Biography

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, even topping the Beatles.

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 synthesiser-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's lyrics combined themes about ordinary people with a mordant sense of humour.

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The Smiths News

The Smiths’ 1986 tour rider apparently revealed

The Smiths’ 1986 tour rider apparently revealed

Morrissey supposedly requested cheese sandwiches and Lucozade

  • May 8, 2014

The Smiths producer Stephen Street says he does not believe band will ever reform

Producer and engineer says, "I'm not sure that it is a situation that can be resolved"

  • Feb 21, 2014

Johnny Marr says the story that Factory Records turned down The Smiths is a 'crock of shit'

Johnny Marr speaks about the early days of the band in this week's NME - out today (February 19)

  • Feb 19, 2014

Remastered Smiths back catalogue hits iTunes

New versions of all four of the Manchester band's albums are available now

  • Feb 12, 2014

The Smiths drummer Mike Joyce says he'll never read Morrissey's autobiography

But he says he'd be more than keen to take part in a band reunion

  • Jan 2, 2014

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The Smiths Music Videos

Garrick Davis-Redhouse Play Video

Garrick Davis-Redhouse

Watch the official Garrick Davis-Redhouse video by Garrick Davis/The Fabulous FunkyBand in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Play Video

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side

Watch the official The Boy With The Thorn In His Side video by The Smiths in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Sheila Take A Bow Play Video

Sheila Take A Bow

Watch the official Sheila Take A Bow video by The Smiths in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now Play Video

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now

Watch the official Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now video by The Smiths in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

What Difference Does It Make Play Video

What Difference Does It Make

Watch the official What Difference Does It Make video by The Smiths in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

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