Impact’s Music Essentials: The Smiths

Ayman Ahmer

Intelligent? Yes. Irreverent? Perhaps. Iconic? Absolutely. The Smiths were the quintessential British indie-rock band of the 80s, best known for their immaculate guitar riffs and eccentric lyrics. From 1982 to 1987, Morrissey and Johnny Marr formed one of the most prolific musical partnerships seen since Lennon and McCartney. They may have only lasted only five years as a group, but remain as relevant and influential as ever.  Having been introduced to the Smiths by my dad at a young age, I grew to admire their wonderfully unique discography. Impact’s Ayman Ahmer gives a selection of his favourite tracks… 

Well I Wonder (1985)  

In this heart-breaking song of unrequited love, Morrissey is an embodiment of vulnerability. Introduced by Marr’s warm and comforting guitar riff, there is an immediate sense of relatability to this song. Sitting on your bed, daydreaming about what life could be like with the girl of your dreams is a pretty common emotion shared by teenagers. Suffocated by this intangible feeling, Morrissey wonders whether he will ever be recognised or acknowledged by this person he idolises.

Girlfriend in a Coma (1987)

The Smiths produced the very definition of juxtaposition in this absurdly brilliant track. The contradiction between Morrisey’s dark and dire lyrics and Marr’s cheery upbeat backing is executed to perfection. Released just days after the band’s split, this track became one of their more successful chart hits.


Stop Me If You’ve Think You’ve Heard This One Before (1987)

The Smiths reached new heights of storytelling through their music in what would be their last ever single. Written from the perspective of a murderess drunkard defending his cheating and lies, the song received backlash for its insensitivity.

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (1984)

‘Angst’ was a term introduced by Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard to indicate the lack of purpose in the universe. Morrissey admirably captures this feeling of deep anxiety and nihilism in 1 minute 57 seconds in this iconic track.

There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (1986)

There Is Light That Never Goes Out will go down as the Smiths greatest ever musical triumph. Morrissey’s comic yet intensely romantic lyrics combined with Marr’s one-man show of synthesized strings saw the birth of a passionate, poetic and painful classic – good enough to pass as a Beatles record.

How Soon Is Now? (1984)

There’s only one song you should be playing if you happen to be driving in the night time with the roof down – and that is this masterpiece of a tune…just take a listen and you’ll see what I mean.

Ayman Ahmer

Featured image courtesy of John Matychuk via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article videos of The Smiths via YouTube.com. No changes made to these videos.

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