It was lead guitarist Johnny Marr and singer Morrissey's seemingly effortless ability to write ringing, melodic, three-minute pop songs, that made The Smiths the definitive British indie rock band of the Eighties.
While bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce didn't grab the headlines, one cannot over-estimate their contribution either. For a whole generation The Smiths were the only band that really mattered. Each album advanced their reputation amongst fans, peers and critics alike. So, it is no surprise, that all four band members came to regard Strangeways, Here We Come, their final album, as being their best and most mature body of work.
While the simmering friction between Morrissey and Marr was to bring about the band’s early demise, The Smiths left an enduring legacy. They provided a blueprint for British guitar rock into the Nineties and beyond.
The Dead Straight Guide to The Smiths is also a book of photographs – featuring more than 50 images by Stephen Wright – including early gigs such as Manchester Free Trade Hall and the Lads Club session. Illustrated in both colour and black and white the book covers the complete history of the band. It also includes a full discography of The Smiths as well as members’ solo work.