The Very Best of The Smiths

The Very Best of The Smiths is a compilation album by English rock band The Smiths. It was released in June 2001 by WEA in Europe, without consent or input from the band. It reached number 30 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was not released in the United States.

The Very Best of The Smiths
Greatest hits album by
Released4 June 2001
The Smiths chronology
The Very Best of The Smiths
The Sound of The Smiths
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Blender5/5 stars[2]

About the albumEdit

After Singles (1995), the previous Smiths compilation album that WEA (now the Warner Music Group) had issued, went out of print in Europe, Australia and Taiwan, the record company decided to revamp the package slightly and release it under the name The Very Best of The Smiths. WEA scrambled the running order and added five tracks, and enticed the record buyers with the incentive of digital remastering.

The album was widely criticised by the British music press, who, after stopping to praise the actual music, went on to condemn what they saw as a money grabbing exercise. They were quickly joined by singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, who distanced themselves from the album, stating they had had no input whatsoever and that it should be ignored by fans. Both ridiculed the cover design and Marr additionally denounced the sound quality.[3]

In the tradition of other Smiths compilations which largely overlapped except for a few songs, this album does contain two versions not available on any other of The Smiths' albums: a new edit of "Ask" and the original 7" version of "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me". The Singles compilation used the album versions of these songs.


The sleeve for The Very Best of The Smiths features Charles Hawtrey of Carry On fame, one of Morrissey's favourite actors (he wrote an obituary of him in the NME). The band members had no say in the cover,[citation needed] which has been described as "an adman's approximation of a Smiths cover" by Mojo magazine.[citation needed]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Morrissey/Marr. Songs marked "*" are exclusive to this compilation.

  1. "Panic" – 2:20
  2. "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" (single version) – 3:17
  3. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" – 3:35
  4. "Ask" (new mix)* – 3:09
  5. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" – 3:13
  6. "How Soon Is Now?" (album version) – 6:45
  7. "This Charming Man" – 2:42
  8. "What Difference Does It Make?" – 3:51
  9. "William, It Was Really Nothing" – 2:12
  10. "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" – 3:17
  11. "Girlfriend in a Coma" – 2:02
  12. "Hand in Glove" (album version) – 3:24
  13. "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" – 4:04
  14. "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" – 1:53
  15. "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" (album version) – 4:59
  16. "I Know It's Over" – 5:49
  17. "Sheila Take a Bow" – 2:41
  18. "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" – 3:47
  19. "Still Ill" – 3:22
  20. "Shakespeare's Sister" – 2:09
  21. "Shoplifters of the World Unite" – 2:58
  22. "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" (single version)* – 3:10
  23. "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" – 3:33


Additional musiciansEdit


  • John Porter – producer (1, 3–4, 6–9, 14, 19), remixer (12)
  • The Smiths – producers (12, 15, 20)
  • Morrissey and Marr – producers (2, 5, 10, 13, 16)
  • Johnny Marr – producer (21)
  • Johnny Marr, Morrissey and Stephen Street – producers (11, 17–18, 22–23)
  • Steve Lillywhite – remixer (4)

Charts and certificationsEdit


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ "Blender review". Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  3. ^ Morrissey-solo (19 June 2001). "Marr comments on 'The Very Best of the Smiths'". Retrieved 13 April 2008.
  4. ^ Hung, Steffen. " – Discography The Smiths". Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  5. ^ "SMITHS – full Official Chart History – Official Charts Company". Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  6. ^ "British album certifications – The Smiths – The Very Best Of". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 November 2018. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Very Best Of in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.