The Smiths

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The Smiths were an English rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the songwriting partnership of Morrissey (vocals) and Johnny Marr (guitar), the band also included Andy Rourke (bass) and Mike Joyce (drums). Critics have called them the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s.[1][2] 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 remain cult and commercial favourites. The band broke up in 1987 amid disagreements between Morrissey and Marr and have turned down several offers to reunite since then.[citation needed]



Formation and early singles

The Smiths were formed in early 1982 by Steven Patrick Morrissey, an unemployed writer who was a big fan of the New York Dolls and briefly fronted punk rock band The Nosebleeds; and John Maher, a guitarist and songwriter. Maher changed his name to Johnny Marr to avoid confusion with Buzzcocks drummer John Maher, and Morrissey performed solely under his surname. After recording several demo tapes with Simon Wolstencroft (later of The Fall) on drums, Morrissey and Marr recruited drummer Mike Joyce in the autumn of 1982. Joyce had formerly been a member of punk bands The Hoax and Victim. As well, they added bass player Dale Hibbert, who also provided the group with demo recording facilities at the studio where he worked as a recording engineer[3]. However, after one gig, Marr's friend Andy Rourke replaced Hibbert on bass, because Marr felt that neither Hibbert's bass playing nor his personality fit in with the group.

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