The Smiths

Biography

Formed in the spring of 1982 in Manchester, England when guitarist Johnny Marr (John Maher, October 31, 1963) author of reviews for Record Mirror and former guitarist in unsuccessful bands was looking for a lyricist and suggested the idea of forming a band to Morrissey (Steven Patrick Morrissey, May 22, 1959). By September, the duo had settled on the name "The Smiths" as a reaction against all bands who chose complicated names to emphasise their music, and recruited Marr's schoolmate Andy Rourke as their bass player and Mike Joyce as their drummer. The Smiths made their live debut late in 1982 and their live appearances were sporadic. At this time they had already rejected a record deal with the Mancunian Factory Records. At the seventh Smiths gig ever in the University of London Union, a group of Rough Trade Records watch the band and envited them to sign a one-off single, "Hand In Glove". "Hand in Glove" became an underground sensation in the UK, topping the independent charts, which critics referred to as the finest love song in recent years. When they released the second single "This Charming Man," in October 1983, the Smiths had already been the subjects of controversy and scandal over their songs "Reel Around The Fountain," and "Handsome Devil" as possible vehicles for the diffusion of child abuse. In February of 1984 the Smiths released their eponymous debut "The Smiths" the album became a best seller acclaimed by critics and reached at number 2. A couple of months later, the band envited a veteran sixties popstar, Sandie Shaw, to sing some of the smiths songs "Hand In Glove" which reached number 27, "Jeane" and "I Don't Owe You Anything". The second single "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" reached number 10. At the end of the year, "William It Was Really Nothing" became a Top 20 hit and the compilation "Hatful of Hollow", a collection of B-sides, BBC sessions and non-LP singles went to number 7. Meat is Murder, the band's second proper studio album, entered the British charts at number one in February of 1985. By the time the non-LP "Shakespeare's Sister" reached number 26 in March 1985. "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side" reached number 23 was followed in June of 1986 by their third album, "The Queen Is Dead". Considered by the critic as one of masterpieces of the decade peaked at number two on the UK charts, "The Queen Is Dead" also expanded their cult in the US, cracking the Top 100. Shortly before the album was completed, the band's line-up goes through a rather unstable stage, Andy Rourke quits for drug addiction and Craig Gannon, an ex Aztec Camera joins the band and became the rhythm guitarist. After a short time, Rourke returns and Gannon was fired. In latte's 1986 the singles Panic and Ask are released. Johnny Marr begins his extra Smiths collaborations, taking part in Billy Braggs' album "Talking With The Taxman About Poetry". The Smiths may have been at the height of their popularity in early 1987, with the singles "Shoplifters of the World" and "Sheila Take A Bow" reaching number 12 and 10 respectively and the singles and B-sides compilation The World Won't Listen for the English market and "Louder Than Bombs" for the American one. Marr was growing increasingly disenchanted with the band and the music industry, over the course of the year, Morrissey and Marr became increasingly irritated with each other. The new album "Strangeways Here We Come" is the band's last. In August, Johnny Marr confesses to have abandoned the band, the official split is however in September, Morrissey disbanded the group shortly afterward and began an inconstant solo career. Marr played as a sideman with a variety of artists, including The The and Electronic with New Order frontman Bernard Summer. Andy Rourke retired from recording has played with Sinead O'Connor and Joyce became a member of the reunited Buzzcocks in 1991. The live album "Rank" recorded on the Queen is Dead tour, was released in the fall of 1988. It debuted at number two in the UK top. A much criticised, two-part Best of compilation was released in 1 992;

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Arcade Fire Cover The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen at Earl's Court Show

9th June 2014 -

 News

Arcade Fire treated fans to a cover of London by the Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen's classic track The Cutter during their second show at Earl's Court Exhibition Centre in London on Sunday (June...

Morrissey Attacked On-Stage, Knocked To The Ground in San Jose

8th May 2014 -

 News

Morrissey was attacked by a fan in the middle of his song in San Jose on Wednesday night (May 7, 2014). The former Smiths man was performing 'One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell' from Years...

Morrissey Compares Eating Meat to Pedophilia, Nazism

8th January 2014 -

 News

Morrissey likes to make a statement, but he especially likes to speak his mind when it may be for a good cause. The Smiths singer is an outspoken animal rights activist, and his latest comments...

NME Pick The Smiths' 'The Queen Is Dead' as Greatest Album Of All Time: Surprised?

24th October 2013 -

 News

One cold and windy night in August, a band of cloaked NME staffers gathered around the office's Morrissey shrine and asked The Great One what more they could do to worship his glorious name in...

Bigmouth Strikes Again: Morrissey To Publish Memoirs as 'Penguin Classic'

4th October 2013 -

 News

Morrissey appears to have ended his dispute with publisher Penguin and will finally release his memoir, titled Autobiography, as part of the Penguin Classics range on October 17, 2013.According to a statement from the publisher,...

Morrissey Pulls Out Of Book Deal Three Days Before Publication, Says Semi-Official Fan Site

14th September 2013 -

 News

Morrissey is either as miserable now as he ever has been, or his fan site True-To-You is stirring up rumours that will probably do more harm than good to the former Smiths singer. According to...

Thom Yorke Pleads "Don't Make Us The Target" After Spotify Backlash

16th July 2013 -

 News

Thom Yorke appears to have responded to producer Stephen Street's criticism over his yanking of tracks from Spotify, claiming he gave away Radiohead's album In Rainbows as a "statement of trust."Earlier this week, Yorke and...

Still Brill! NME God Like Genius Award For The Smiths Johnny Marr

12th February 2013 -

 News

Good news for former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr! He’s a God-like genius! That must be reassuring to know.The axe-wielder, who also has an exhaustive list of other bands and collaborations, including working with The Cribs,...

NME Awards Johnny Marr 'Godlike Genius' Title, 2013

11th February 2013 -

 News

Johnny Marr will be crowned Godlike Genius of the Year at this year’s NME Awards. Marr, whose distinctive guitar licks were combined with Morrissey’s song-writing skills to make The Smiths the legendary band that they...

Morrissey's Bleeding Ulcer Forces Him to Cancel 6 Shows

29th January 2013 -

 News

Morrissey, ex-frontman of '80s band The Smiths, has been diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer and may need surgery. His ill-health renders him unable to continue with his US tour currently, but is expected to return...

Coachella Festival 2013; Who's Going To Be Playing?

24th January 2013 -

 News

This last time year music fans were agog at the quality of the line-up that Coachella Festival pulled together. It was a bill that had everything, from the likes of rap statesmen like Snoop Dogg...

Morrissey On The 'Insufferable' Beckhams: "I'd Have Them Flogged"

9th January 2013 -

 News

Morrissey Arrives For The Late Show With David Letterman This Week Wearing Fetching White Nail PolishNever one to mince his words, Morrissey has taken aim at the Beckhams in his latest rant, labelling David and...

Odds Slashed! Could Fleetwood Mac Be 2013 Glastonbury Festival Headliners?

4th December 2012 -

 News

Fleetwood Mac have announced their tour dates for US and Canada in 2013 and the last date of the tour is in Detroit on June 12… just a few weeks before the UK’s iconic Glastonbury...

Meat-Free Festival Promised If The Smiths Reform For Coachella Festival

27th September 2012 -

 News

Coachella Music Festival are still a while away from announcing their headliners for their 2013 event, but if reports are to believed there is one act they're absolutely desperate to get back together for the...

Morrissey Turns Good Samaritan And Helps Ill Lady In Bookstore

27th September 2012 -

 News

Morrissey took time out from rallying against the British royal family and meat eaters and turned into a Good Samaritan at the weekend, with it being reported that the outspoken musician tended to an elderly...

Kasabian Named Best British Band At Nme Awards

29th February 2012 -

 News

Kasabian were named Best British Band at the NME Awards tonight (29.02.12).The 'Rewired' group beat off competition from Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro, Foals and Muse to land the prize - and singer Tom Meighan used...

The Subways Recording New Album With Stephen Street

6th January 2011 -

 Press

The Band Teams Up With Pledge Music For New Album Campaign The Subways are back, and today announce that they are in the studio recording a brand new album with legendary producer Stephen Street (Blur,...

Ben Stiller Jealous Of Comic Kids

20th May 2009 -

 News

Ben Stiller thinks his children are funnier than he is.The 'Night at the Museum' star - who is married to actress Christine Taylor - is jealous of his daughter Ella, seven, and son Quinlan, three,...

Linda McCartney Snubbed The Smiths

7th June 2006 -

 News

The late LINDA MCCARTNEY turned down an offer to record with British band THE SMITHS. The rock foursome were huge fans of SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY's first wife, and were desperate for her to play the...

Morrissey Slams Bono's Songwriting

20th April 2006 -

 News

Former THE SMITHS frontman MORRISSEY has launched a scathing attack on U2 rocker BONO -questioning his songwriting talents. The Irish group were recently hailed for creating Britain's best pop lyric, when the line, "One life,...

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