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The Smiths

The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. The band consisted of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. Critics have called them the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. The band's focus on a guitar, bass, and drum sound, and their fusion of 1960s rock and post-punk, were a repudiation of synthesizer-based contemporary dance-pop – the style popular in the early 1980s. Marr's guitar-playing on his Rickenbacker often had a jangly sound reminiscent of Roger McGuinn of the Byrds and influenced later Manchester bands, including the Stone Roses and Oasis. Morrissey and Marr's songs combined themes about ordinary people with complex, literate lyrics delivered by Morrissey with a mordant sense of humour.

The Smiths had several singles reach the UK top twenty and all four of their studio albums reached the UK top five, including one which topped the charts. They won a significant following and remain cult favourites, although they had limited commercial success outside the UK while they were still together. The band broke up in 1987 and have turned down several offers to reunite. In 2014 and 2015, they were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Morrissey and Johnny Marr dictated the musical direction of the Smiths. Marr said in 1990 that it "was a 50/50 thing between Morrissey and me. We were completely in sync about which way we should go for each record". The band's "non-rhythm-and-blues, whiter-than-white fusion of 1960s rock and post-punk was a repudiation of contemporary dance pop" – the style popular in the early 1980s. The band purposely rejected synthesisers and dance music. They sometimes used Sergei Prokofiev's Montagues and Capulets as entrance music at live shows.

www.officialsmiths.co.uk

Smiths, The (SM002KC)

The Smiths

Early image of The Smiths on a shoot in 1983 on the outskirts of Manchester

Prices from £1,800.00
print
Smiths, The (SM001CLMU)

The Smiths

Morrissey and Johnny Marr of The Smiths photographed just after they first signed to the legendary Rough Trade Records.

Prices from £208.33
print
Smiths, The (SM001GL)

The Smiths

Morrissey wields a protestor’s placard bearing the title of The Smiths anarchic ‘Queen is Dead’ tour and album in Manchester,1986

Prices from £295.00
print
Smiths, The (SM001SWRI)

The Smiths

The image of The Smiths outside Salford Lads' Club that graces the inner sleeve of their classic album The Queen is Dead

Prices from £150.00
print
The Smiths giant pin badge designed by Tony Dennis AKA Tape Deck Art

The Smiths

Limited edition giant vintage pin badge for The Smith's single Sheila Take A Bow by artist Tony Dennis AKA Tape Deck Art

Prices from £380.00
print
Smiths, The (SM002SWRI)

The Smiths

Iconic Strangeways Road sign from the back of the ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ album shot in 1987.

Prices from £150.00
print
Smiths, The (SW003SWRI)

The Smiths

Colour contact sheet of images taken from The Smiths famous Salford Lads Club shoot for their Queen Is Dead album cover by Stephen Wright

Prices from £525.00
print
Morrissey (SM001JF)

Morrissey

Morrissey captured by Jill Furmanovsky at her London studio in December 1983, during the early days of The Smiths

Prices from £295.00
print
Morrissey (SM003RIMA)

Morrissey

Morrissey performing at the GLC's 'Jobs for a Change' Festival on London's South Bank

Prices from £208.33
print
Glastonbury Johnny Marr (JOHM001VIPO)

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr onstage at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival as a surprise guest with The Killers

Prices from £125.00
print
Johnny Marr at the Meltdown Festival, London in 2019 photograohed by Mark Mawston

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr onstage at the Royal Albert Hall, London during Nile Rodgers' Meltdown Festival in August 2019

Prices from £166.67
print
Johnny Marr (SM001RIMA)

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr playing his Rickenbacker guitar at the 'Jobs for A Change' Festival at Jubilee Gardens, London in June 1984

Prices from £208.33
print
Johnny Marr (SM002RIMA)

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr onstage with The Smiths at the GLC's Jobs For Change free music festival in the summer of 1984.

Prices from £208.33
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Morrissey (SM002JF)

Morrissey

Morrissey from The Smiths taken during a photo shoot at Jill Furmanovsky's studio in December 1983

Prices from £295.00
print

Featured Prints

Adam Ant (AANT001JF)

Adam Ant

Adam Ant photographed by Jill Furmanovsky during a cover shoot for The Face magazine in February 1981

Prices from £295.00
print
Clash, The (CL002SSHE)

The Clash

The Clash on stage at the the first large scale Rock Against Racism/Anti Nazi League carnival at Victoria Park, April 1978.

Prices from £295.00
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Glastonbury Jarvis Cocker (PULP001JF)

Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis Cocker performing one of his signature moves with Pulp on The Park Stage during the 2011 Glastonbury Festival

Prices from £295.00
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U2 (UT007DC)

U2

U2 on top of a hotel roof in Cork, Ireland on a cold February morning in 1980

Prices from £295.00
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David Bowie (DB001POST)

David Bowie

Exclusive David Bowie print specially created by The Postman for Rockarchive, based on a photograph taken by Dave Hogan at Live Aid in 1985

Prices from £291.67
print
Patti Smith (PS001LR)

Patti Smith

Patti Smith photographed in the Netherlands in January 1980

Prices from £295.00
print

Featured Artists

Oasis

Oasis

Oasis was an English rock music band formed in Manchester in 1991, to date the band has sold over 70 million records worldwide.

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Rolling Stones, The

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band who were in the vanguard of the British music Invasion that became popular in the US in 1964–65.

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

A unique collection of images of Pink Floyd, one of the worlds most successful and influential rock bands.

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Blondie, Debbie Harry in London, 1977 Photo | Fine Art Print by Sheila Rock

Blondie

Blondie is a American rock band founded by Debbie Harry & Chris Stein that pioneered the New York new wave & punk scenes of the 1970s.

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Amy Winehouse onstage at the V Festival in 2008, photograph taken by photographer Mark Mawston

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse was an English singer and songwriter known for her deep expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres.

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Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968 & considered one of the most innovative & influential rock bands in history.

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Featured Collections

***New Arrivals***

***New Arrivals***

Here are the very latest prints we have added to our collection. We hope you love them as much as we do.

collection
Jill Furmanovsky Collection

Jill Furmanovsky Collection

Jill Furmanovsky is one of the greatest ever rock & roll photographers with a huge archive of iconic shots of the world's best music artists

collection
Contact Sheets Print Collection

Contact Sheets Print Collection

Our contact sheet print collection is a rare opportunity to look back at the hidden moments surrounding some of rocks most iconic images.

collection
Morgan Howell Print Collection

Morgan Howell Print Collection

Artist Morgan Howell's paintings of record sleeves have become cult classics. We are delighted to introduce a range of his affordable prints

collection
Alternative artwork by Storm Thorgerson for Pink Floyd's Division Bell

Album Covers

Album covers can define a band almost as much as the music itself. Now you can put this great art on your wall as well as your turntable

collection
Jake Chessum

Jake Chessum

During his 30 year career Jake Chessum has shot defining images of musicians such as Amy Winehouse, Jay Z, The Beastie Boys & David Bowie.

photographer