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Top 10 The Smiths Songs

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by QV Hough Morrissey and the men from Manchester. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Songs by The Smiths. For this list, we've chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist's fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. Special thanks to our users Nana Amuah, Suit Up Tarantino, Hykel Mohamed, Jack Morris and SeoaSystem for submitting the idea using our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by QV Hough

Top 10 The Smiths Songs

Morrissey and the men from Manchester. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks forthe Top 10 Songs by The Smiths.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “The Headmaster Ritual”
Meat is Murder (1985)

For The Smiths second studio album, lead singer Morrissey took a more aggressive approach by lyrically slaying the abusive headmasters of his Manchester youth. The imagery of “The Headmaster Ritual” effectively places the listeners in Morrissey’s shoes, as he details the life of a young outsider forced to make up excuses simply to minimize the pain. As the lead track off Meat is Murder, this song raised a few eyebrows thanks to it’s killer riff and eye-opening lyrics.

#9: “Panic”
Panic single (1986)

Ok, don’t let the steady musical groove and Morrissey’s 80s dancing throw you off given that this rebellious track was the cause of a political and racial firestorm. While conspiracy theories have long revolved around the true nature of “Panic,” it’s essentially a personal manifesto of Morrissey’s frustration with popular music. His beef is undoubtedly with disco, and the song’s final lyrics offer a repetitive phrase to reinforce his stance. All in all, “Panic” marked the continuing evolution of a band that had something REAL to say.

#8: “Asleep”
The World Won’t Listen (1987)

Life can be extremely difficult, and unfortunately, desperation often takes a grip on individuals struggling to cope with emotional pain. On this heart-breaking ballad, the lyrics convey someone contemplating death and the afterlife before they ultimately offer a final goodbye. If “Asleep” doesn’t grab you attention, well, hopefully someone conveying the same kind of message WILL before it’s too late. On an album entitled “The World Won’t Listen,” this song hit home for a world of fans.

#7: “I Know It’s Over”
The Queen Is Dead” (1986)

The music industry has seen plenty of crooners over the decades, but nobody has ever quite performed a sad song quite like this. Melancholic and mystical, “I Know It’s Over” represents the feeling of being unlucky in love and how a constant state of loneliness can seemingly crush your dreams. We’ve all heard the phrase: “Well, how come you’re still single?” – as Morrissey shines a light on thenegative sides of being in love.

#6: “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want”
Hatful of Hollow (1984)

With a title like “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,” this song conveys a universal message of positivity, however Morrissey also expresses the idea that he knows good fortune may not necessarily make life better. He simply wants to get what he wants, even if it’s not what he needs. Lyrically sparse, this classic single from The Smiths is short and sweet, clocking in at just under two minutes. With a beautiful mandolin section towards the later half of the track and some melodic acoustic guitar, this is a classic in TheSmiths’ legendary discography.

#5: “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
The Queen Is Dead (1986)

Whoa, whoa, whoa…I was only yanking your chain. That’s the message of this wiseass track, as The Smiths paint a portrait of someone dealing with their words being taken out of context. Morrissey compares himself to Joan of Arc, but in his case, Morrissey’s big mouth gets him in trouble with critics. Described by guitarist Johnny Marr as The Smiths’ answer to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Bigmouth Strikes Again” contains some of the band’s best writing, as well as one its best hooks.

#4: “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
Hatful of Hollow (1984)

Money and fame doesn’t always equal happiness, and for the cover of their 1984 existential single, The Smiths featured Viv Nicholson, a Yorkshire woman who won the lottery but still managed to spend herself silly. The lyrics reference someone achieving small goals, only to find out they’re surrounded by haters who could care less about such things like personal happiness. You know who they are – drinkin’ buddies, groupies or anyone more interested in the “idea” of fame and fortune rather than friendship itself.

#3: “This Charming Man”
The Smiths (1984)

Here’s a short story about being down on your luck. Oh, and it’s also Morrissey’s coded rebellion against particular English social norms of the early 80s. Musically, “This Charming Man” has a danceable beat, and lyrically, it’s an adept look at a poor boy coming in contact with the upper class, but feeling unwelcomed due to his lack of material things. As only the second single released by The Smiths, “This Charming Man” highlighted Morrissey’s profound yet cynical lyrics that would help earn the band a cult following.

#2: “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”
The Queen Is Dead (1986)

Written by Johnny Marr and Morrissey, here’s a song about that special moment when you believe that life can’t get any better, OR when you’re perhaps a bit afraid to imagine a perpetually happy future. While some early lyrics centered on nightlife and good times, the mood becomes a little more existential as Morrissey sings about getting drilled by a double-decker bus and a ten-ton semi - all in the name of love. Ok, perhaps that’s not the ideal scenario for most young lovers, but with lyrical themes closely associated with the film “Rebel Without a Cause”, of which Morrissey was a fan, The Smiths rebelled in their own way against adulthood.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Girlfriend in a Coma”
Strangeways, Here We Come (1987)

“That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”
Meat is Murder (1985)

“The Queen Is Dead”
The Queen Is Dead” (1986)

“This Night Has Opened My Eyes”
Hatful of Hollow (1984)

“The Boy with the Thorn in His Side”
The Queen Is Dead (1986)

#1: “How Soon Is Now?”
Hatful of Hollow (1984)

For this mid-eighties psychedelic single – which, believe it or not, came about from a tiny bit of Mary Jane – The Smiths constructed a classic that any man or woman could relate to. With a reference to the English novel “Middlemarch,” “How Soon is Now” showcases each band member at their best, from Johnny Marr’s iconic guitar tone, to Andy Rourke’s impressive bass playing. “How Soon Is Now? offered a new wave trip for social outcasts and remains one of the most beloved tracks released by The Smiths during their brief tenure together.

So, do you agree with our selections? What is your favorite song by The Smiths? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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