Reason #257: Hatful Of Hollow
Is it cheating that this is mostly a BBC session and odds ‘n’ sods-type album? Nah, I don’t think so. It’s absolutely brilliant and in my estimation the most perfect Smiths album of them all. Coming out fast on the heels of the debut album, the renditions here, in most cases, trump the ones on The Smiths, and those were great. It also collects a bevy of B-side beauties like William, It Was Really Nothing, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, the gorgeous Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (the Dream Academy’s version is worth looking up!), Back to the Old House, and the song that soon became their definitive anthem, How Soon Is Now?
It’s amazing to me that these were never considered “album worthy”, but the Smiths were also very concerned with the quality of their singles, and their B-Sides. Hatful Of Hollow remains the best place to start your Smiths obsession.