Trivia / The Smiths

  • Black Sheep Hit: Their best known song, "How Soon Is Now?", was a b-side and doesn't sound like their usual jangly style - it's more dance-rock and an Ur-Example of Shoegazing.
  • Executive Meddling: The original sleeve of the "How Soon Is Now?" single was rejected by their American distributor Sire Records for looking too much like a man holding his cock, and was replaced by a photo of the band backstage at the 1984 Glastonbury Festival which Morrissey called "an abhorrent sleeve and the time and the dedication that we put into the sleeves and artwork, it was tearful when we finally saw the record...". Sire also cobbled together a video without the band's involvement which the band hated, with Morrissey describing the result as "We saw the video and we said to Sire, 'You can't possibly release this... this degrading video.' And they said, 'Well, maybe you shouldn't really be on our label.' It was quite disastrous."
  • The Pete Best: Dale Hibbert, their first bass player, was fired after their first gig because Johnny Marr felt he wasn't a good fit for the band. Since he worked at a studio, he was able to help the band record their first demos.
  • Reality Subtext: According to Tony Fletcher's bio of the band, A Light That Never Goes Out, "The Headmaster Ritual" was based on an actual daily event of that name at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Secondary Modern, Morrissey's alma mater, where during morning assembly the headmaster would find some minor detail amiss about some child's, say, uniform, call him up to the front and excoriate him for it in front of the entire school, then take him down to his office and give the kid a couple on the bare buttocks with a leather strap. And that was just the official punishment.
  • Recursive Import: Louder Than Bombs was initially released in America, but Rough Trade issued it in the U.K. a few months after the release of The World Won't Listen simply to save obsessive fans from having to pay high import prices. It retailed for the price of a single LP despite being a double album, though some fans did complain about having to pay twice for what was essentially the same thing.
  • Role Ending Misdemeanor: Andy Rourke was briefly fired from the band after developing a heroin addiction before being reinstated for the The Queen is Dead tour. His replacement, Craig Gannon, did stay on as rhythm guitarist for the tour.
  • Technology Marches On: The line "and her Walkman started to melt" from "Bigmouth Strikes Again" is often updated by Morrissey in live performances to "and her iPod started to melt".
  • Throw It In: Morrissey's voice cracks very audibly on the line "I swear to God, I swear, I never even knew what drugs were" in "The Queen is Dead."