The Smiths



So stay on my arm you little charmer
Morrissey – Hand in Glove

Just who was courting whom? Early in 1983 Johnny Marr and Stephen Morressey met for only the third time and wrote their first two songs together, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and the haunting Suffer the Children, which echoed the horrors of the Moore Murders outside Manchester England in the early 1970s.

This month and year marks the 30th anniversary of the debut single by the Smiths, the post punk band that forged the guitar driven new wave sound coming out of the UK in the 1980s. The remarkable historic song writing duo of Morrissey and Marr would be rocky and short lived, only lasting 5 years, but it would produce some of the best music of the decade. Some might argue that U2 was the prominent British band to emerge in the 1980s as they were already on the scene by 1983, but the Irish rockers, who’s sound was more grandiose and political, even at that early date, did not sit well with the local independent music community in England. Other bands like Echo & the Bunnymen, Big Country, and Orange Juice would not enjoy the same consistent long term success as The Smiths who signed with indie label Rough Trade that same year. By signing the band cemented a five record deal and insured the financial box office success of the fledgeling label.

The Smiths debut album was powered by the mega hit single Hand in Glove. All the music on this album is raw and gritty. The lofty, mature and sexually explicit Morrissey lyrics are well grounded in the brilliant, jangly, hard driven sound of Marr’s Rickenbacker.



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