There is absolutely no reason to own The Very Best of the Smiths if you already own all the Smiths albums. There is little reason to own this if you own the Singles collection. If you don't have any Smiths in your collection, Singles still makes a better bet because that has a logical theme and chronological sequencing. But, if you're just looking for 23 songs that do represent much of the Smiths' best work, 2001's The Very Best of the Smiths will do, since it does contain all the group's anthems, without a misstep (outside of that doggedly unchronological sequencing). That still doesn't make it a welcome addition to the canon, particularly since it's saddled with an ugly faux-Smiths cover, but it's better than the first two posthumous Best Of collections, and it will give many casual fans what they think they want, even if it doesn't given them what they truly need.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine