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The Smiths

By Rafael Almanza

In Manchester, England, a band was established in 1982. Steve Pomfret and Johnny Marr made the decision to go to Steven Morrissey's house. Johnny Marr was invited by Steven Morrissey to start a band there. These young people later rose to fame as “The Smiths”. Today, many people still like their music, which rose to global acclaim. Alternative rock, post-punk, jangle pop, and indie rock are some of the band's preferred musical genres. The band was unfortunately forced to break up due to tragedy, yet its legacy still influences musicians today.

Guitarist Johnny Marr had been practicing his skills ever since he was 13 years old. To help promote music, he had been seeking to join a band with other significant songwriters. Marr soon came across English singer-songwriter Steven Morrissey. Uninvited and unprepared, Marr had gone to Morrissey's house to see if they might collaborate and exchange song ideas. After Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce were introduced, who played bass guitar and drums respectively, the group quickly expanded to four. The Smiths was the moniker the quartet chose for their band. That was a very common name, and Morrissey said, "I thought it was about time the world's common people showed their face." They continued to create several songs, which quickly evolved into albums. The Queen is Dead, Hatful of Hollow, Louder than Bombs, and many other albums fall within this category. Songs like "I Know It's Over," "How Soon is Now," and "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" could be found on these albums. The band had to organize an appearance in order to find a means to promote their songs.

Morrissey took their first demo tape to Factory Records in the interim, but Tony Wilson at Factory was uninterested. The Smiths made their stage debut in October 1982 at Manchester's Ritz as the opening act for Blue Rondo à la Turk in "An Evening of Pure Pleasure," a student music and fashion show. Their first performance went somewhat well; however, the only thing they were unhappy with was the bass playing.

One of their earliest songs is "Hand in Glove", which was published in 1983 and whose name was inspired by the book of the same name. The band's original recording of this song was on a cassette tape that they gave to Geoff Travis, the proprietor of Rough Trade Records, who invited them to record and release their song. This invitation was one of the group’s greatest achievements. Morrissey picked the gay portrait of Jim French as the song's cover art. This caused the band to draw criticism for creating the appearance that they were homosexual; however, Morrissey later clarified that this was only the record cover and that they were not homosexual.

The song was later included on the band's debut album, "The Smiths," which was released in 1984. This album was quite popular, reaching number two on the UK albums chart. The band also included songs like "You've Got Everything Now," "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle," and "Reel Around the Fountain" on this album. The band's success peaked around the time they chose to release "Hatful of Hollow," their second album, a few months later.

Regrettably, The Smiths were forced to split up in 1987 because of problems with the band members' excessive conflicts. Despite being in the same band and frequently collaborating, Johnny Marr and Morrissey were not always close. Morrissey had his own ideas, thus he wasn't always truly close to the band. Morrissey eventually had enough of the band after growing impatient with them. As Morrissey was a bandmate, Johnny Marr brought up the subject of him when he was being questioned, which infuriated Morrissey. Morrissey continued by telling Johnny Marr to focus on his own accomplishments and to stop talking about him; he wanted to be left out of the conversation.

In the end, their legacy endures, and many people all across the world still appreciate their music. Later on, “The Smiths” disbanded and in 1987 put out an album titled "Strangeways, Here We Come." Morrissey and Johnny Marr separated from one another and pursued solo careers for the remainder of their lives. Morrissey was the lead singer and lyricist of The Smiths, and he went on to produce a large number of other albums and have a very successful career. The other band members received 40% of the band's profits.

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