The Smiths

Posted in: Musicouching by MJ Sunderland on October 5th, 2011 | 3 Comments

The Smiths were formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr (guitar), the group also included Andy Rourke (bass) and Mike Joyce (drums). The band picked their name as a reaction against the elaborate names used by synthpop bands of the early 1980s, such as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Spandau Ballet. In a 1984 interview Morrissey stated that he chose the name The Smiths "… because it was the most ordinary name" and because he thought that it was "… time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces."

The Smiths were formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr (guitar), the group also included Andy Rourke (bass) and Mike Joyce (drums). The band picked their name as a reaction against the elaborate names used by synthpop bands of the early 1980s, such as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Spandau Ballet. In a 1984 interview Morrissey stated that he chose the name The Smiths “… because it was the most ordinary name” and because he thought that it was “… time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces.”

Signing to Rough Trade Records, they released their first single, Hand in Glove, in May 1983. The record was championed by DJ John Peel, but failed to chart. The follow-up singles This Charming Man and What Difference Does It Make? fared better when they reached numbers 25 and 12 respectively. In February 1984, the group released their debut album The Smiths, which reached number two on the UK Albums Chart. In 1985 the band released their second album, Meat Is Murder. This was more strident and political than its predecessor, including the pro-vegetarian title track and the anti-corporal punishment stance of The Headmaster Ritual and Barbarism Begins at Home. The band had also grown more adventurous musically, with Marr adding rockabilly riffs to Rusholme Ruffians and Rourke playing a funk bass solo on Barbarism Begins at Home.

The Smiths have been hailed as the most important group to emerge from the British music scene of the 1980s. The band broke up in 1987.

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