There are few bands that can match the legacy The Smiths left in their wake, one that has continued to grow thanks to their decision never to reform and to leave the past firmly behind. The impact they had on the UK music scene (also heavily influencing 90s American alt-rock) is undeniable. The release of their third album, The Queen is Dead, marked the arrival of the British indie revolution, leaving the synth-heavy sounds of new wave trailing in the dust.
Guitarist Johnny Marr and lead singer Morrissey seemed to thrive as music’s odd couple - able to craft a string of perfect melodic singles – the former acting out his rock god fantasies while the latter penned sharp poetical verse, unafraid to speak his mind on a range of controversial topics.
Sonically, The Smiths were indebted to influences which included 60s rock and pop, a dash of 70s punk and a hint of rockabilly. Their self-titled debut album, sailed close to the top of the charts, with singles such as This Charming Man and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now helping to cement their nationwide popularity.
1985’s album Meat is Murder hit number one, with Morrissey injecting ever more political commentary into his lyrics. The Queen is Dead followed a year later and is now regarded as one of the best albums released that decade. Two years on, the release of Strangeways, Here We Come marked the end for The Smiths as they disbanded later that year.