The Smiths: Morrissey (vocals); Johnny Marr (guitar, harmonica); Andy Rourke (bass); Mike Joyce (drums). Recorded at Pluto and Eden Studios, Manchester, and Matrix and Strawberry Studios, London in the winter of 1983. This self-titled opening salvo of the Smiths' four-year war with mediocrity stands proud as one of the era's most innovative and unique works. Flying in the face of the pomp and artifice that prevailed in pop music at the time, the Smiths raged against their makeup- wearing, synth-playing contemporaries and squarely put rock back on the agenda. Guitarist Johnny Marr married the tunesmanship and harmonic richness of his Motown heroes with the rage of punk, while Morrissey's bedroom confessionals were catnip to England's (and later the world's) disenfranchised youth. THE SMITHS demanded, and received, instant attention, desirable and otherwise, making a reluctant guitar hero out of Marr and a poster boy out of Morrissey. The jarring juxtaposition between Marr's lilting, densely-layered guitar lines and Morrissey's lyrics and plaintive delivery makes magic of "This Charming Man" (whose theme of sexual ambiguity was to remain prevalent in the group's work) and the gentle major-seventh chords of "I Don't Owe You Anything." The tender "Suffer Little Children," a paean to a group of murdered children in the band's native Manchester, gave the band their first (though far from their last) taste of public controversy.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock