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The Smiths: The Complete Picture

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We gave it a C

Affected though they doubtless were, The Smiths were also one terrific band during their five-year run. Carp all you want about his annoying Mr. Alienation poses, lead singer Morrissey wrote hauntingly original tunes and had a voice that got under your skin, and his lead guitarist side-kick, Johnny Marr, was perhaps the most interesting of the mid-?80s pop musicians. So there?s wonderful music on The Smiths: The Complete Picture, but the visuals aren?t up to its level. Five of the 14 clips are almost indistinguishable lip-synch jobs from British TV appearances, except for What Difference Does It Make?, which has a certain retro charm. The rest are strictly MTV by the numbers, like the indifferently shot performance video This Charming Man, or mind-bogglingly pretentious (the quick cuts of The Queen is Dead will make your eyes bleed). C

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