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On 31 August 1978, a 19-year-old Morrissey was briefly introduced to the 14-year-old Johnny Marr by mutual acquaintances Billy Duffy and Howard Bates at a Patti Smith gig held at Manchester's Apollo Theatre.
In May 1982 Marr decided that he wanted to establish a new band, and subsequently turned up on the doorstep of Morrissey's house – 384 Kings Road, Stretford– accompanied by mutual friend Steve Pomfret, to ask Morrissey if he was interested in founding a band with himself and Pomfret. Morrissey and Marr bonded with their love of poetry and literature. A fan of the New York Dolls, Marr had been impressed that Morrissey had authored a book on the band, and was inspired to turn up on his doorstep following the example of Jerry Leiber, who had formed his working partnership with Mike Stoller after turning up at the latter's door. According to Morrissey: "We got on absolutely famously. We were very similar in drive." Conversing, the two found that they were fans of many of the same bands. The next day, Morrissey phoned Marr to confirm that he would be interested in forming a band with him.
After remaining with the band for several rehearsals, Pomfret departed acrimoniously. He was replaced by the bass player Dale Hibbert, who worked at Manchester's Decibel Studios, where Marr had met him while recording Freak Party's demo. It was through Hibbert that the Smiths were able to record their first demo at Decibel, doing so one night in August 1982. Aided by drummer Simon Wolstencroft, whom Marr had worked with in Freak Party, the band recorded both "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" and "Suffer Little Children". Wolstencroft was not interested in joining the band, so auditions were held to find a permanent drummer, which resulted in Mike Joyce joining them; he later revealed that he was under the influence of magic mushrooms during his audition performance. Meanwhile, Morrissey took the demo recording to Factory Records, but Factory's Tony Wilson wasn't interested.
In October 1982 the Smiths gave their first public performance as a support act for Blue Rondo à la Turk during a student music and fashion show, "An Evening of Pure Pleasure", at Manchester's The Ritz venue. During the performance, they played both their own compositions and "I Want a Boy for My Birthday". Morrissey had organised the gig's aesthetic; the band came onstage to Klaus Nomi's version of Henry Purcell's "The Cold Song" playing through the venue's sound system before his friend James Maker stepped onstage to introduce the band. Maker remained onstage during the performance, relating that "I was given a pair of maracas – an optional extra – and carte blanche. There were no instructions – I think it was generally accepted I would improvise... I was there to drink red wine, make extraneous hand gestures and keep well within the tight, chalked circle that Morrissey had drawn around me." Hibbert however was unhappy with what he perceived as the band's gay aesthetic; in turn, Morrissey and Marr were unhappy with his bass playing, so he was removed from the band and replaced by Marr's old school friend Andy Rourke. Hibbert however denies that he had any issue with the band being perceived as a 'gay' band, and was unsure as to the reasons why he was asked to leave the band.
In December 1982 the band recorded their second demo, this time at the Drone Studios in Chorlton-cum-Hardy; the tracks recorded were "What Difference Does It Make?", "Handsome Devil", and "Miserable Lie". This was used as their audition tape for the record company EMI, who turned the band down. During the rest of that month, the band continued to practice, this time at the upstairs of the Portland Street Crazy Face Clothing company, a space secured for them by their new manager Joe Moss. By Christmas they had created four new songs: "These Things Take Time", "What Do You See in Him?", "Jeane", and "A Matter of Opinion", the last of which they would soon scrap. Their next gig was Manchester's Manhattan in late January 1983, and although Maker would again appear as a go-go dancer, this was the last time that he did so. In early February they performed their third gig, at the city's Haçienda club.
By the end of the summer of 1982 Morrissey had chosen the band name "the Smiths", later informing an interviewer that "it was the most ordinary name and I thought it was time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces". Around the time of the band's formation, Morrissey decided that he would be publicly known only by his surname, with Marr referring to him as "Mozzer" or "Moz". In 1983 he forbade those around him from using the name "Steven", which he despised.
Morrissey and Marr subsequently visited London to hand a cassette of their recordings to Geoff Travis of the independent record label Rough Trade Records. Although not signing them to a contract straight away, he agreed to cut their song "Hand in Glove" as a single. Morrissey insisted that the cover image on the single was a homoerotic photograph by Jim French which he had found in Margaret Walters' The Nude Male. The single was released in May 1983, and would sell well for the next 18 months although never made it into the UK Top 40. This coincided with the band's second gig in London, at the University of London Union. Present at the gig was John Walters, the producer of John Peel's Radio 1 show; interested, he invited the band to record a session for the program. Peel expressed the view that "I was impressed because unlike most bands... you couldn't immediately tell what records they'd been listening to. That's fairly unusual, very rare indeed... It was that aspect of the Smiths that I found most impressive." Following this radio exposure, the band gained their first interviews, in music magazines NME and Sounds.
In February 1984, the group released their debut album The Smiths, which reached number two on the UK Albums Chart. Both "Reel Around the Fountain" and "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" met with controversy, with some tabloid newspapers alleging the songs were suggestive of paedophilia, a claim strongly denied by the group.
In March 1984, they performed on Channel 4 music program The Tube.
Early in 1985 the band released their second album, Meat Is Murder. This album was more strident and political than its predecessor, including the pro-vegetarian title track (Morrissey forbade the rest of the group from being photographed eating meat), the light-hearted republicanism of "Nowhere Fast", and the anti-corporal punishment "The Headmaster Ritual" and "Barbarism Begins at Home". The band had also grown more diverse musically, with Marr adding rockabilly riffs to "Rusholme Ruffians" and Rourke playing a funk bass solo on "Barbarism Begins at Home". The album was preceded by the re-release of the B-side "How Soon Is Now?" as a single, and although that song was not on the original LP, it has been added to subsequent releases. Meat Is Murder was the band's only album (barring compilations) to reach number one in the UK charts. In 2003, the album was ranked number 295 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
During 1985, the band completed lengthy tours of the UK and the US while recording their next studio record, The Queen Is Dead. The album was released in June 1986, shortly after the single "Bigmouth Strikes Again". Marr added ersatz strings with keyboards on several tracks such as "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" and "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side". Upon its release, The Queen Is Dead reached number two in the UK charts.
However, all was not well within the group. A legal dispute with Rough Trade had delayed the album by almost seven months (it had been completed in November 1985), and Marr was beginning to feel the stress of the band's exhausting touring and recording schedule. He later told NME, "'Worse for wear' wasn't the half of it: I was extremely ill. By the time the tour actually finished it was all getting a little bit ... dangerous. I was just drinking more than I could handle." Meanwhile, Rourke was fired from the band in early 1986 due to his use of heroin. He allegedly received notice of his dismissal via a Post-it Note stuck to the windscreen of his car. It read, "Andy – you have left the Smiths. Goodbye and good luck, Morrissey." Morrissey himself, however, denies this.
An arrest on drug possession charges almost led to Rourke being replaced by Guy Pratt for the band's North American tour later that year, until the bassist's work visa came through just before departure. While the shows were successful, heavy drinking and drug use by crew and band members other than Morrissey took a toll on the group, along with ineffective management and lingering disputes with Rough Trade, whom the band was seriously considering leaving for EMI, and Sire Records, their American label, who Morrissey felt did not do enough to promote the Smiths. After a date in St. Petersburg, Florida, he and Marr cancelled the remaining four shows, including a grand finale at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. After the following UK tour ended in October 1986, Gannon left the band, having played on six studio tracks. On 12 December 1986 the band performed their last ever concert, an anti-apartheid benefit at Brixton Academy, London.
The Smiths dressed mainly in ordinary clothes – jeans and plain shirts – in keeping with the back-to-basics, guitar-and-drums style of the music. This contrasted with the exotic high-fashion image cultivated by New Romantic pop groups such as Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran and highlighted in magazines such as The Face and i-D. In 1986, when the Smiths performed on the British music programme The Old Grey Whistle Test, Morrissey wore a fake hearing-aid to support a hearing-impaired fan who was ashamed of using one, and also frequently wore thick-rimmed National Health Service-style glasses. Morrissey also would often wave gladioli flowers onstage.
The group's frustrations with Rough Trade came to a head, and so they sought a record deal with a major label. Marr told NME in early 1987, "Every single label came to see us. It was small-talk, bribes, the whole number. I really enjoyed it." The band signed with EMI, which drew criticism from their fanbase and elements of the music press.
In early 1987 the single "Shoplifters of the World Unite" was released and reached number 12 on the UK Singles Chart. It was followed by a second compilation, The World Won't Listen. The title was Morrissey's comment on his frustration with the band's lack of mainstream recognition, although the album reached number two in the charts. This was followed by the single "Sheila Take a Bow", the band's second (and last during the band's lifetime) UK top-10 hit. Another compilation, Louder Than Bombs, was intended for the overseas market and covered much the same material as The World Won't Listen, with the addition of "Sheila Take a Bow" and material from Hatful of Hollow which was yet to be released in the US.
Despite their continued success, tensions emerged within the band to threaten their split. Johnny Marr was exhausted and took a break from the band in June 1987, which he felt was negatively perceived by his bandmates. In July, Marr left the group because he erroneously thought an NME article entitled "Smiths to Split" was planted by Morrissey. That article, written by Danny Kelly, alleged that Morrissey disliked Marr working with other musicians, and that Marr and Morrissey's personal relationship had reached a breaking point. Marr contacted NME to explain that he had not left the band due to personal tensions but because he wanted wider musical scope. Former Easterhouse guitarist Ivor Perry was brought in to replace Marr, and the band recorded some material with him which was never completed, including an early version of "Bengali in Platforms", originally intended as the B-side of "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before". Perry was uncomfortable with the situation, stating "it was like they wanted another Johnny Marr", and the sessions ended with (according to Perry) "Morrissey running out of the studio".
Strangeways, Here We Come peaked at number two in the UK in October 1987, and was their most successful album in the US, reaching number 55 on the Billboard 200. Both Morrissey and Marr name it as their favourite Smiths album. A couple of further singles from Strangeways were released with live, session and demo tracks as B-sides. The following year the live recording Rank, recorded in 1986 with Craig Gannon on rhythm guitar, repeated the UK chart success of previous albums and peaked at number 2. It also entered into the European 100 Albums chart at number 9.
The Smiths were the subject of a South Bank Show documentary produced by LWT and broadcast by ITV on 18 October 1987, four months after their break-up and three weeks after the release of Strangeways.
The "Britpop movement pre-empted by the Stone Roses and spearheaded by groups like Oasis, Suede and Blur drew heavily from Morrissey's portrayal of and nostalgia for a bleak urban England of the past." Blur formed as a result of seeing the Smiths on The South Bank Show in 1987. Yet even while leading bands from the Britpop movement were influenced by the Smiths, they were at odds with the "basic anti-establishment philosophies of Morrissey and the Smiths", since Britpop "was an entirely commercial construct." Mark Simpson has suggested that "the whole point of Britpop was to airbrush Morrissey out of the picture ... Morrissey had to become an 'unperson' so that the Nineties and its centrally-planned and coordinated pop economy could happen."
Following the group's demise, Morrissey began work on a solo recording, collaborating with producer Stephen Street and fellow Mancunian Vini Reilly, guitarist for The Durutti Column. The resulting album, Viva Hate (a reference to the end of the Smiths), was released in March 1988, reaching number one in the UK charts. In the following years, he invited several singers for backing vocals on several songs such as Suggs of Madness on "Picadilly Palare" and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders on "My Love Life". He recorded a duet with Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees, "Interlude" which was released under the banner of both artists. He also collaborated with arranger Ennio Morricone on "Dear God Please Help Me". At the beginning of the nineties, he enjoyed a new popularity in North America, following his first tour as Morrissey. Morrissey continues to perform and record as a solo artist, and has released 13 studio albums as of 2020.
Johnny Marr returned to the music scene in 1989 with New Order's Bernard Sumner and Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant in the supergroup Electronic. Electronic released three albums over the next decade. Marr was also a member of The The, recording two albums with the group between 1989 and 1993. He has worked as a session musician and writing collaborator with artists including the Pretenders, Bryan Ferry, Pet Shop Boys, Billy Bragg, Black Grape, Talking Heads, Crowded House and Beck.
Morrissey and Marr each took 40% of the Smiths' recording and performance royalties, allowing 10 percent each to Joyce and Rourke. As Joyce's barrister would later argue in court, the bassist and drummer were treated as "mere session musicians, as readily replaceable as the parts in a lawnmower". In March 1989, Joyce and Rourke started legal proceedings against their former bandmates, arguing that they were equal partners in the Smiths and each entitled to a 25 percent share of the band's profits on all activities other than songwriting and publishing. Rourke, who was in debt, settled almost immediately for a lump sum of £83,000 and 10 percent of royalties, renouncing all further claims.
Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce have continued working together. They toured with Sinéad O'Connor in the first half of 1988 (Rourke also appeared on her 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got). Still in 1988, they were recruited (with Craig Gannon) to the Adult Net, but left the band soon afterwards. In 1988 and 1989, they recorded singles with Morrissey. In 1998 they toured and recorded with Aziz Ibrahim (the Stone Roses). In 2001 they formed Specter with Jason Specter and others. The band played in the United Kingdom and the United States, but did not prosper. In the same year they recorded demos with Paul Arthurs (Oasis), Aziz Ibrahim and Rowetta Idah (Happy Mondays) under the name Moondog One, but the project went no further. Towards the end of 2001, they played together in the veteran Manchester band Jeep. In 2005 they played with Vinny Peculiar, recording the single "Two Fat Lovers" (Joyce also appeared on the 2006 album The Fall and Rise of Vinny Peculiar). In 2007 they released the documentary DVD Inside the Smiths, a surprisingly affectionate memoir of their time with the band, notable for the absence of Marr, Morrissey, and their music.
Morrissey and Johnny Marr dictated the musical direction of the Smiths. Marr said in 1990 that it "was a 50/50 thing between Morrissey and me. We were completely in sync about which way we should go for each record". The Smiths "non-rhythm-and-blues, whiter-than-white fusion of 1960s rock and post-punk was a repudiation of contemporary dance pop", and the band purposely rejected synthesisers and dance music. However, from their second album Meat Is Murder, Marr embellished their songs with keyboards.
By the time Strangeways, Here We Come was released in September, the band had split. The breakdown in the relationship has been primarily attributed to Morrissey's irritation by Marr's work with other artists and Marr growing frustrated by Morrissey's musical inflexibility. Marr particularly hated Morrissey's obsession with covering 1960s pop artists such as Twinkle and Cilla Black. Marr recalled in 1992, "That was the last straw, really. I didn't form a group to perform Cilla Black songs." In a 1989 interview, Morrissey cited the lack of a managerial figure and business problems as reasons for the band's split.
The Smiths then agreed to sign a record contract with Rough Trade, with Travis travelling up to Manchester to meet the band at their Crazy Face rehearsal space; there they signed the contract. Only Morrissey and Marr signed it on behalf of the band, and there was no discussion at the time regarding how the band's earnings would be divided up, something that would lead to the eventual argument over royalties which resulted in the 1996 High Court case. To produce the band's first album, Travis brought in Troy Tate of the Teardrop Explodes, and under Tate's supervision the band recorded their first album, provisionally titled The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, at the Elephant Studios in Wapping, East London. Rough Trade were unhappy with the album that the band produced and Troy's production of it, ordering the band to redo it with a new producer, John Porter.
Joyce continued with the action, which eventually reached the High Court of Justice (Chancery Division) in December 1996. Morrissey and Marr had accepted the previous year that Joyce and Rourke were partners. "The only contentious issue was whether Mr. Joyce was an equal partner entitled to ¼ of the profits arising out of the activities (other than songwriting or publishing) of the Smiths." Joyce's barrister, Nigel Davis QC, asserted that "it was not until after the bestselling band split up in 1987 that his client discovered he was getting only 10 per cent of the profits". Davis continued: "Mr Joyce never agreed to ten per cent, he never assumed he was getting ten per cent. On the contrary he thought he was getting 25 per cent."
Asked some time before the trial whether he thought Rourke and Joyce had been short-changed, Morrissey responded: "They were lucky. If they'd had another singer they'd never have got further than Salford shopping centre." Morrissey's counsel, Ian Mill QC, conceded that his client's attitude "betrayed a degree of arrogance". Morrissey appealed against the verdict; Marr did not. The appeal was heard by the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) in November 1998 and dismissed. Inspired by Joyce's success, Rourke sought legal advice on his own options. No further action appears to have been taken since that time. Rourke was declared bankrupt in 1999.
In 2000 he started another band, Johnny Marr + the Healers, which released only one album, Boomslang (2003), to moderate success, then split up shortly afterwards. He later worked as a guest musician on the Oasis album Heathen Chemistry (2002). In 2006 he began work with Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock on songs that eventually featured on the band's 2007 release, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Modest Mouse subsequently announced that Marr was a fully fledged member, and the reformed line-up toured extensively in 2006–07. In January 2008, it was reported that Marr had taken part in a week-long songwriting session at Moolah Rouge recording studio in Stockport with Wakefield indie group the Cribs. Marr's association with the band lasted three years and included an appearance on its fourth album, Ignore the Ignorant (2009). His departure from the group was announced in April 2011. He subsequently embarked on a solo career and recorded three solo albums, The Messenger (2013), Playland (2014) and Call the Comet (2018). In addition to his activities as a musician and songwriter, Marr produced Marion's second album, The Program (1998) and Haven's debut album, Between the Senses (2002).
In November 2004, VH1 screened a Backstage Pass Special episode of Bands Reunited showing host Aamer Haleem trying and failing to corner Morrissey before a show at the Apollo Theater. In March 2006, Morrissey revealed that the Smiths had been offered $5 million for a performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which he turned down, saying, "No, because money doesn't come into it." He further explained, "It was a fantastic journey. And then it ended. I didn't feel we should have ended. I wanted to continue. [Marr] wanted to end it. And that was that."
In November 2005, Mike Joyce told Marc Riley on BBC Radio 6 Music that financial hardship had reduced him to selling rare Smiths' recordings on eBay. By way of illustration, Riley played part of an unfinished instrumental known as the "Click Track" (or "Cowbell Track"). Morrissey responded with a statement three days later revealing that Joyce had received £215,000 each from Marr and Morrissey in 1997, along with Marr's final back-payment of £260,000 in 2001. Morrissey failed to make his final payment because, he said, he was overseas in 2001 and did not receive the paperwork. Joyce obtained a default judgement against Morrissey, revised his outstanding claim to £688,000, and secured orders garnishing much of the singer's income. This was a source of ongoing inconvenience and grievance to Morrissey, who estimated that Joyce had cost him at least £1,515,000 in recovered royalties and legal fees up to 30 November 2005.
Both Johnny Marr and Morrissey have repeatedly said that they will not reunite the band. In 2006, Morrissey declared, "I would rather eat my own testicles than reform the Smiths, and that's saying something for a vegetarian." When asked why in another interview the same year, he responded, "I feel as if I've worked very hard since the demise of the Smiths and the others haven't, so why hand them attention that they haven't earned? We are not friends, we don't see each other. Why on earth would we be on a stage together?" In a February 2009 interview on BBC Radio 2, he said, "People always ask me about reunions and I can't imagine why [...] the past seems like a distant place, and I'm pleased with that."
The closest Marr or Morrissey has come to any kind of reunion was in January 2006 when Johnny Marr and The Healers played at Andy Rourke's Manchester v Cancer benefit concert. There were suggestions leading up to the show that Morrissey might also be involved. Marr made it clear that this would not happen, but did perform "How Soon Is Now?" with Rourke. Marr and Rourke also performed "How Soon is Now?" together at the Lollapallooza Brazil festival in 2014.
Rourke has played and recorded with the Pretenders (featuring on Last of the Independents, 1994); Badly Drawn Boy (with whom he played for two years); Proud Mary (featuring on Love and Light, 2004); and Ian Brown (featuring on The World Is Yours, 2007). In 2007 he formed Freebass with fellow bassists Peter Hook (New Order and Joy Division) and Mani (the Stone Roses and Primal Scream); he remained active in the group until 2010 and appears on its only album, It's A Beautiful Life (2010).
In August 2007, it was widely reported that Morrissey had that summer declined an offer of $75 million – nearly £40 million at the time – from a "consortium of promoters" to reunite with Marr for a fifty-date world tour under the Smiths' name in 2008 and 2009. NME gave Morrissey as its source for the story. Rolling Stone cited his publicist. The offer was also reported at true-to-you.net, an unofficial fan site tacitly supported by Morrissey. It was later described as a "hoax", although it is unclear who was hoaxing whom.
Marr's jangly guitar-playing was influenced by Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, Neil Young's work with Crazy Horse, George Harrison (with the Beatles), James Honeyman-Scott of the Pretenders and Bert Jansch of Pentangle. Marr often tuned his guitar up a full step to F-sharp to accommodate Morrissey's vocal range, and also used open tunings. Citing producer Phil Spector as an influence, Marr said, "I like the idea of records, even those with plenty of space, that sound 'symphonic'. I like the idea of all the players merging into one atmosphere". Marr's other favourite guitarists are James Williamson of the Stooges, Rory Gallagher, Pete Townshend of the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan of T. Rex, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and John McGeoch of Magazine and Siouxsie and the Banshees. In a 2007 interview for the BBC, Marr reported that with the Smiths his goal was to "pare down" his style and avoid rock guitar clichés. Marr forbade himself from using power chords, distortion, lengthy solos, or "big rock chord changes", instead relying on sophisticated arpeggios to create his signature chiming guitar work for the band. Although occasionally Marr would disobey his own rules and create more of a punk feel with songs like "London".
Q magazine's Simon Goddard argued in 2007 that the Smiths were "the one truly vital voice of the '80s" and "the most influential British guitar group of the decade". He continued: "As the first indie outsiders to achieve mainstream success on their own terms (their second album proper, 1985's Meat Is Murder, made Number 1 in the UK), they elevated rock's standard four-piece formula to new heights of magic and poetry. Their legacy can be traced down through the Stone Roses, Oasis and the Libertines to today's crop of artful young guitar bands."
Rourke and Joyce have also pursued their own projects. Joyce has recorded with Suede (1990); toured and recorded with Buzzcocks (1990–91); toured with Julian Cope (1992); toured with John Lydon and Public Image Ltd (1992); recorded with P.P. Arnold (1995); toured and recorded with Pete Wylie (1996–98); toured with Vinny Peculiar and Paul Arthurs (2007); and toured with Autokat (2008–09). Joyce presented the Alternative Therapy radio show on Revolution 96.2 FM until the station changed format in 2008, later reviving it on Manchester Radio Online and Tin Can Media. He now hosts The Coalition Chart Show on East Village Radio, which streams from New York, and works as a club DJ.
In 2008, Marr resumed contact with Morrissey and Rourke while working on the remastering of the band's catalogue. That September, Morrissey and Marr met at a pub in Manchester, and discussed the possibility of reforming the band. The two kept in contact over the next four days to further discuss the topic, and decided to exclude Mike Joyce from any prospective reunion and to wait until after Marr completed his commitments to the Cribs. Communication between the two abruptly ended while Marr was touring in Mexico with the Cribs, and the topic of a reunion was never brought up again. Marr said that he did not hear from Morrissey again until a brief email correspondence in December 2010.
Rourke co-founded the Manchester v Cancer concert series, later known as Versus Cancer, to raise money for cancer research. He has since concentrated on his radio career, beginning with a Saturday-evening show on XFM Manchester. More recently he has been a regular on East Village Radio, where his colleagues include Mike Joyce. Rourke relocated to New York in early 2009. Soon after arriving there, he formed Jetlag – a "DJ and audio production outfit" – with Olé Koretsky. In April 2014, Cranberries vocalist Dolores O'Riordan joined the group, and changed their name to D.A.R.K. However, since the death of O'Riordan on 15 January 2018, the band has been inactive. Rourke's latest project is the band Blitz Vega, with former Happy Mondays' guitarist KAV.
In June 2009, Marr told an interviewer on London's XFM, "I think we were offered 50 million dollars for three ... possibly five shows." He said that the chances of a reunion were "nothing to do with money", and that the reasons were "really abstract".
In 2014 and 2015, the Smiths were announced as nominees to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Since the band split, its members have sanctioned the release of a live album (Rank, 1988), four greatest-hits collections (Best ... I, 1992; ... Best II, 1992; Singles, 1995; and The Sound of The Smiths, 2008), one miscellaneous compilation (Stop Me, 1988), and two box-sets (The Smiths Singles Box, 2008; and Complete, 2011). The Queen Is Dead also received a remaster and a collector's edition in 2017. There has also been an unsanctioned greatest-hits collection (The Very Best of The Smiths, 2001). This is in addition to the compilations released during the band's lifetime (Hatful of Hollow, 1984; The World Won't Listen, 1987; and Louder Than Bombs, 1987).