Released on 20 February 1984 by indie record label, Rough Trade, this week marks 35 years since the release of The Smiths debut self-titled album. The album was written completely by Morrissey and Johnny Marr.
After the original production by Troy Tate was considered inadequate, John Porter re-recorded the album during breaks in the band's UK tour during September 1983.
Johnny Marr wrote in his autobiography that he "liked Troy...Troy's vision was to capture the way the band sounded live. He thought it was important that the record represented the way we were in the clubs and was an authentic document. He worked pretty tirelessly to get passion from a performance and was very nurturing with me..." However the sessions would prove to be difficult due to a heatwave in London at the time, and the studio heat caused their instruments to constantly fall out of tune.
Marr later recalled that "working with John immediately got us results...he and I formed a musical and personal relationship that was inspiring...he nurtured not just me but all the band."
The album was well received by the critics as well as the public, reaching #2 on the UK Albums Chart. It stayed on the chart for 33 weeks and established The Smiths as a prominent band in the 1980s UK music scene.
The sleeve for The Smiths was designed by Morrissey. It features American actor Joe Dallesandro in a cropped still from Andy Warhol's 1968 film Flesh. The photograph of Morrissey on the original card inner sleeve was taken at an early London concert by Romi Mori.
In 1989, The Smiths was ranked number 22 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s.
Listen to The Smiths on Spotify
Listen to The Smiths on Apple Music