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The World Won't Listen is a compilation album by The Smiths. It was released in February 1987 by their record company, Rough Trade Records, and reached No. 2 on the British charts, staying on the charts for 15 weeks.

The World Won't Listen
TWWL.jpg
Compilation album by The Smiths
Released 23 February 1987
Recorded 1984–1986
Genre Alternative rock, indie pop
Length 59:26
Label Rough Trade (UK), Sire (US)
Producer Various (see main text)
The Smiths chronology
The Queen is Dead
(1986)The Queen is Dead1986
The World Won't Listen
(1987)
Louder Than Bombs
(1987)Louder Than Bombs1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Blender 3/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork 7.1/10[3]
Select 5/5[4]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The album was conceived as a collection of the singles and their B-sides from 1985 to 1987. Additionally, the scrapped single "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" (which was passed over for "Shoplifters of the World Unite") and the near-single "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" (a single candidate from The Queen Is Dead that was passed over in favour of "Bigmouth Strikes Again") were included.

The title reflects Morrissey's frustration with the fact that mainstream radio and record buyers still weren't paying attention to the band. As the album included many non-album cuts and single versions, it remains a fan favourite. The music press was critical, however, labelling the album "inessential".[citation needed]

The compilation was rendered largely superfluous only three months after its release when Rough Trade decided to release the similar but extended US-intended compilation "Louder Than Bombs" domestically. This was primarily done to save the consumer from paying high import prices. However, The World Won't Listen contains two versions of songs that do not appear on Louder Than Bombs: the single version of "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" and the single edit of "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore." Additionally, The World Won't Listen contains different versions of two songs that would appear on Louder Than Bombs: "Stretch Out and Wait" features an alternate vocal and "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" appears in a slightly different and longer mix. Also of note is the fact that "Ask" appears on both The World Won't Listen and Louder Than Bombs in a slightly different and longer mix than its single version.

After WEA acquired The Smiths' back catalogue in 1992, all Smiths albums were re-released at mid price, including The World Won't Listen, which was expanded to include a cover of "Golden Lights" and the original Rough Trade cassette edition bonus track "Money Changes Everything" (the "Bigmouth Strikes Again" B-side, also later released on the deluxe edition of The Sound of The Smiths).

British artist Phil Collins produced an artwork inspired by The World Won't Listen with the same name, which was filmed in Turkey, Indonesia and Colombia.

Artwork and packagingEdit

The CD sleeve for The World Won't Listen is based on the cassette version of the sleeve layout; the original album featured a larger picture of a 1950s fairground scene, of which this is a crop. The sleeve was designed by Morrissey, using a photo by Jürgen Vollmer from the book Rock 'N' Roll Times: The Style and Spirit of the Early Beatles and Their First Fans.

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Morrissey/Marr except "Golden Lights" written by Twinkle.

No. Title Length
1. "Panic" (Single A-side) 2:21
2. "Ask" (Remix of single A-side) 3:15
3. "London" (B-side of "Shoplifters of the World Unite") 2:07
4. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" (From The Queen Is Dead) 3:13
5. "Shakespeare's Sister" (Single A-side) 2:08
6. "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" (From The Queen Is Dead) 4:05
7. "Shoplifters of the World Unite" (Single A-side) 2:58
8. "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" (Single A-side version) 3:16
9. "Money Changes Everything" (B-side of "Bigmouth Strikes Again" – only on CD and cassette versions) 4:43
10. "Asleep" (B-side of "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side") 4:10
11. "Unloveable" (B-side of "Bigmouth Strikes Again") 3:56
12. "Half a Person" (B-side of "Shoplifters of the World Unite") 3:36
13. "Stretch Out and Wait" (Alternate vocal version of B-side of "Shakespeare's Sister") 2:45
14. "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" (Single A-side edit) 3:49
15. "Oscillate Wildly" (B-side of "How Soon Is Now?") 3:26
16. "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" (UK mix of aborted single A-side) 3:32
17. "Rubber Ring" (B-side of "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side") 3:48

PersonnelEdit

  • Morrissey – vocals
  • Johnny Marr – guitars, keyboard instruments, slide guitar on "Panic"[5] and "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore"[6], harmonica on "Ask"[7], mandolin on "Golden Lights", marimba on "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side"[8]
  • Andy Rourke – bass guitar, cello on "Shakespeare's Sister" and "Oscillate Wildly"
  • Mike Joyce – drums, tambourine on "Stretch Out and Wait"[9]
  • Craig Gannon – rhythm guitar on "Panic", "Ask", "London", "Half a Person", "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" and "Golden Lights", lead guitar on outro of "London"[10], mandolin on "Golden Lights"[11]

Additional musiciansEdit

ProductionEdit

  • Johnny Marr – producer (track 7)
  • Johnny Marr, Morrissey and Stephen Street – producers (track 3 and 12)
  • Morrissey and Marr – producers (tracks 4, 6, 10–11, 17)
  • John Porter – producer (tracks 1–2, 9, 16, 18)
  • The Smiths – producers (tracks 5, 8, 13–15)

ChartsEdit

Album

Year Chart Position
1987 UK Albums Chart 2[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ DiGravina, Tim. "The World Won't Listen – The Smiths". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Power, Tony (15 September 2004). "The Smiths: The World Won't Listen". Blender. Archived from the original on 30 June 2006. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Wolk, Douglas (18 November 2011). "The Smiths: The Smiths Complete". Pitchfork. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Harrison, Andrew (May 1993). "The Smiths". Select (35): 104. 
  5. ^ Goddard, S, 2013. Songs That Saved Your Life - The Art of The Smiths 1982-87. 2nd ed. U.K.: Titan Books. P. 217.
  6. ^ Goddard, S, 2013. Songs That Saved Your Life - The Art of The Smiths 1982-87. 2nd ed. U.K.: Titan Books. P. 356.
  7. ^ Goddard, S, 2013. Songs That Saved Your Life - The Art of The Smiths 1982-87. 2nd ed. U.K.: Titan Books. P. 224.
  8. ^ Fletcher, T, 2012. A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths. 1st ed. U.K: Random House.P. 453.
  9. ^ Goddard, S, 2013. Songs That Saved Your Life - The Art of The Smiths 1982-87. 2nd ed. U.K.: Titan Books.
  10. ^ Goddard, S, 2009. Mozipedia: The Encyclopaedia of Morrissey and the Smiths. 1st ed. India: Ebury Press. P. 227.
  11. ^ Fletcher, T, 2012. A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths. 1st ed. U.K: Random House. P. 520.
  12. ^ Goddard, S, 2013. Songs That Saved Your Life - The Art of The Smiths 1982-87. 2nd ed. U.K.: Titan Books. P. 222.
  13. ^ Goddard, S, 2009. Mozipedia: The Encyclopaedia of Morrissey and the Smiths. 1st ed. India: Ebury Press. P. 149.
  14. ^ Goddard, S, 2013. Songs That Saved Your Life - The Art of The Smiths 1982-87. 2nd ed. U.K.: Titan Books. P. 171.
  15. ^ Goddard, S, 2013. Songs That Saved Your Life - The Art of The Smiths 1982-87. 2nd ed. U.K.: Titan Books. P. 169.
  16. ^ "SMITHS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 13 April 2017.