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The Smiths

March 31, 2010

The Smiths, despite being together for a mere five years, have since been lauded as one of the most important artists of the alternative rock movement, and not without reason. Pursuing much the same formula as their across-the-pond contemporaries R.E.M. – a dreamy, understated form of jangle pop – they released four studio albums and a slew of standalone singles in their short run. Songwriting duo of Morrissey and Johnny Marr tell stories primarily of love, though typically not without plenty of desperation, despair and heartache to go around. Morrissey has instantly recognizable silky vocals, complimented by Marr’s jangly guitar style, and while the rhythm section of Andy Rourke on bass and Mike Joyce on drums adds a keen sense of odd dancability to an otherwise morose and sobering sound, it’s the iconic partnership of Moz and Marr that truly defines the band and its legacy.

I’ve included a majority of significant releases in this post, but there are some holes to be sure. Their label has no problem issuing compilation after compilation of singles and b-sides and alternate recordings, even though more than two decades have passed since the band’s breakup, but they seem to have an infuriating inability to understand the idea of a comprehensive release. Tracks are scattered here and there willy-nilly, without any attempt to consolidate or make things in any way simple for collectors. However, the albums below are enough to satisfy all but the most die-hard fans; which, if you haven’t heard them before now, you might very well become.

Studio Albums

The Smiths (1984)

Meat is Murder (1985)

The Queen is Dead (1986)

Strangeways, Here We Come (1987)


Hatful of Hollow (1984)

This is a compilation of some early non-album singles, as well as radio session recordings of many tracks from the 1984 self-titled album, which I find superior to the album versions in most cases.

Louder Than Bombs (1987)

Compilation of many singles and their b-sides.

Rank (1988)

The band’s sole official live album.

From → Discographies

  1. Ryan permalink

    Thanks, I really appreciate it.

  2. Tara permalink

    thanks for this! i’ve wanted to check out The Smiths for a long time; now i don’t have an excuse for forgetting about them.

  3. It’s a long time I’ve been after the Rank album… Thanks for posting

  4. The man. I only ever listened to the s/t because the rip I had of Hatful was some terrible tape rip or something

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