As any Mozzer fan knows, his catalog is cluttered with compilations -- some good, some middling, many unnecessary. So, why the need for Rhino's 2001 collection The Best of Morrissey? Well, according to the press release, it's because there is no Morrissey hits collection available in the U.S., which is technically true, but compilations like Bona Drag, World of Morrissey, and My Early Burglary Years have certainly been on the American market (the catch is they're not hits compilations; actually, I have no idea what they are, since they're always album tracks, singles, and B-sides, playing like your resident Morrissey fanatic's favorite mix tape). This, however, is a genuine hits collection, attempting to gather the best of the EMI/Parlophone years and his tour of U.K. major labels (most of which were released on Sire/Warner in the U.S.). There are singles missing here, but they're by and large minor hits and personal favorites (Southpaw Grammar gets slighted, with no "Dagenham Dave" or "Boyracer"), and nearly every iconic Morrissey song is here. They might not be in chronological order, but they're present and accounted for, and it flows nicely, proving that Morrissey could always deliver gems, from "Suedehead" and "Everyday Is Like Sunday," through "Tomorrow," "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday," and "The More You Ignore Me the Closer I Get," to the brilliant, underappreciated "Alma Matters." So, this very well may be the Morrissey album for those who don't need every Morrissey album -- but since this is a Morrissey compilation, it does have one piece of bait for collectors, the final Island single, "Lost," from 1998, which I can't even remember coming out and I collect these things. And you know what -- I really wouldn't want Morrissey any other way (which is why us Morrissey fans are considered a sado-masochistic lot, I guess).
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine