While everyone remembers the glory days of The Smiths, history often overlooks, or is too embarrassed to mention, that frontman Morrissey had his own pre-grunge solo moment in the alternative-rock sun. From 1988 to about 1992, the then-prolific Morrissey could always be counted on to create singles that would place his haunted visage on 120 Minutes. While the intervening years, creatively and commercially, haven't been so kind, there's still a wealth of B-sides and non-U.S. singles to be mined, fine songs that have only been sporadically available on these shores. My Early Burglary Years is a step in the right direction, if not an entirely satisfying one. Like 1995's World Of Morrissey, it's a frustrating mix of rare and not-so-rare tracks. The Boxers EP appears again, in its entirety, and it's doubtful that anyone interested in picking up a collection of Morrissey B-sides will be in need of "Reader Meet Author" and "The Boy Racer," two album tracks from 1995's generally underwhelming Southpaw Grammar. On the other hand, they will want such tracks as "At Amber," "Girl Least Likely To," and the elusive studio version of "Sister I'm A Poet." Each of these late-'80s songs is as good as anything from Morrissey's proper albums at the time. A later single, "Sunny," with its "Swallow On My Neck" B-side, is also strong. Some of the omissions, however, are surprising, including 1991's excellent "Pregnant For The Last Time" and the bizarre Siouxsie Sioux duet "Interlude." Still, there's really nothing on My Early Burglary Years that isn't worth hearing. It's heartening enough to suggest that Morrissey might still get it together, and if he doesn't, there are probably still more rarities worth releasing somewhere.

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