By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. They ensure the proper functioning of our services, analytics tools and display of relevant ads. Learn more about cookies and control them

Not yet registered? Create a OverBlog!

Create my blog

The Smiths: biography

The Smiths are regarded as one of the most influential guitar bands of the 1980s. Dark humour and realist lyrics, combined with guitar virtuosity and a powerful rhythm section, made for a formidable team who would change British music forever.

Beginnings

The Smiths were formed in 1982 by Mancunian music fan, Steven Morrissey, a bedroom poet longing to make his mark upon the music scene. John Maher (stage name Johnny Marr) was an already accomplished guitarist. He shared many of Morrissey's passions, indeed it was their shared love of Patti Smith that inspired the band's name. Together they were a slice of normal British life at odds with the pretentious new romantics of the time. After recording demos with various potential band members, Morrissey and Marr finally decided upon Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke. They signed to indie record label Rough Trade and released their first single, Hand In Glove, in the same year.

Career

In 1984, the Smiths released their self titled debut album, which was followed by a slew of non-album singles such as Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now and William, It Was Really Nothing. Already courting controversy, the haunting Suffer Little Children touched upon the raw topic of the Moor's Murders. Although riding high in the UK charts, the band were disappointed with the production of their debut. Their follow-up, Meat Is Murder, was released in 1985, a powerful work which mixed heavy, devastating indie classics like How Soon Is Now with lighter rockabilly and funk in the form of Barbarism Begins at Home and Rusholme Ruffians. 1986 saw the release of perhaps their finest album, The Queen Is Dead. A provocative title, a set of instant pop classics and Morrissey's usual mixture of despair, dry wit and Oscar Wilde-isms, marked this album out as the go-to record of 80s British indie. From the opening barrage of the title track to the fake fade-in of Some Girls are Bigger Than Others, this album was, and remains, a triumph. The final The Smiths album was released as the band parted ways. Money issues and the strains of touring unfortunately tore the band apart. However, not before they could complete Strangeways, Here We Come, an experimental and concise piece, it was a most befitting swan song.

Impact

The Smiths body of work exists perhaps as testament to the real 1980s. Although they naturally found inspiration in their favourite artists, they managed to create a sound all their own, much emulated but never bettered. Young, angry and beautiful, they inspired the Britpop movement and made literate, clever pop music fashionable.

Same category articles Music

Afrika Bambaataa: biography

Afrika Bambaataa: biography

This article will explore the career and music of Afrika Bambaataa. It will go into his musical contributions to hip-hop, including his wide and varied recording career. It will explore his lasting impact in the genre as well as his many musical achievements.
New Christian Music: The facts

New Christian Music: The facts

New Christian Music is a venture which aims to provide a platform for wider publicity for Christians artists making gospel music. Founded by Christian author, journalist and broadcaster Paul Davis, who was also a pastor, its primary focus being the pressing of CDs of Christians' songs.
Roger Miller: biography

Roger Miller: biography

Born and raised in America's cotton belt and claimed by lung-cancer before he was sixty, Roger Miller produced some of Country music's most memorable songs.
Review: Toby Keith, I Love This Bar

Review: Toby Keith, I Love This Bar

Toby Keith is an American country singer, originally from Clinton, Oklahoma, who has enjoyed multi-million dollar sales in the United States and beyond, in a career which has stretched from the early 1990s. Keith has enjoyed multiple number ones, including a duet with legend Willie Nelson entitled 'Beer For My Horses'. A review of his song 'I Love This Bar' follows...