The Smiths

Comment on this artist

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;

Back to top

The Smiths Picture Gallery

rock bands as lego 190314

More The Smiths Pictures

Back to top

The Latest The Smiths News

Man Who Shot The Smiths: 'there Will Be No Reunion'

7th April 2014

Longtime The Smiths and Morrissey photographer Kevin Cummins is attempting to achieve a feat no one has ever managed -...

Andy Rourke And Mike Joyce Reunite For Dj Tour

20th March 2014

Former The Smiths stars Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce are re-teaming for a Dj tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary...

Guitarist Johnny Marr Breaks Hand

12th March 2014

Rocker Johnny Marr's upcoming tour dates have been thrown into jeopardy following news the former The Smiths star has broken...

Morrissey And Johnny Marr Were Held For Inciting Riot At Canada Gig

12th March 2014

The Smiths stars Morrissey and Johnny Marr were once detained by officials and accused of inciting a riot following an...

Morrissey: Nobody Wants Smiths Reunion

28th February 2014

Morrissey claims he doesn't know anybody who wants The Smiths to reunite. The former frontman, whose band split in 1987,...

More The Smiths News

Back to top

The Smiths Related Artists

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr

Back to top


Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All