The Good Just Got Better

The tracks sound as fresh as ever in the remastered The Queen is Dead Super Deluxe Edition by The Smiths

Review by Adrian Peel

The legendary Manchester quartet have reissued their classic 1986 LP (often considered to be their finest), fully restored and featuring a number of B-sides and rarities. This tantalising package from Morrissey, Marr and co also boasts a previously-unreleased live album, recorded in Boston in August 1986, and a DVD featuring Derek Jarman’s The Queen Is Dead film.

Disc one is the original, critically acclaimed 10-track album – named the greatest album of all time by the NME in 2013 – remastered and restored. The tracks sound as melodic and fresh as ever – my favourites being “Never Had No One Ever”, “Cemetry Gates” and “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”.

The second disc is mainly made up of demos and B-sides, as well as the ‘full version’ of “The Queen Is Dead” and ‘take 1’ of “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”. The demos on this disc offer nothing particularly new and would probably only really appeal to hardcore fans. Of the four B-Sides, I enjoyed catchy instrumental “Money Changes Everything” and the downbeat “Unloveable” most.

Disc three was recorded at Great Woods, Boston on August 5, 1986 and captures one of the most enduringly popular acts of the 1980s at the top of their game. Beginning with an emphatic rendition of 1985 single “How Soon Is Now?” this 13-track collection never lets up when it comes to sheer energy and passion, offering spirited live versions of, among others, “I Want the One I Can’t Have”, “Stretch Out and Wait”, “Is It Really So Strange?” and “The Queen Is Dead.”

The DVD includes the album again, this time in 96kHz/24-bit PCM stereo (that means nothing to me either), and Derek Jarman’s short film, which is essentially three music videos. Typical of the late director’s wild creativity, the videos are entertaining but very frenetic in terms of pace and imagery, which may be a bit much for some.

Overall, I’d say one of the greatest records ever made just got even better. riddle_stop 2

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