Our buddy (and fellow anglophile) Ferris O'Brien, who hosts a mighty fine specialty radio program in Oklahoma City, had in interesting bulletin posted on his MySpace page this morning about a possible Smiths box set. WHAT? COULD IT BE?
The news stemmed from a recent interview with Johnny Marr in the latest issue of the UK magazine The Word. In it he discussed the growing possibility of the box set, as well as his disappointments with the record company handling all things Smiths.
"I was approached by the record company [Warners] a few years ago with the box set idea, and I was somewhat skeptical until I was sent some live concerts and monitor mixes," said Marr. "Then it started to sound like a really good prospect. There are some curios, instrumentals, a few odd films shot by people on these enormous old video cameras on the balcony at gigs in Wolverhampton in the 80s they are really impressive, they'd make great DVDs. There's the Troy Tate album [the first version of The Smiths debut album which was scrapped and never released] which is a really interesting sound and a great picture of the band at a time when most people aren't aware of us."
He went on to discuss his issues with the lack of care given to The Smiths by their record label, adding:
"They're putting the albums out shoddily, mid-price releases with cheap sleeves, bad reproductions of the artwork. I've wanted to remaster the albums properly for years, but there is no-one at the record company whose job it is to look after The Smiths. I find it incredible and frustrating, and most fans of music would find it a ridiculous state of affairs."
Before Glastonbuy, Marr didn't seem all that interested in pursuing the box set, saying: "Modest Mouse is my main concern, and I don't think I can do it on my own. I wrote to Morrissey about it, he hasn't replied so far but we'll see. I'm just pissed off because the music doesn't sound as good as it could. I'll settle for that, and re-releases with decent sleeves on. It's beautiful music and it's being treated like shit. But apart from that, I can't and won't run the band on my own."
Apparently after Glasto, he seemed a bit more keen on the idea. The interview notes that there has been some developments since they last spoke, Johnny says. Morrissey has replied to Johnny's letter and the two are addressing the Smiths catalogue issue with Warners together for the first time in some years.
We're not sure which is more excitingâ€¦ the box set or the fact that Morrissey and Marr are actually communicating with each other! Just knowing that we might see the box set in eighteen months or so is pretty impressive.