"Hatful Of Hollow"
November 1984


William, It Was Really Nothing
What Difference Does It Make? (Peel session 31/5/83)
These Things Take Time (Jensen session 4/7/83)
This Charming Man (Peel session 21/9/83)
How Soon Is Now?
Handsome Devil (Peel session 31/5/83)
Hand In Glove
Still Ill (Peel session 21/9/83)
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
This Night Has Opened My Eyes (Peel session 21/9/83)
You've Got Everything Now (Jensen session 4/7/83)
Accept Yourself (Jensen session 5/9/83)
Girl Afraid
Back To The Old House (Peel session 21/9/83)
Reel Around The Fountain (Peel session 31/5/83)
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

UK CD [Rough Trade ROUGHCD76]
UK CS [Rough Trade ROUGHC76]
UK LP [Rough Trade ROUGH76]
UK/Europe CD [2012 reissue on Warner/Rhino 2564660487]
UK/Europe LP [2012 reissue on Rhino Records 2564665882]
Argentina CD [WEA/Warner Music Argentina 2564-66048-7]
Australia CD [CBS RTANZ451070-2]
Australia CD [1988 reissue on Festival D30104]
Australia CD [1993 reissue on Warner Australia 450991893-2]
Australia CS [CBS RTCANZ009]
Australia CS [1988 reissue on Festival C30104]
Australia LP [CBS RTANZ009]
Australia LP [1988 reissue on Festival L30104]
Brazil LP [WEA 610.7056]
Brazil CS [WEA MC 00918934 (perhaps incorrect)]
Brazil CD [1993 reissue on WEA 91893-2]
Canada LP [Sire 25 16421]
Canada CS [Sire 25 16424]
Canada CD [1993 reissue on Sire/Reprise CDW-45205 ]
Europe CD [WEA 450991893-2]
Europe CS [WEA 450991893-4]
Europe 2x10" [WEA 450991893-1]
France CD [Virgin 30257]
France CS [Virgin 50290]
France LP [Virgin 70290]
Germany LP [RT Deutschland RTD26]
Greece CS [Virgin VG50093]
Greece LP [Virgin VG50093]
Holland LP [Megadisc ROUGH76]
Italy CS [Rough Trade/Virgin ROUGHK776]
Italy LP [Rough Trade/Virgin ROUGH76]
Japan CD [Tokuma Japan (32)35JC-129]
Japan CD [1987 reissue on Victor VDP-5080]
Japan CD [1990 reissue on Victor VICP-2002]
Japan CD [1993 reissue on WEA WMC5-543]
Japan CD [1995 reissue on WEA WPCR-302]
Japan CD [2006 reissue on WEA WPCR-12439]
Japan LP [Tokuma Japan 25RTL-21]
Japan LP [1987 reissue on Victor VIP-4218]
New Zealand LP [CBS RTRANZ009]
New Zealand CS [CBS RTCANZ009]
Peru CS [WEA/El Virrey 00918934]
Philippines CS [DVNA Products MC-ROUGH-76]
Philippines LP [DVNA Products ROUGH-76]
Portugal LP [Transmedia TM/RT 76]
South Africa CS [CS 5999]
Spain CS [Nuevos Medios 44 104]
Spain LP [Nuevos Medios 43 102L]
Sweden LP [MNW ROUGH76]
Taiwan CS [Rough Trade/Crystal ROUGHC76]
Thailand CS [Octopus OTP10073]
USA CD [Sire/Reprise 45205-2]
USA CS [Sire/Reprise 45205-4]
USA CD [2012 reissue on Sire/Rhino R2 45205]
USA LP [2012 reissue on Rhino/Warner R1 45205]
(unknown) CS [AS 5179]
(unknown) CS [?? 1142]


Additional information:
The 2006 Japanese cd reissue is slipped inside a mini-replica of the original Tokuma Japan LP sleeve. Even the inner sleeve, obi and label are replicas of the ones from the original LP pressing.

The 2012 UK/Europe Rhino reissues on compact disc and LP are identical to the editions found inside the 2011 "Complete" box set.


Artwork information:
The photograph is of Jean Cocteau fan Fabrice Collette who tattoed a drawing by his idol (from his book "Le Livre Blanc" ["The White Book"]) on his shoulder. The photo is uncredited on the album but it supposedly is by Gilles Decroix. It was lifted from the July 1983 issue of French magazine Libération which commemorated the 20th anniversary of Cocteau's death. A blue bar which appeared next to the photo in the magazine turned out to be the tint of blue used on the album cover.

The photo was set in a blue background on all early releases. The artwork was redesigned for the re-release of the album on all formats in the UK in the spring of 1987. The background was dropped and the photo was replaced with a close-up which occupied the complete front space. When the album was released for the first time in the United States in 1993, the latter cover was also used. For the 2006 Japanese reissue in mini LP sleeve replica, the original blue-border artwork was used again.

A photo of the band taken by Paul Slattery at Glastonbury in 1984 is found inside the original gatefold LPs (view left).


Etchings on vinyl:
(only on original Rough Trade release, not on the WEA reissue).
The a-side etching was the same as on the recent "William, It Was Really Nothing" single. The b-side was from Johnny Marr to his brother Ian.


Additional release date information:
UK LP and cassette: 12/16 November 1984
Germany: 5 November 1984
UK CD: December 1985
UK reissues with different artwork: Spring '87
USA/Canada cd and USA cassette: 9 November 1993
UK/Europe WEA re-release: 15 November 1993
Australia WEA 1993 re-release: 12 December 1993
Japan WEA 1993 re-release: 10 December 1993
Japan WEA 2006 re-release: 13 September 2006
Argentina CD: 2011
UK 2012 reissues: 26 March 2012
USA 2012 reissues: 3 April 2012


Chart peak information:
UK: 7 (27 when reissued at mid-price in 1995)
USA: never charted


UK: Gold on 20 November 1984
UK: Platinum on 12 October 1987


UK: This album was promoted at the time of release with white label copies of the LP format. A Scott Piering APPEARING press sheet was usually slipped inside the record's generic white sleeve, or affixed onto it.

Australia: The original release of the album was promoted with a version of the LP featuring the typical Australian black and white silhouette labels with promo warning.

Brazil: Promo LPs were gold-stamped at the back of the sleeve and stamped in ink on the records' labels. A 4-track various artists promo EP (1.015) featuring "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" was distributed in 1986, possibly for promotion of this album. The record came slipped in a yellow sleeve with brown text. A different 4-track various artists promo EP (803.315) from 1986, this one titled "Um Presente Da Bandeirantes FM-96", also features "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now".

Canada: Gold-stamped copies of the LP were distributed for promotion. A four-artist promo 7" (WEA EP#2) featuring "William, It Was Really Nothing" was sent to radio to promote this album. A various artists radio promo cassette titled "Stop Look Listen" (SLLC36) also featured "William, It Was Really Nothing".

France: Stamped copies of the LP were distributed for promotion.

Germany: For promotion of "Hatful Of Hollow" in Germany, white-labels of the LP were paired with two press releases and a promo poster.

Japan: Promotion of the original release was done via copies of the LP format with a white SAMPLE sticker on the sleeve and the usual extra promo text printed on the right side of the label. Promo cds for the 1987, 1990, 1993 and 1995 reissues have a promo sticker on the case or the obi and promo text printed or stamped on the cds' inner ring. The promo cds for the 2006 reissue in LP-replica sleeve have a white and red promo sticker on the back of the obi and 'sample loaned' etched on the cd's inner ring. Copies of the double-cd set featuring this album and "The Queen Is Dead" were stamped on the back for promotion.

New Zealand: Promo copies of the LP are the stock ones with a 'demonstration' sticker on the label of side B.

Spain: The album was promoted via a 7" of "How Soon Is Now?" backed with "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" [Nuevos Medios 40121S], slipped in a sleeve featuring the artwork originally used for the "William It Was Really Nothing" 12" single (which is slightly different to that of the 7" format).

USA: Although this album wasn't released in the USA until 1993, it was still promoted with an advance cassette (Sire/Reprise 4-45205-A; generic insert, no artwork).



"There seems to be a few aspects to it. We wanted it released on purely selfish terms because we liked all those tracks and those versions. I wanted to present those songs again in the most flattering form. Those sessions almost caught the very heart of what we did - there was something positively messy about them, which was very positive. People are so nervous and desperate when they do those sessions, so it seems to bring the best out of them."
- Morrissey explains the reason for releasing "Hatful Of Hollow", Jamming!, December 1984

"A good portion of our mail contains imploring demands that we release versions of our songs that we recorded for Radio One sessions, and the band and I suddenly realised that we hadn't even proper-sounding tapes of them ourselves, except for a few dire bootlegs that we bought at our concerts. As far as we're concerned, those were the sessions that got us excited in the first place, and apparently it was how a lot of other people discovered us also. We decided to include the extra tracks from our 12" singles for people who didn't have all of those, and to make it completely affordable."
- Morrissey, October 1984 (source unknown)

"At the time I wasn't too sure about Hatful Of Hollow being released - although the radio sessions were great, I was keen for them to remain just being that. In hindsight, I realised there were certain tracks - particularly Handsome Devil - that had something the produced version just didn't. It's a very valid record."
- Johnny Marr, The Guitar Magazine, January 1997

"(...) After our first album came out, we realised that some of the versions of the songs on the album weren't as good as the way we did them on the John Peel session. Because of this we put out a compilation called 'Hatful Of Hollow', which featured those John Peel sessions, and as a result they pretty much became the definitive versions of the songs we recorded for John."
- Johnny Marr, to the BBC6 website

"I am so troubled by the flatness of the debut that I present to Geoff the idea of Hatful Of Hollow as an interim collection that might hopefully detain those scared off by the blunted thud of The Smiths.
- Morrissey, "Autobiography"



"An audacious mid-price retrospective of BBC session tracks released mere months after the band's debut and featuring superior versions of many of the same songs. It also includes the superlative singles, "William, It Was Really Nothing, "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" and "How Soon Is Now", plus a cluster of spine-tingling rarities such as "Girl Afraid". (*****)" - Stephen Dalton, Uncut, 1998

Saucerful of Secret Sweeties
"Would you like to marry me? When Morrissey pops the (metaphorical) question, what can you actually say to the Thin Boy? Pour scorn on his bewitching lines and scoff in the face of his musical eloquence? Or submit and offer to buy the ring?
Before scrawling an answer in black ink across a bared chest, it might pay to heed a tidily-packaged and atractively-priced (16 tracks for f3.99) assortment of singles, B-sides and Radio One sessions. Similar in style to Elvis Costello's vital 'Ten Bloody Marys' compilation, 'Hatful Of Hollow' is a golden hour of The Smiths, spasmodically spanning a period of 18 months from their early John Peel and David Jensen broadcasts up to their most recent single 'William, It Was Really Nothing'.
It is a patchy, erratic affair and often all the better for that. A song like the maudlin epic 'Reel Around the Fountain' that was later fleshed out and cushioned by the softer production on the debut album is included here in raw, less 'pleasant' form; 'Accept Yourself' and 'These Things Take Time' from the Jensen session are thrillingly abrasive; 'Still Ill' and 'Girl Afraid' remind one of a dull, prosaic competence which marked the band's musicianship in their early days; the wistful 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want' and the dense, relatively complex 'How Soon Is Now' illustrate the new heights to which they have recently aspired.
But what difference does it make? The most staggering changes are not in Morrissey's beguiling, ambivalent obsessions, which have remained similar throughout, but in the flowering of Johnny 'Guitar' Marr, that chiming man, into one of the era's truly great instrumentalists. Compare the monosyllabic flatness of his early picking with the cascading mandolins that close 'Please Please Please' and it will be clear just how much he has come on. His role in the band is now worthy of at least equal billing with Morrissey's, a fact acknowledged on the awesome 'How Soon', a track previously only available on the 'William' 12": with the voice buried deep in a clammy, claustrophobic mix, Marr - adriotly supported by the two unsung grafter Smiths - unleashes a barrage of multi-tracked psychedelic rockabilly, his Duane Eddy twang destroyed in an eerie quagmire of quivering guitar noise. Magnificent!
And so to the calculated mystique of Morrissey: the man-child has mastered the knack of giving away absolutely nothing while appearing to be the most frank, disarming, and explicit wordsmith currently working in pop. But, for all their sexual ambivalence and lyrical unorthodoxy, his songs are universal in the vulnerabilities and desires they seek to express. And it is that, as much as Marr's unfettered brilliance, that has given this group the unmistakeable stamp of greatness.
Pride of place here should perhaps go to the track never before available on vinyl, the Peel session version of 'This Night Has Opened My Eyes', a sordid but plaintive tale of a young mother getting rid of an unwanted baby in which Morrissey's vivid observation of the woman's conflicting emotions does nothing to detract from the impact of the gruesome tragedy.
Seeking splendour in simplicity and bringing magnificence out of misery, these charming Smiths are vivid and in their prime."
- Adrian Thrills (source unknown)

It's a Fair Cap!
"Some would find it difficult to work up much enthusiasm for what is by any other name a ragbag of Radio One session-recorded tracks topped and tailed with their most recent singles, but as the lone voice of dissention amongst Smiths followed at the time of the release of their self-titled album, I couldn't account for the demise of their brittle beauty - captured on those Peel and Jensen patronised recordings - and the rise of a no less rigorous but sadly less vigorous Smiths.
I found it merely churlish that they should leave the sublime 'This Charming Man' off the album and shocking that they should let producer John Porter remix their volcanic debut, 'Hand In Glove', for inclusion.
Instead, I stuck to my tape of the sessions, including the fiendishly good 'Back to the Old House' (since a featured B-side) and 'Accept Yourself' - and marvelled at the cutting clarity of these 'garage' productions that nevertheless allowed the magnificent 'Reel Around the Fountain' to haunt and hurt in a way the 'official' version missed by a mile.
Which is - surprise, surprise - where 'Hatful Of Hollow' comes in. At last gathered together on vinyl where they truly belonged are these very same songs plus the last two singles and B-sides, and it's the perfect stop gap/document depending on your predilection for the Smiths. Of course, we've learnt to laugh at the more salacious aspects of Morrissey's self-pity and theatrical torture - and become blase in the presence of Marr's lithe melodies - but then who can retain the shock of the new? Suffice to say, few have matched the economy and excitement of the Smiths' patented dynamics.
And I find the liner photo particularly fetching for that very reason: it brings to the fore the maligned but magnificent rhythm section of Joyce and Rourke. Stodgy some say, but revealed in the frills-free (basic?) productions, those drums and bass just keep turning; prodding and pricking the gossamer sheen of Marr's guitar and the lacey skin of Morrissey's vocal.
Thoughtfully priced and luxuriously packaged, 'Hatful Of Hollow' should find a place beside 'The Smiths' in every collection - and then we want to hear those early Troy Tate-produced sessions and any stray collaborations with Sandie Shaw, right?" (****)
- Bill Black, Sounds, 17 November 1984

Empty Promises
"The eminently quotable Morrissey said it himself. On the subject of Lloyd Cole, he told Ian Pye: 'Lloyd is a tremendously nice person, much more fascinating than anything he's ever put on vinyl...' I've no idea whether Morrissey can be described as 'nice' or not - I'd suspect not - but just switch his name for Lloyd's and you're close to my reaction to The Smiths. In other words, the things which obviously go on in Morrissey's head from dawn til dusk and beyond are a damn sight more interesting than Smiths records. I keep waiting for the exception, but so far all I've come up with is 'Back to the Old House,' an affecting little piece where The Smiths' formulaic modal melodies match neatly with a lyric where, for once, Morrissey isn't trying to be Dorian Gray.
'Old House' makes an appearance on 'Hatful Of Hollow' which is something, I suppose. The LP is a collection of Radio 1 sessions The Smiths recorded for John Peel and David Jensen (forgive him, Lord), four sessions in all that, at the last count, have been transmitted 12 times, according to the rather nicely-written biog included here for the benefit of ignorant hacks. In addition, you get 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' and 'William, It Was Really Nothing' plus B-sides excluding 'Suffer Little Children'. That's caused quite enough fuss already.
For f3.99, it's a generously-filled package, always assuming, of course, you want more Smiths in the first place. I can't for the life of me see why anybody would want to own a copy of 'William, It Was Really Nothing' under any circumstances, especially if they already had a copy of the almost identical 'What Difference Does It Make?' 'Handsome Devil' is another job round the same chord sequence only a little quicker, while 'Hand In Glove' (produced by the band themselves) appears to have a few possibilities which remain stubbornly unexplored.
Perhaps I haven't been quite fair. 'How Soon Is Now?' features an ominous mechanical throb which gives The Smiths a sinister quality somewhat removed from their usual Edwardian drawing-room whisper, while 'Reel Around the Fountain' really deserves better than they dull grey mix it receives here. Both it and 'Heaven Knows' recall uncannily the fumbling guitars and fractured melodic musing of the lamented Bronte Sisters, another band too clever for their own good.
Perhaps Morrissey should be read and not heard. Time he did the singles again, come to think of it."
- Adam Sweeting, Melody Maker