The Smiths

~ Group


The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. The band consisted of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. Critics have called them the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. Q magazine's Simon Goddard argued in 2007 that the Smiths were "the one truly vital voice of the '80s", "the most influential British guitar group of the decade" and the "first indie outsiders to achieve mainstream success on their own terms". The NME named the Smiths the "most influential artist ever" in a 2002 poll.

Based on the songwriting partnership of Morrissey and Marr, the group signed to the independent record label Rough Trade Records, on which they released four studio albums, The Smiths (1984), Meat Is Murder (1985), The Queen Is Dead (1986) and Strangeways, Here We Come (1987). Four of their albums (including three studio albums) appeared on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. They have also released several compilations, and numerous non-LP singles.

The Smiths had several singles reach the UK top twenty and all four of their studio albums reached the UK top five, including one which topped the charts. They won a significant following and remain cult favourites, although they had limited commercial success outside the UK while they were still together. The band broke up in 1987 and have turned down several offers to reunite.

The band's focus on a guitar, bass, and drum sound, and their fusion of 1960s rock and post-punk, were a repudiation of synthesizer-based contemporary dance-pop – the style popular in the early 1980s. Marr's guitar-playing on his Rickenbacker often had a jangly sound reminiscent of Roger McGuinn of the Byrds. Marr's guitar-playing influenced later Manchester bands, including the Stone Roses and Oasis. Morrissey and Marr's songs combined themes about ordinary people with complex, literate lyrics delivered by Morrissey with a mordant sense of humour. In 2014 and 2015, they were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1983 Hand in Glove 4.5 1
1983 This Charming Man 5 10
1984 What Difference Does It Make? 5 5
1984 Still Ill 4 2
1984 Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now 5 1
1984 William, It Was Really Nothing 5 6
1985 How Soon Is Now? 5 9
1985 Shakespeare’s Sister 4.5 3
1985 Barbarism Begins at Home / Shakespeare’s Sister 4 3
1985 That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore 4 2
1985 The Boy With the Thorn in His Side 5 5
1985 The Headmaster Ritual 3 4
1986 Bigmouth Strikes Again 2
1986 Panic 5 4
1986 Ask 4 4
1986 I Started Something I Couldn't Finish 3 2
1986 Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others 4 1
1987 Shoplifters of the World Unite 5 5
1987 There Is a Light That Never Goes Out 5 4
1987 Sheila Take a Bow 4.25 6
1987 Girlfriend in a Coma 5 2
1987 Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me 3 1
1987 Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before 4 4
1995 Sweet and Tender Hooligan 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1988 The 12" Mixes 1

EP + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1988 The Peel Session 5 7


Year Title RatingReleases
May We Have a Record Contract, Please? 1
Rare Troy Tate Mixes 1
The Troy Tate Sessions 2

Other + Interview

Year Title RatingReleases
1988 The Conversation Disc Series 1
Interview Picture Disc 1

Other + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1990 Live At Amsterdam Meervaart, 1984 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1986-10-26: Palladium, London, UK (DJ mix) 1
1986-10-27: Guildhall, Preston, UK 1

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