The Smiths Songs Ranked

The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. Consisting of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke, and drummer Mike Joyce, critics consider the band one of the most important to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. Internal tensions led to their break up in 1987 and subsequent offers to reunite have been refused. In 2012, all four Smiths’ studio albums (and a compilation) appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, while “William, It Was Really Nothing” and “How Soon Is Now?” were included in the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.
The Smiths were signed to the independent label Rough Trade Records. Several Smiths singles reached the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart and all of their studio albums reached the top five of the UK Albums Chart, including the number-one album Meat, Is Murder (1985). They achieved mainstream success in Europe with The Queen Is Dead (1986) and Strangeways, Here We Come (1987), both of which entered the top twenty of the European Albums Chart. Their live album Rank (1988) reached the top 10 in Europe. Here are all The Smiths songs ranked.

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20. Hand in Glove (The Smiths, 1984)

“Not too long ago I heard this in my playlist and I just lay in my bed and cried for what felt like the entire night. I had that moment of really connecting with the song and somehow I don’t think any type of popularity or greatness or whatever can beat that feeling of deepness so for me this is number 1”

19. Half a Person (The World Won’t Listen, 1987)

“I do love this song. With a passion. “Call me morbid, call me pale… I’ve spent six years on your trail. So if you have five seconds to spare, I’ll tell you the story of my life”… I always thought this was such a great classic pop song, so so catchy, I never understood why it wasn’t a major single.”

18. William, It Was Really Nothing (Hatful of Hollow, 1984)

“This is their best song by far! I can’t believe it’s not on the list! It’s even on Rolling Stone’s list of five-hundred best songs of all time. This is the actual best of The Smiths. Two minutes of pure brilliance!”

17. Still Ill (The Smiths, 1984)

“This is such a masterpiece. It tells the story of the whole world against the unrelenting bass and drum lines and then at the forefront, guitar and vocals, bitterly sweet and clever, masterful, and oh so honest. With such enthusiastic agreement, I’ve followed the words quite literally and yes, the world is mine and owes me a living, so mostly after that I didn’t bother, kissed and got sore lips, and yes, I saw the brighter sides of life, but not very often.”

See more: The Smiths Albums Ranked

16. Ask (The World Won’t Listen, 1987)

“Johnny Marr’s guitar howls like a dying animal in the last minute – one of the best band ever’s best songs. Best song of the smiths, the guitary beautiful, the drums, and mostly the lyrics. Best song of the smiths lyrically and musically”

15. The Headmaster Ritual (Meat Is Murder, 1985)

“I listened to MIM on a tape of a radio broadcast, during 1985 traveling as a young teen on trains all across Asia. Had no idea what they looked like or their history. I just knew it was the greatest music Id ever heard. Didn’t know I’d never hear anything like it again.”

14. What Difference Does It Make? (The Smiths, 1984)

“This is definitely one of the best, if not, the best song The Smiths have done. It’s amazing rhythmically, melodically, lyrically, and Morrissey’s vocals are unlike I’ve ever heard before. It’s such and intense and captivating song. One of the best ever.”

13. Asleep (The Queen Is Dead, 1986)

“Despite the fact that prepubescent girls and wannabe hipsters now flock around this song, it still resonates with me. I never grow tired of hearing it, no matter how many times it gets played now. Yes, Perks was a good movie. Charlie, however, is not someone to emulate. Choose to like the song because it’s a good song, not because Charlie liked the song.”

12. Cemetry Gates (The Queen Is Dead, 1986)

“This song has helped me through so much. It’s beautiful and perfect in every way. I think that this song is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. This song always calms me down when I can’t sleep. Thanks The Smiths!

11. Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before (Strangeways, Here We Come, 1987)

“Great opening! A song that comes right out at you, not to be ignored. Best, though, are the lyrics that make me laugh. This song should be number 2 please vote this one up love it great guitar bass drums and singing”

10. The Queen is Dead (The Queen is Dead, 1986)

“One of morrissey’s first over political/social songs. He has no agenda but his own and this song exemplifies such, the abrasive nature of the guitar contrasts against the twee pop of the boy with the thorn etc…”

9. Panic (The World Won’t Listen, 1987)

“The music that they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life’ Awesome lyric- that still speaks volumes, and it summed up what I feel like as an Indie kid against the corporate pop of the modern world.”

8. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (The Smiths, 1984)

“Don’t really like the singing on this one, but it does have the greatest lyric ever written “I was looking for a job and then…and heaven knows I’m miserable now” Beautiful song with a great guitar riff, and as always Morrissey’s vocals are as awesome as ever.”

7. Bigmouth Strikes Again (The Queen Is Dead, 1986)

“This song truly is a masterpiece, a magnificent offering by The Smiths and easily their second-best song. The passion, the vivaciousness of the melody… Whenever I feel as though I’m overflowing with rage, I listen to this song and my fiery hatred is subdued to a dull throbbing sensation.”

See more: Stone Temple Pilots Albums Ranked

6. I Know It’s Over (The Queen Is Dead, 1986)

“This song is very underrated. The disregard for any linear lyrics make this song very interesting. The lyrics rhyme in unexpected places, and manage to hit many insecurities among listeners, depending on how they interpret the lyrics. The guitars and basses while important to the gentleness of the song are not loud, giving way to Morrissey’s voice that oozes out his heart. The recurring “oh Mother” part really evokes hard emotions and you can feel the pain in Morrissey’s voice. The vagueness of the lyrics create an aura of mystery that is only amplified by the vocals and backing instruments. Overall, an emotionally amazingly produced song.”

5. The Boy with the Thorn in His Side (The Queen Is Dead, 1986)

“Great song though I can’t see why they released this as a single. It’s just not very commercial in my opinion. It took many listens for me to finally understand its greatness. Can’t get enough of this one…”

4. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (Hatful of Hollow, 1984)

“I’m glad this is moving up since I was the one who nominated it! This was also my first Smiths song. Makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up… Which is the greatest thing a piece of music can do”

3. This Charming Man (The Smiths, 1984)

“That opening riff pretty much sums up what The Smiths are all about. Easily the best song the smiths have produced! I love this song because of how the lyrics are so heartfelt but also because they can be interpreted in many ways.”

2. How Soon is Now (Hatful of Hollow, 1984)

“Honestly, Johnny Marr killed it on this song and you will never convince me otherwise. Not only that, but the lyrics are very poignant – I wonder whether I would ever be able to forget them… Not that I’d want to.”

1. There is a Light that Never Goes Out (The Queen Is Dead, 1986)

“How could one rate this song below number one? It is the fines example of what Morrissey’s lyrics are about: tragic love. The chorus is truly haunting and I do hope you can find it in yourselves to vote this song as the best of The Smith’s career.”