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  • The Smiths

    Featuring the dynamite songwriting team of singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, the Smiths were one of the most significant British indie-rock bands of the '80s. Influenced themselves by the British Invasion (along with punk, Phil Spector-produced girl groups, and rockabilly), the Smiths reintroduced guitars into rock after the synth-obsessed new-wave movement and thus paved the way for British rock in the '90s. The band only released four studio albums during its relatively short run—1984's eponymous debut, 1985's Meat Is Murder, 1986's The Queen Is Dead, and 1987's Strangeways, Here We Come—but made up for this with lots and lots of 7-inchs. With short, melodic pop songs like "Girlfriend in a Coma," led by Morrissey's woeful croon and poetic lyrics that are slyly humorous in their misery, the Smiths are impossible not to love and amazing on vinyl.

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