The Smiths were an English rock band active from
1982 to 1987, based on the songwriting partnership of singer Morrissey
and guitarist Johnny Marr. Critics have called them one of the most
important alternative rock bands to emerge from the British independent
music scene of the 1980s, and the group has had major influence
on subsequent artists. Morrissey's lovelorn tales of alienation
found an audience amongst youth culture bored by the ubiquitous
synthesizer-pop bands of the early 1980s, while Marr's complex melodies
helped return guitar-based music to popularity.
The group were signed to the independent record label Rough Trade
Records, for whom they released four studio albums and several compilations,
as well as numerous non-LP singles. Although they had limited commercial
success outside the UK while they were still together, and never
released a single that charted higher than number 10 in their home
country, The Smiths won a growing following, and they remain cult
and commercial favourites.