The Smiths | Artist
The Smiths was an English rock band formed 1982 in Manchester by vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. Marr and Morrissey had met at a Patti Smith gig at Manchester's Apollo Theatre on 31 August 1978, when Marr was 14 and Morrissey was 19. They bonded through their love of poetry and literature and decided to form a band. Critics have called The Smiths one of the most important bands to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. In 2002, NME named the band "the artist to have had the most influence on the NME" and In 2003 four of the band's albums appeared on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". The band's focus on a guitar, bass, and drum sound and their fusion of 1960s rock and post-punk, were a rejection of the then-popular, synthesiser-based dance-pop and new wave styles. Marr's guitar work, using a Rickenbacker, had a jangle pop sound reminiscent of Roger McGuinn of The Byrds. Morrissey's complex, literate lyrics combined themes about ordinary people with mordant humour. Signed to Rough Trade records, The Smiths released four studio albums, one collection of early singles, and one live album, in addition to EPs and Singles. All the albums are superb: The Smiths (1984), Hatful of Hollow (1984), Meat is Murder (1985), The Queen is Dead (1986) and Strangeways, Here We Come (1987). Other outstanding releases include the live album Rank (1988), The Peel Sessions EP (1988), the compilation Singles Box (2008) and the excellent archival release Complete from 2011. After The Smiths breakup in 1987, the two main players Morrissey and Johnny Marr pursued solo careers, Johnny Marr also worked with The Pretenders and Electronic. As frontman of the Smiths, Morrissey subverted many of the norms that were associated with pop and rock music. The band's aesthetic simplicity was a reaction to the excess personified by the New Romantics. As one critic described Morrissey: "he was bookish; he wore NHS spectacles and a hearing aid on stage; he was celibate. Worst of all, he was sincere", with his music being "so intoxicatingly melancholic, so dangerously thoughtful, so seductively funny that it lured its listeners into a relationship with him and his music instead of the world."
Artist Website: thesmiths.cat officialsmiths.co.uk
Featured Albums: The Smiths
Related Artists: Morrissey, Johnny Marr
Video Clips: This Charming Man, Live 1984, There is a Light That Never Goes Out