Despite its name, this remastered compilation is not truly a complete source of Smiths recordings as several officially released songs are missing on both the standard CD and LP versions. This includes the live recording of "Handsome Devil," the studio versions of "Accept Yourself" and "Wonderful Woman", the 'London' version of "This Charming Man", the group's three Sandie Shaw collaborations ("Hand in Glove", "I Don't Owe You Anything", & "Jeane"), the live tracks from the "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" single, the single mixes of "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" and "Ask", the studio version of "The Draize Train", "Work is a Four-Letter Word", "I Keep Mine Hidden", the live cover of James' "What's the World", the 1984 Peel sessions from the "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" single, the live version of "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" and the early cello version of "Pretty Girls Make Graves". The 'deluxe version' contains several of these tracks as part of the 7" vinyl set, but is still missing several studio and live tracks.
The package claims "Each album has been taken back to original tape sources and remastered by master-engineer Frank Arkwright, assisted by Johnny Marr at the Metropolis Studios in London". The CD version is presented "in VINYL REPLICA sleeves", including the restored The World Won't Listen artwork. Due to its nature the package did not have an A&R so to speak but it was project managed by Gary Lancaster who also worked on 'Total' by Joy Division and New Order and several other Warner Music Group releases. (As is referenced in the accompanying book within the package)
Marr said of the reissues, which were released on both CD and 12" vinyl, "I'm very happy that the remastered versions of The Smiths albums are finally coming out. I wanted to get them sounding right and remove any processing so that they now sound as they did when they were originally made. I'm pleased with the results." (NME, July 28, 2011 13:33)