The Smiths: most influential artist ever - NME
posted by davidt on Monday April 15 2002, @12:42PM

Sideburn writes:

Check out www.nme.com. The Smiths have been named the most influential group...pretty amazing stuff.

Update: 04/16 15:42 GMT:Story has also been picked up here:---
NME names most influential artist ever - Apr. 15, 2002, NME

THE SMITHS have been named the artists to have had most influence on NME in the course of our 50 years as a title.

The top 50 artists to have had an influence will be revealed tomorrow (April 16) in a special issue celebrating 50 years of NME but as a taster we can now reveal the Top 10 which also includes The Beatles, Oasis, Public Enemy and David Bowie.

The list takes into account: Appearances on front covers. Volume and significance of features. Dominance of end of year writers polls. The response from our readers in the weekly letters page. The presence of their name and influence in the paper (e.g. the number of acts referred to as the new them, the endless questioning of other artists for their opinions of them, the terrible pun headlines on their name or song titles...). And the speed with which they took over.

It was felt that The Smiths and then a solo Morrissey's all-encompassing spread through the 80s and early 90s allowed them to reign.

The top 10 is as follows:

  • 10: Public Enemy
  • 9: U2
  • 8: Paul Weller/The Jam
  • 7: Radiohead
  • 6: Oasis
  • 5: Sex Pistols
  • 4: David Bowie
  • 3: Stone Roses
  • 2: The Beatles
  • 1: The Smiths

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    The Smiths: most influential artist ever - NME | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 184 comments | Search Discussion
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    I totally agree. (Score:0)
    I agree totaly. But I think Brian and Michael, Milly Vannilli, Bros, The Wombles, Jive Bunny, Smokie, Celine Dion, Right Said Fred, Blue, Brother Beyond and the Outhere Brothers should have also been considered.
    Anonymous -- Monday April 15 2002, @12:58PM (#28086)
    We won people! (Score:0)
    That is pretty amazing. Very shocking to me at least. I really didn't think anyone else thought they were as wonderufl as we do, especially NME. I can't wait to buy this publication tomorrow.
    Anonymous -- Monday April 15 2002, @01:27PM (#28089)
      The Smiths topping a list (Score:1)
      At last! But well, we over here have known their worth for ages. Cheers!
      Dorothea Yoghurt -- Monday April 15 2002, @01:46PM (#28092)
      (User #132 Info)
        taken with a grain of salt (Score:3, Interesting)
        part of me says 'yay!', but part of me knows that nme declarations are pretty flimsy... give it time and they'll change their minds again...they might declare oasis as the greatest 'spooge-over-it' band. or something... place the smiths under #40 if they place them again.

        nme's done it before... so has melody maker. (and i'm not sure about 'q' or 'mojo', but if they have redrawn lines before on the same poll (or something like it), i wouldn't be surprised.)

        time also brings change of staff... and considering how dynamic the entertainment press can be, a new staff could bring a new band or an entirely different 'top ten ever' list.

        don't get me wrong... i love the smiths, i think they're one of the greatest bands ever, and i'm glad they got some recognition by the british press in recent history. but considering popular music press' track record, this news should probably be taken with a grain of salt, to say the least.

        yeah, i may be belittling popular music press by saying this... but it's not like they care anyway.
        state of emergency -- Monday April 15 2002, @02:16PM (#28096)
        (User #837 Info)
        "others conquered love, but i ran..."
          Overlooked (Score:0)
          Without question, The Smiths and especially Morrissey are the most underrated and overlooked artists of all time!! This is sadly due to the homosexual undertones of thier music. They would have been the biggest band in the world if they had been "straight".
          Makaveli -- Monday April 15 2002, @02:21PM (#28097)
          (User #1514 Info)
          hmm, (Score:1)
          Well yes, fifteen years it took for someone to finally take an intelligent risk. Heads must be rolling in the editor's office. However thank you, thank you from the bottom of my............
          ME -- Monday April 15 2002, @02:33PM (#28100)
          (User #4132 Info)
            Shell shocked (Score:1)
            Well this is a bit of a suprise. One of the main reasons that was cited as the demise of the Smiths was the NME sticking its ore in and stiring things up! still I must say Im quite chuffed! Hurrah!
            rallen <kiing_rallen@yahoo.co.uk> -- Monday April 15 2002, @02:46PM (#28102)
            (User #4753 Info)
            the best form of revenge is to live well.
              Those were the days... (Score:2, Interesting)
              ... when the lads made great music, lots of it and people cared.

              ... when NME meant something, people read it and some of us cared.

              ... when NME didn't pander to it's disillusioned erstwhile readership in order to sell more copies and make more money.

              I don't buy it.
              Mmmmmm -- Monday April 15 2002, @03:31PM (#28107)
              (User #204 Info)
                Deserved (Score:1)
                More than deserved. It takes time but things falls into place.
                Marco -- Monday April 15 2002, @04:23PM (#28108)
                (User #615 Info)
                And all those lies, written lies, twisted lies. Well, they weren't lies, they weren't lies...
                  Excellent (Score:2, Interesting)
                  This makes me very happy. Seriously. The love-hate relationship between the Great Man and NME over the last 10 years has made me rather sad. Like it or not, the two of them are inextricably linked, from his early letters to their pseudo-soul searching re:Finsbury Park. I think they want him back. I suspect this is an olive branch, of sorts. The rubric for this particular analysis is actually quite impressive - they've really thought through what it means to have influenced their publication. Reading NME over the last 10 years has frequently been like reading the diary entries on someone's much (privately) lamented ex-partner. Aside from the customary Swells rantings, I think they do miss him, and I'm impressed they've had the honesty to admit the extent to which he's set the tone for the last nigh on twenty years. I'd love to think a detente might be engineered.
                  danbutt -- Monday April 15 2002, @05:15PM (#28111)
                  (User #88 Info)
                  • olive branch by jessesamuel (Score:1) Tuesday April 16 2002, @12:27PM
                    Justice (Score:0)
                    We don't need NME to tell us the obvious, but it's nice to know that clueless kids worldwide will finally be able to see the light and stop thinking the world started with Belle and Sebastian.
                    ps:believe me, Oasis, Radiohead and the Stones Roses have no influence or relevance whatsoever outside the self-centered British Isles. The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendryx, The Byrds, The Beach Boys or James Brown would have been the right choices.
                    Anonymous -- Monday April 15 2002, @05:24PM (#28113)
                    • Re:Justice by danbutt (Score:1) Monday April 15 2002, @05:28PM
                      • Re:Justice by Anonymous (Score:0) Monday April 29 2002, @05:57PM
                        Take another look at what nme says (Score:2, Interesting)
                        nme says that The Smiths and the solo work of Moz is so influential because of the "spreads" the rag allowed them, therefore nme can take all the credit for the success of the Smiths/Moz.

                        It is back to the "I can make you, and I can break you" matra that nme has touted for decades.

                        Long live the Smiths and Morrissey's beautiful music!

                        nme will soon go the way of melody maker.
                        Anonymous -- Monday April 15 2002, @05:47PM (#28118)
                          antiamerican-american (Score:0)
                          whoa, I guess America has only given freaking Public Enemy, and Europe has given Us all this great bands. Oh I wish I was European to claim these Artists. Oh God if I could only understand the deepness of these artist to influence the new generations of bands. Why do I live In a country that gives linkin park and blink 182. haha. seriously no one could cares about oasis here in the states. Most influential bands to the editors of this magazine who will make more $$$ because of nerdos like U. good day!!!
                          Anonymous -- Monday April 15 2002, @07:53PM (#28131)
                          Official: the NME is the most... (Score:2, Funny)
                          ... the most useless magazine in my life.

                          Congratulations!

                          -- SaintSatchel &
                          The Mark E Smith Legal Defence Team
                          s-man -- Monday April 15 2002, @08:32PM (#28132)
                          (User #1233 Info)
                            Question for Brits about Public Enemy??? (Score:1)
                            I always seem to notice that PUBLIC ENEMY gets a lot of recognition from the English music press in their frequent polls. And PUBLIC ENEMY seems to be the only american act that tends to be listed.

                            Can you Brits answer me this question for it certainly bewilders me and i would guess a lot of other Americans also...

                            Who and how have Public Enemy influenced? I'm seriously not trying to make a joke. But I always end up laughing seeing their names up their in British polls. (I'm remembering Flavor Flav with his big ass retarded clock hanging around his neck) Plus can anyone name more than one song from them. I sure can't.

                            Was it their message, lifestyle, lyrics....what the hell was it about them that made them so grand?
                            Moz cowboy -- Monday April 15 2002, @08:49PM (#28135)
                            (User #236 Info | http://hometown.aol.com/mozcowboyii/myhomepage/profile.html )
                            "Kissing can be rather tiring...I'd much rather read to you."
                            cheers (Score:1)
                            Mike & Andy

                            and

                            all bow to Mozz & Marr

                            [return to valium]
                            Celibate Cry <vauxhall@mail2uk.com> -- Monday April 15 2002, @09:40PM (#28137)
                            (User #220 Info)
                            and the hills are alive with celibate cries
                              Justice at last. (Score:0)
                              This is justice and very well deserved.
                              Although it should have been The Smiths/Morrissey because Moz alone made it onto the cover I think as often as The Smiths as a group.
                              Anyone know when Morrissey appeared for the last time on the front cover of NME?
                              I think it was in '94 after the release of 'Vauxhall' when he did a record-signing in Oxford Street. The cover read: "Mozmania."
                              Anonymous -- Monday April 15 2002, @11:05PM (#28144)
                                Great News (Score:1)
                                Well, I'm really happy to hear this. It's finally been said. The Smiths worked hard for that title.

                                Well, even if it is the NME.
                                hand in glove -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @12:31AM (#28149)
                                (User #827 Info)
                                Art is the tree of life. Science is the tree of death. - William Blake
                                  Great news! (Score:0)
                                  The list is really great too.
                                  To top that list must even make Mozzer proud!
                                  Anonymous -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @01:02AM (#28156)
                                    The world did listen (Score:2, Interesting)
                                    This story got picked up by Yahoo. It has a message board with feedback from the general population.

                                    Interesting IMHO

                                    http://news.messages.yahoo.com/bbs?action=l&board= 37138446&tid=nmbritainmusicdc&sid=37138446&mid=10
                                    Smiths <windthrope2NO@SPAMyahoo.com> -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @05:11AM (#28168)
                                    (User #215 Info | http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/morrisseylovesus )
                                    My purpose in life is to not die unexpectantly
                                      ba ba black sheep... (Score:0)
                                      Oh, c'mon...Beatles should be first. Everybody copied their ideas.
                                      Anonymous -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @05:23AM (#28169)
                                      Well Deserved! (Score:1)
                                      I for one think this is well deserved.
                                      sonnet29 -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @06:05AM (#28170)
                                      (User #4574 Info)
                                      My love, wherever you are, Whatever you are...Don't lose faith...I know it's gonna happen someday...
                                        An overdue observation, me thinks! (Score:0)
                                        The Smiths being voted as most influential band could not be more accurate.
                                        I'm still quite surprised the NME has chosen the Smiths, given their reluctance to reference them without an intolerance of Morrissey and the Moz 'tribe'!
                                        Suede, Badly Drawn Boy, Gene, Idlewild, Muse, etc, even Oasis.......... have all been influenced in one way or another from the Manchester miseries.
                                        Maybe this will bring The Smiths, and Indeed Morrissey, to another audience (good or bad?, I'm not sure)as they have appeared to miss every revival/trend to have existed.
                                        Anonymous -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @07:37AM (#28173)
                                        It's The Smiths, stupid! (Score:0)
                                        That's right, THE SMITHS, not Morrissey won this honor. All you homos that say it's just Morrissey are full of shit. Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke shares in that honor as well, and of course Johnny Marr. The Smiths rule, have always ruled, and why the intelligent ones on this board love them. It's not 'cause of Morrissey's solo work.
                                        Anonymous -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @08:55AM (#28186)
                                        obvious tactics (Score:1)
                                        It seems to me like the NME have only done this to generate a bit of publicity by being controversial to raise their raise their circulation a bit. I mean, if they'd have named The Beatles as #1 it wouldn't quite have generated as much discussion.

                                        Having said that, I'll still go out and buy the NME tomorrow and then use it to slap my Morrissey mocking friends around the face with.
                                        Mr_Biffo -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @09:02AM (#28187)
                                        (User #2843 Info)
                                        "Lies are no comfort when there are tears in your eyes"
                                        hate to be the nay-sayer (Score:0)
                                        but here it goes: obviously, if I come to this site, Morrissey and the Smiths mean alot to me. That being said...

                                        The Smiths as most influential only makes sense as them being an influence on the publication NME. Were it to be in terms of the history of pop rock or even British pop rock...

                                        It's just all too obvious that without The Beatles, David Bowie, and The Jam (all ranked lower than the Smiths) the Smiths would not have sounded as they did. I'm sure you'll all argue this, but the influence of the songwriting style of the Beatles and other 60s pop acts was a definite influence on Marr, and The Jam and Bowie were admitted influences on Morrissey.

                                        In other words, keep lovin' the Smiths and Morrissey--but don't use this poll to validate your point of view the next time you are arguing their greatness to the uninitiated.
                                        Anonymous -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @09:49AM (#28192)
                                        What a surprising feat! (Score:1)
                                        I'm really surprised to know so many people have such great musical taste. The good-taste population is growing!
                                        billybud71 -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @10:58AM (#28199)
                                        (User #555 Info)
                                        sick and depraved, a traveler to the grave
                                          vindication (Score:1)
                                          well, well. i was offered a job today, but it just goes to show how screwed up i am deep down inside that hearing about this made me feel even happier than the job did. of course, some morrissey fans will be able to take some of the sparkle out of it (they do with any good news, don't they?) but i know that this is a good thing. on the off chance that you review this site mozz, congratulations.
                                          jessesamuel -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @11:56AM (#28204)
                                          (User #1984 Info)
                                          On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure. -O.W.
                                            Can yahoo spell? (Score:0)
                                            Did anyone else notice that Yahoo failed to spell Morrissey correctly?
                                            Anonymous -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @12:50PM (#28213)
                                            • Yes!! by boy shankley (Score:1) Tuesday April 16 2002, @03:16PM
                                              don't get too excited (Score:0)
                                              I notice how it says the smiths and not the smiths/morrissey (unlike the jam/weller) despite the fact that nme gave moz countless covers in the first 5 solo years and he was always no 1 in the readers poll. and the moz comeback in 99 was voted one of the top 3 'events' of the year.

                                              no, however much praise they pour on the smiths, they will doubtlessly slag off his last 10 years and dismiss his entire solo output as 'crap rockabilly' even tho he only ever did three rockabilly songs. and they will inevitably also dredge up the ridiculous racism thing.

                                              the best thing about this poll is that it will utterly piss off the legions of moz-hating nme journalists such as Steven Wells.
                                              Anonymous -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @02:36PM (#28222)
                                              Flawless!!! (Score:1)
                                              The Beatles and The Jam may have came before THE SMITHS but The Smiths perfected what all the bands that came before and after them had done or did. You cannot discredit beauty.
                                              El Mar No Cesa -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @03:41PM (#28226)
                                              (User #4726 Info)
                                                what the world thinks (Score:1)
                                                Plastic.com also picked this up. Here's a link to their discussion thread about our favorites

                                                http://www.plastic.com/article.pl?sid=02/04/16/135 8248
                                                Bertrand -- Tuesday April 16 2002, @08:27PM (#28235)
                                                (User #134 Info)
                                                  Finally (Score:0)
                                                  The next person to condemn the NME for being anti-Moz will from now on know that he will be laughed at.
                                                  Anonymous -- Wednesday April 17 2002, @12:23AM (#28240)
                                                    Re:You say that, but... (Score:2, Interesting)
                                                    From the same issue:

                                                    "Hello, Moz, we're sorry we took the piss about that Union Jack business at Finsbury Park. We've had our Dodgy Politics Spotting Dept working on "Asian Rut" and "National Front Disco" since 1994 and this week they gave them the all clear. So let's just shake hands and be men about it."

                                                    They also suggest that the main reason for The Smiths' success was the coverage that they received in NME, "NME proved that, given the best raw materials, we can inspire, provoke and genuinely exploit a cultural phenomenon."

                                                    Frankly, I'm amazed by their arrogance, I realize this is a self congratulatory issue, but I think that was taking it a bit far.

                                                    I'm sorry but does anyone actually read the NME? They seem to be under the mistaken impression they are in some way important. I've bought my first and last issue of it.
                                                    Mr_Biffo -- Wednesday April 17 2002, @04:56PM (#28330)
                                                    (User #2843 Info)
                                                    "Lies are no comfort when there are tears in your eyes"
                                                    [ Parent ]
                                                    Oh no.. (Score:1)
                                                    Used to like the Smiths with their private fanbase and their 'cult' status. Now it's opened it up again for all those wannabe's.
                                                    Ruffian <aceman@tinyonline.co.uk> -- Wednesday April 17 2002, @03:13AM (#28257)
                                                    (User #1813 Info)
                                                    "In the days when you were hopelessly poor, I just liked you more..."
                                                      Links Update - The Guardian (Score:1)
                                                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,685 630,00.html
                                                      charles byron <{boy_afraid} {at} {hotmail.com}> -- Wednesday April 17 2002, @04:49AM (#28261)
                                                      (User #49 Info | http://profiles.yahoo.com/byron_james )
                                                      the first time that she came to my house, she bought Chardonnay, now I buy Chardonnay, almost every day!
                                                        The NME is Dead (Score:1)
                                                        Who cares what the NME has to say? This list thing is wearing very thin, everyones at it.

                                                        It seems to me that they know that Morrissey an The Smiths make good copy, but the chances of Morrissey ever talking to them are slim to the Optimist.

                                                        The NME wrote Elvis off in the fifties!!
                                                        Jacques Brel -- Wednesday April 17 2002, @10:01AM (#28281)
                                                        (User #4128 Info)
                                                        Travel, trouble, music and art.
                                                        There just might come a time when you need an NME (Score:1)
                                                        Well, this certainly is great news. But more influential than the Beatles, now c'mon. I love the Smiths and Moz with a probably unhealthy passion, but MORE INFLUENTIAL THAN THE BEATLES!!??
                                                        That can't be right.
                                                        Although I think Moz's lyrics are absolutely unsurpassed. No-one has ever EVER written better lyrics than Moz. I mean this. But musically the Beatles were, I hate to say it, but it's true, definetely more influential I mean music wouldn't be the same without them. I think everybody in their right mind and even some people not in their right minds know this.
                                                        I think a top ten spot would have been adequate, but number 1, I'm sorry: no.
                                                        But I AM glad they're finally getting at least some of their oh so long overdue recognition. I've mailed the list to all the non-believers I know. Let them read it and weap because I still say to them: who needs John, Paul, George and Ringo when you've got John, Moz, Mike and Andy.
                                                        Troubled Jomo -- Wednesday April 17 2002, @10:08AM (#28284)
                                                        (User #4183 Info)
                                                        Pah.. (Score:1)
                                                        Perhaps it would mean more if the NME wasn't utter poo and had started giving Step's albums 9/10.

                                                        That Guardian website link (see above), for me, means a bit more. I bought the new NME issue today, but the article about them is the worst of the fifty, and the text is so small it hurt my eyes.
                                                        Little Miss Curious -- Wednesday April 17 2002, @10:53AM (#28297)
                                                        (User #112 Info)
                                                        [Insert amusing Morrissey lyric here]
                                                          Wow! (Score:0)
                                                          Surprising but obvious. Surprising that NME acknowledged the obvious fact that The Smiths are the most influential and unique band ever.
                                                          Anonymous -- Wednesday April 17 2002, @04:53PM (#28328)
                                                            Where's the King? (Score:0)
                                                            What about Elvis???
                                                            Anonymous -- Wednesday April 17 2002, @04:55PM (#28329)
                                                              they got this mixed up (Score:0)
                                                              it was the beatles first then the smiths.even morrissey and marr would agree to that.
                                                              also what are radiohead doing there-all theyve ever done is steal pink floyd and big star melodies.theyre pure shite these days.
                                                              and why arent wet wet wet in this poll.
                                                              Anonymous -- Thursday April 18 2002, @01:15AM (#28340)
                                                              What does the poll mean? (Score:1)
                                                              The poll seems a bit shoddily defined in my view. Yes, sure The Smiths carved out a bit of a niche for themselves with the NME readership, but that doesn't really extend into popular culture where The Smiths are still regarded as a fairly low key bunch of whingers. Smiths fans regrettably are still sniggered at and it seems The Smiths are not popularly accepted in the way that substandard acts like The Stones Roses, Radiohead or U2 are. A normal music fan would not own a Smiths record due to the unusual nature of the content. The Smiths - Brilliant - Yes! Influential - No! Popular - definitely not!
                                                              Shufty -- Thursday April 18 2002, @02:37AM (#28342)
                                                              (User #4773 Info)
                                                              Hmmm, anyone notice this? (Score:0)
                                                              This is only the most influential on NME, not that of the general population.... It's like me coming out with a top 10 list on the most influential bands on me. The cheers shouldn't be that loud on either account.
                                                              Anonymous -- Thursday April 18 2002, @02:54AM (#28344)
                                                              not surprised (Score:0)
                                                              There hasn't been an issue of NME, Q, Mojo, Uncut, or Select where there isn't at least one mention of The Smiths. God, not even The Beatles can claim that.
                                                              Anonymous -- Thursday April 18 2002, @03:50PM (#28384)
                                                                Is more about Moz than the Smiths (Score:1)
                                                                Is clear, because this poll not refers about influence to others group around the world but about NME that means articles, discussions and we know Moz is a intelligent Bigmouth. Of course the music is great, no doubt.
                                                                boyracerlima -- Friday April 19 2002, @08:43AM (#28406)
                                                                (User #4570 Info)
                                                                  Because we must! (Score:1)
                                                                  are we the only ones who are proud of this sucess?
                                                                  we made it guys! we and yhe talent of those four amazing manchesterians! thank you Moz for all the music and beyond!!!!
                                                                  gan_moz_80 <roys_keen_x@hotmail.com> -- Saturday April 20 2002, @08:16AM (#28455)
                                                                  (User #2106 Info)
                                                                  Pashernate Love, where are you?
                                                                  influential (Score:1)
                                                                  Everybody all together now: "NME respects the Smiths. NME respects the Smiths." As well they should: Stone Roses, Oasis, Radiohead (all undeniably influenced by the Smiths). I will add Belle & Sebastian, Suede, and Gene just for good measure.
                                                                  MTK -- Sunday April 21 2002, @05:44PM (#28474)
                                                                  (User #1927 Info)
                                                                  "Under the moonlight... The serious moonlight"
                                                                    one more thought (Score:1)
                                                                    I forgot to add: The Smiths are my favorite band but Bowie is more influential. Let's face the facts.
                                                                    MTK -- Sunday April 21 2002, @05:48PM (#28475)
                                                                    (User #1927 Info)
                                                                    "Under the moonlight... The serious moonlight"
                                                                      nme (Score:0)
                                                                      The nme praise and then damn him, on a seperate page they go on about the nme 'scientifically proving that Morrissey is rascist' there is no compromise, there is only what seems a brief statement from Johnny, so I assume they maybe tried and failed to get a response from our man. We could 'scientifically' say in a matter of seconds what most groups covered in the nme mean to us who listen in for a band that arrested us as much as the smiths did , and it would be 'nice effort, try again please' How the nme would love an heir to come,they are still trading on a band who died over a decade ago meanwhile the irony is that i read this worthless piece of shit in whsmiths and then put it back on the shelf, i urge you all to do the same.
                                                                      Anonymous -- Monday April 22 2002, @04:49PM (#28540)


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