The Smithereens

From Jersey It Came! The Smithereens Anthology

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The Smithereens already have a single-disc compilation, 1995's excellent Blown to Smithereens: The Best of the Smithereens. Released in 2004, From Jersey It Came! The Smithereens Anthology expands on that collection, taking 15 of its 16 songs (a cover of the Outsiders' "Time Won't Let Me" is left behind) and adding 24 other tunes, including their version of "Downbound Train" from a Bruce Springsteen tribute and a selection from 1999's God Save the Smithereens, for a grand total of 39 tracks over two discs. It's a significant expansion, and by and large it's terrific. The Smithereens were a consistently satisfying band, partially due to Pat DiNizio's songwriting and partially because the bandmembers were tough, hard-hitting rock & rollers, and that consistency keeps From Jersey It Came! enjoyable throughout its lengthy running time. While there are a handful of rarities -- a 1980 demo of "Elaine" and a live version of "White Castle Blues," a demo of "Love Is Gone," and different mixes of "Cut Flowers" and "Everything" -- most of the genuine rarities came out on 1995's Attack of the Smithereens, which leaves this for that curious group of big fans who don't want all the full-length albums. For those fans, this is an excellent choice, but those looking for an introduction, or who just want the band at its absolute prime, Blown to Smithereens remains the first pick.

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