The World Won't Listen

Release date
13 Dec 2004
Running length
18 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Panic 2:18 440,229
2 Ask 3:11 378,509
3 London 2:06 158,335
4 Bigmouth Strikes Again 3:12 538,380
5 Shakespeare's Sister 2:07 295,076
6 There Is a Light That Never Goes Out 4:01 773,430
7 Shoplifters of the World Unite 2:57 319,164
8 The Boy With The Thorn In His Side 3:15 464,937
9 Money Changes Everything 4:37 90,576
10 Asleep 4:10 323,908
11 Unloveable 3:57 148,571
12 Half a Person 3:36 234,598
13 Stretch Out and Wait 2:48 178,285
14 That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore 4:57 348,441
15 Oscillate Wildly 3:26 175,025
16 You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby 3:23 42,825
17 Rubber Ring 3:46 169,344
18 Golden Lights 2:39 125,011

About this album

The World Won’t Listen is a compilation album by The Smiths. It was released in February 1987 by their record company, Rough Trade Records, and reached #2 on the British charts.

The album was conceived as a collection of the singles and their B-sides from 1985 and 1986. Additionally, the scrapped single “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby” (which was passed over for “Shoplifters of the World Unite”) and the near-single “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” (a single candidate from The Queen is Dead that was passed over in favour of “Bigmouth Strikes Again”) were included.

The title reflects Morrissey’s frustration with the fact that mainstream radio and record buyers still weren’t paying attention to the band. As the album included many non-album cuts and single versions, it remains a fan favourite. The music press was critical, however, labelling the album “inessential.”

The compilation was rendered largely superfluous only three months after its release when Rough Trade decided to release the similar but extended US-intended compilation Louder Than Bombs domestically. This was primarily done to save the consumer from paying ridiculous import prices. However, The World Won’t Listen has some songs (or different versions of songs) that do not appear on Louder Than Bombs: “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side”, “Stretch Out and Wait” (different version), “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”, and “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby” (different version).

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