies in more than one distinguished seat of learning' — then what you’ve got here is a pretty-much flawless 21-track collection of solo work. There have been Morrissey compilations before — the rarities collection My Early Burglary Years and the disappointing World of Morrissey — but this is the first one that spans his entire solo career and goes to the trouble of ferreting out the idiosyncratic singles that have made him such a special and, in England at least, successful artist.

Everything from 'Suedehead,' one of the first singles that made it clear that he wasn’t going to let the end of the Smiths slow him down, to later, reflective numbers like 'I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday' is here. And though there’s no attempt to place the material in chronological order, that doesn’t diminish its effectiveness as a career retrospective. Which I suppose would make The Best Of! the perfect textbook for Bracewell’s Morrissey 101 class, or something like that.


Issue Date: January 3 - 10, 2002

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