The Smiths

Formed 1982. Disbanded 1987.
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Mike Joyce from The Smiths at the 6 Music Fringe Festival

Mike Joyce from The Smiths emotionally recalls playing live

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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.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of The Sound Of The Smiths

    The Sound Of The Smiths 2008

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    The last word on a band that will always be one of this nation's greatest treasures.
  2. Review of Rank

    Rank 1988

    Reviewed by Martin Aston
    A newfound machismo makes Rank a fascinating, thrilling document.
  3. Review of The Queen Is Dead

    The Queen Is Dead 1986

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    Simply put, the greatest Smiths album.
  4. Review of Meat Is Murder

    Meat Is Murder 1986

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    ...there was no other British group making music quite like this in 1985.
  5. Review of Hatful Of Hollow

    Hatful Of Hollow 1984

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    It was their true debut in every senseā€¦
  6. Review of The Smiths

    The Smiths 1984

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    The Smiths remains an incredible statement of intent.
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