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The Smiths Merchandise

Biography

See also Morrissey merchandise – click here

The Smiths were a British rock group active from 1982 to 1987. The group was based on the songwriting partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr, and was signed to the independent record label Rough Trade Records. The group sold many albums in the UK (although only two singles made the UK top ten), and had a major influence on subsequent "indie" music, including the Britpop movement and bands such as Radiohead, Suede, Oasis, Travis, The Libertines, Doves and many more. At the time, the group was notable in particular for two things: Morrissey"s witty, controversial and unusual lyrics, and Marr"s music, which helped return guitar-based music to popularity after it fell out of favour in the UK charts. The group released a total of four studio albums and several compilations in less than five years, as well as numerous singles. Although not commercially successful outside the UK while they were still together, the Smiths won a growing following both at home and overseas in the closing years of the twentieth century. History The group was formed in early 1982 by two Manchester residents. Morrissey (Steven Patrick Morrissey, though he does not use his forenames) was an unemployed writer who had formed the UK New York Dolls fan club. Johnny Marr (originally John Maher, he changed his name to avoid confusion with the Buzzcocks drummer) was already a very skillful guitarist with a talent for songwriting, and he provided the music for Morrissey"s lyrics throughout the group"s career. Mike Joyce was recruited as drummer after a short audition. Dale Hibbert initially played bass, and provided demo recording facilities at the studio where he worked as a sound engineer. However, after two gigs, Marr"s friend Andy Rourke replaced Hibbert. The origin of the band"s name is unknown - they stated that it was a reaction against names they considered fancy and pompous such as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Depeche Mode.

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