Behind The Music: The Smiths


PHOTO COURTESY OF: Rachel Quinones Two of The Smiths’s most popular albums

Emma Lloyd, News Editor

Hey Rams! Welcome to the first Behind the Music publication for the ‘22-’23 school year! It’s great to be back in the saddle. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this blog, here I discuss music, its meanings, and artists from all eras and styles. We’re going back to the 1980’s for this issue, with The Smiths

The Smiths were an English rock band that emerged in 1982 in Manchester. Their line-up consisted of singer Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke, and drummer Mike Joyce. They are regarded as one of the most important acts to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. 

COMPASS senior Marissa McGrath says, “I love The Smiths. Honestly, their music is so easy to listen to. Morrissey has that kind of voice that you can listen to for hours on end and not get sick of it.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF: Megan Tafel A photo of a vinyl from the album “The Queen Is Dead”

This amazing band has so many notable songs to this day, consisting of “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” “This Charming Man,” “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” and  “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.” 

Morrissey, the band’s frontman and songwriter, frequently wrote songs about tragedy and devastating scenarios. In “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” he writes, “If a ten ton truck kills the both of us, to die by your side, oh the pleasure and the privilege is mine.” This lyric is especially tragic because the devastation surrounding being hit by a truck can be terrifying, but having the one you love close to you seems to make it all okay.

“As a musician, I love the strum and the jangle pop against Morrissey’s sad, and a bit off key voice. It feels…true to life,” says the newly retired Millikan English teacher, Ms. Wood. While there is some controversy surrounding Morrissey’s outspoken nature, there is no doubt that The Smiths and Morrissey are the Indie Pop/New Wave Elvis Presley.

Their album, “The Queen Is Dead,” reached number 70 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1986 and stayed there for 38 weeks, longer than many other bands from the decade. That is one of their most famous albums to date. 

As always Rams, keep listening to what you love, and for now listen to the Behind the Music Spotify playlist. Until next time, let the music move you.