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The Smiths - Songs That Saved Your Life


Simon Goddard

Reynolds & Hearn, 2002
ISBN 1-903111-47-1

Released November  2002

Press release:

Formed in Manchester in 1982, The Smiths' career was as brilliant as it was brief, lasting only five years. During this period they created a body of work formidable enough to see songwriters Morrissey and Johnny Marr rightly hailed as "the Lennon and McCartney of their era".

Their 1986 masterpiece, The Queen Is Dead, would also be nominated "the greatest album of all time" by critics on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2002, the New Musical Express declared The Smiths to be "The Most Influential Band of All Time" in a poll that placed them above The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Sex Pistols.

On record and in concert, The Smiths were a band unlike any other. Witty, melodic, controversial and profoundly moving, their repertoire inspired one of the most obsessive and dedicated fan-bases in the history of pop and helped pave the way for the next generation of 'indie' super-groups; from The Stone Roses to Suede, Oasis, Radiohead and beyond.

Based upon new interviews with band members, producers and acquaintances, The Smiths - Songs That Saved Your Life offers a meticulous chronological study of the group's fundamental genius - the music itself. From their very first demos in 1982 to their final fractured studio session five years later, it investigates the stories behind the songs while detailing every UK television appearance and radio session. As well as offering a unique analysis of each track's concert shelf-life, the book also lifts the lid on previously unreleased material never before mentioned in print.

In the research for this book, author Simon Goddard was granted unprecedented access to The Smiths' studio archives and the private collection of outtakes and rehearsals retained by drummer Mike Joyce (who also provides a complimentary foreword). The result is the most comprehensive examination of their esteemed discography ever assembled, revealing lost songs and alternate versions which have remained closely guarded secrets until now. Informative, impassioned and revelatory, as an analysis of "The Most Influential Band of All Time", The Smiths - Songs That Saved Your Life is indispensable.

About The Author

Simon Goddard writes for Uncut magazine and has also been a contributor to Record Collector, The Guardian, Dazed & Confused and various other music and cinema titles.

Now living in North London, Goddard was born in Cardiff in 1971. As a teenager of the Eighties, he belongs to the first generation of Smiths fans that experienced the band's cultural impact as it happened, and to this very day remains an "incurable" devotee. It is timely that Goddard's first book is being hailed as the most important Smiths document to be published since Johnny Rogan's infamous The Severed Alliance biography ten years ago in 1992.

In his research, Goddard has received the full support of original members Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce as well as conducting insightful new interviews with producers such as Stephen Street and Grant Showbiz and band acquaintances including their original "go-go dancer" James Maker and Morrissey's lifelong confidante Linder Sterling.

Media attention has already been drawn to the book's new discovery of lost and previously unheard material. In May 2002, an NME news story detailing Goddard's unearthing of a forgotten Smiths rarity, "A Matter Of Opinion", was picked up by internet news groups the world over causing a huge swell of interest in the book before it was even published. Since then Goddard has also taken part in two separate network TV documentaries on the group in the UK and Europe.

Songs That Saved Your Life is the Smiths'
'Revolution in the Head.'

                               - Simon Goddard