The 80s rock scene was flooded with new bands trying to find their own spot on the music charts. The one band that stood out was The Smiths. Despite the fact that they only lasted for five years, from 1982 to 1987, their songs are still hummed by dance-pop fans.
Their fame skyrocketed from being a local band in Manchester to a worldwide scene at the speed of light. Four members – frontman Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke, and drummer Mike Joyce – collaborated in writing lyrics that assured their spot as being one of the best bands of the 80s. Here are some things you might have missed about The Smiths.
1. The Smiths’ first album cover was actually a photo of the American actor Joe Dallesandro from the movie “Flash” directed by Andy Warhol in 1968. He is considered to be the most famous male sex symbol of American underground films and also a sex symbol of homosexuals.
2. “What Difference Does It Make?” was one of the singles from the first album that made a splash on the charts. It reached No12, but it was widely accepted by the crowds and became a staple in their live performances. However, Morrisey stated that he was most embarrassed by the song due to its lyrics.
3. Morrisey’s girlfriend Annalisa Jablonska made a mark on two of their songs. The laugh heard on “Suffer Little Children” and the remark “Oh, really” on “Pretty Girls Make Graves” is the voice of Jablonska who ended up on the final version of the songs. The first dong was played live only once at The Ritz in Manchester in 1982.
4. Before they settled on “The Smiths” name for the band, they were locally known as “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle”. In the end, the decision was made to choose the most common last name in the UK.
5. The total for recording The Smiths’ albums was around $10,000. The good ol’ times when it was enough to make good music without having a multi-million dollar entourage.
6. The band broke into the scene at No2 on the UK charts, with The Thompson Twins being No1 at the time. The sad thing is, the group should’ve been at Number 1, but their publisher failed to produce enough cassettes at the time.
7. The Smiths refused to make videos for their singles since Morrisey was convinced that video was a form that will die out quickly. Even though the music producers and other members of the band thought differently, Morrisey prevailed in his convictions and the video for “What Difference Does It Make?” was never recorded. True visionary.
8. “Hand in Glove” is Morrisey’s favorite song. Along with “What difference Does It Make?” it was the only song released as a single before the album hit the stores.
9. George Martin refused to produce “The Queen is Dead”. At the time Martin stated that he would prefer to be remembered for producing “The Beatles”, which he is to this day. However, The Smiths‘ “The Queen Is Dead” has been named as the Greatest Album of All Time by New Musical Express.
10. “Hang the DJ” lyrics have quite a history. BBC’s DJ, Steve Wright was playing some music in the studio and Morrisey just happen to listen when the news about Chernobyl nuclear disaster broke out. After the quick update, the DJ just continued where he left off playing “I’m Your Man” by Wham!. Morrisey found this despicable, hence the lyrics “hang the DJ” in one of their most popular song “Panic”.