In just five years, the Smiths went from an indie pop outfit puttering around Manchester to one of the UK’s most successful, significant acts – and then, just like that, they were gone. Short as their time was together, the Smiths’ output was brilliant throughout their reign from 1982 to 1987, and now you can scroll through the highlights of their career in a new interactive timeline on the band’s website.
The timeline hits major milestones including the band’s first gig in 1982 at The Ritz in Manchester and the release of their debut single, “Hand in Glove” the following year. Bits and pieces of Morrissey’s lyrics are scattered throughout, as is song and album chart information, quotes from critics and band members, plus a few fun facts. For instance, “How Soon Is Now?” was originally the B-side on “William, It Was Really Nothing” and went on to become, in guitarist Johnny Marr’s opinion, “possibly [the band’s] “most enduring record.” The timeline also features what looks to be a snapshot of Morrissey’s original lyric sheet for 1986’s “Panic.”
Most major singles and every Smiths album is noted on the timeline, complete with Spotify embeds so you can listen to them right away. While the timeline doesn’t go into great detail about the band, its members and the tensions that led to their success and split, it offers a thorough overview of the Smiths’ brief, illustrious career.
Of course, don’t get your hopes up if you think the timeline might signal a possible Smiths reunion: Morrissey once again dashed that possibility in a recent interview, chiding, “I don’t know a single person who wants a Smiths reunion!”
The singer is now at work in France on the follow-up to 2009’s Years of Refusal after finally securing a two-album deal with Capitol Records imprint, Harvest Records. No word on when the record will see release, though Moz recently reissued his beloved 1992 solo LP, Your Arsenal.