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The Smiths

The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. Their line-up comprised 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.

"The Smiths brought realism to their romance, and tempered their angst with the lightest of touches. The times were personified in their frontman: rejecting all taints of rock n' roll machismo, he played up the social awkwardness of the misfit and the outsider, his gently haunting vocals whooping suddenly upward into a falsetto, clothed in outsize women's shirts, sporting National Health specs or a huge Johnny Ray-style hearing aid. This charming young man was, in the vernacular of the time, the very antithesis of a 'rockist' – always knowingly closer to the gentle ironicist Alan Bennett, or self-lacerating diarist Kenneth Williams, than a licentious Mick Jagger or drugged-out Jim Morrison."

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