Introducing…The 172-page Definitive Edition Ultimate Music Guide to The Smiths 

Strange to think about it in these terms now that Johnny Marr is a solo artist and Morrissey is doing his best to please only himself; after the lawsuits and the contractual revelations. Still: the driving principle and greatest strength of The Smiths was always unity – the unique quality they had as a band.  

Forty years on from the release of their debut album, it’s that which we celebrate with our the 172-page Definitive Edition of our Ultimate Music Guide to The Smiths. As Mike Joyce writes in his introduction to the magazine, the band had a quality which remained mysterious even to those closest to it. 

“The music we were playing was so different, and it stayed like that throughout the Smiths’ career,” Mike says. “It wasn’t punk or reggae or vaudeville, or something with big anthemic tunes but at the same time it was all of that. The band was never about the four individuals. You could say the same about the Beatles or the Stones: how did it work? Why did it work? It just happened that way, as a unit. What we were creating was so magical and diverse it drew us all in.”


As you’ll read in the magazine or in the limited edition hardback with an exclusive cover that you can also get from us, this chemistry wasn’t short-lived. Collected here are incisive and in-depth reviews of all the band’s albums, and a selection of the best interviews from the archives. Not only that, we follow the band’s chief instigators into their solo careers, to find Johnny Marr an occasionally mystical maker of stirring electro-rock and Morrissey satiating his constituency with an increasingly robust view of current events. In the new eight-page foldout miscellany timeline, meanwhile, you’ll find stats, maps, and insightful miscellany.

The past year has seen the passing of Andy Rourke, and it’s testimony to him and abiding ties of what The Smiths created together that Johnny Marr and Morrissey have both been of one mind in expressing their sadness and gratitude for his life. Marr knew Rourke as a close friend. Morrissey, as an admiring bandmate: “nothing that he played had been played by someone else,” he wrote.

It’s the same unique quality that Mike Joyce praises in the band’s music as a whole in his introduction to the magazine. “What we did is bigger than us as individuals,” he says. “We changed the perception of what indie bands were supposed to be.”


Enjoy the magazine. You can get yours here.