The absolute best of The Smiths: All 70 songs ranked by Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers

And now for Round 2 of our Slicing Up Eyeballs readers’ ranking: After tackling the much larger, and decades-spanning, catalog of The Cure, we’ve turned to The Smiths in an effort to sort the 70 original songs released during that band’s comparatively brief lifespan.

A quick refresher: We asked readers to vote for up to 25 of their favorite songs written by Morrissey/Marr, choosing from a ballot that listed 70 singles, B-sides and album tracks. Not included: live recordings and covers, of which there were two (“Golden Lights” and “Work is a Four-Letter Word”).

RELATED: Spotify playlist of The Smiths’ 70 original songs ranked by Slicing Up Eyeballs readers

With a total 70,192 votes cast, the full results are presented below, a list that ranks The Smiths’ complete original output from 1983 to 1987. As you’ll see, the No. 1 song, with a 234-vote margin, was a more definitive winner than in our Cure poll, where Nos. 1 and 2 were separated by a single vote. And, for the first time in any poll we’ve conducted, there were no ties anywhere on the list.

As always, thank you all so much for participating.

And now, the results:

 

THE ABSOLUTE BEST OF THE SMITHS: ALL 70 SONGS, RANKED

 

 

1. “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”

Single; appears on The Queen is Dead (1986) | 2,687 votes

 

2. “How Soon Is Now?”

B-side of “William, It Was Really Nothing” (1984) | 2,453 votes

 

3. “This Charming Man”

Single; appears on The Smiths (1983/1984) | 2,321 votes

 

4. “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want”

B-side of “William, It Was Really Nothing” (1984) | 2,240 votes

 

5. “Bigmouth Strikes Again”

Single; appears on The Queen is Dead (1986) | 2,229 votes

 

6. “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”

Non-album single (1984) | 1,988 votes

 

7. “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side”

Single; appears on The Queen is Dead (1985/1986) | 1,913 votes

 

8. “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”

Single; appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) | 1,853 votes

 

9. “Panic”

Non-album single (1986) | 1,783 votes

 

10. “What Difference Does It Make?”

Single; appears on The Smiths (1984) | 1,713 votes

 

 

 

11. “William, It Was Really Nothing”

Non-album single (1984) | 1,708 votes

 

12. “Ask”

Non-album single (1986) | 1,674 votes

 

13. “The Queen Is Dead”

Appears on The Queen Is Dead (1986) | 1,666 votes

 

14. “Cemetry Gates”

Appears on The Queen Is Dead (1986) | 1,657 votes

 

15. “Hand In Glove”

Non-album single (1983) | 1,612 votes

 

16. “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me”

Single; appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) | 1,607 votes

 

17. “Girlfriend In A Coma”

Single; appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) | 1,597 votes

 

18. “Shoplifters Of The World Unite”

Non-album single (1987) | 1,578 votes

 

19. “I Know It’s Over”

Appears on The Queen Is Dead (1986) | 1,558 votes

 

20. “The Headmaster Ritual”

Single; appears on Meat Is Murder (1985) | 1,434 votes

 

 

 

21. “Still Ill”

Single; appears on The Smiths (1984) | 1,311 votes

 

22. “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”

Single; appears on Meat Is Murder (1985) | 1,264 votes

 

23. “Sheila Take A Bow”

Non-album single (1987) | 1,238 votes

 

24. “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others”

Single; appears on The Queen Is Dead (1986) | 1,220 votes

 

25. “Reel Around The Fountain”

Appears on The Smiths (1984) | 1,188 votes

 

26. “Asleep”

B-side of “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” (1985) | 1,085 votes

 

27. “Frankly, Mr. Shankly”

Appears on The Queen Is Dead (1986) | 1,069 votes

 

28. “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby”

Appears on The World Won’t Listen (1987) | 1,051 votes

 

29. “A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours”

Appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) | 1,006 votes

 

30. “Is It Really So Strange?”

B-side of “Sheila Take A Bow” (1987) | 992 votes

 

 

 

31. “Half A Person”

B-side of “Shoplifters Of The World Unite” (1987) | 954 votes

 

32. “Handsome Devil”

Appears on Hatful of Hollow (1984) | 916 votes

 

33. “I Want The One I Can’t Have”

Appears on Meat Is Murder (1985) | 890 votes

 

34. “Girl Afraid”

B-side of “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (1984) | 852 votes

 

35. “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish”

Single; appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) | 846 votes

 

36. “Well I Wonder”

Appears on Meat Is Murder (1985) | 784 votes

 

37. “Sweet And Tender Hooligan”

B-side of “Sheila Take A Bow” (1987) | 754 votes

 

38. “Death Of A Disco Dancer”

Appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) | 751 votes

 

39. “Barbarism Begins At Home”

Single; appears on Meat Is Murder (1985) | 737 votes

 

40. “What She Said”

Appears on Meat Is Murder (1985) | 689 votes

 

 

 

41. “Unloveable”

B-side of “Bigmouth Strikes Again” (1986) | 686 votes

 

42. “Rubber Ring”

B-side of “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” (1985) | 671 votes

 

43. “Back To The Old House”

Appears on The Smiths (1984) | 670 votes

 

44. “London”

B-side of “Shoplifters Of The World Unite” (1987) | 654 votes

 

45. “Unhappy Birthday”

Appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) | 642 votes

 

46. “Rusholme Ruffians”

Appears on Meat Is Murder (1985) | 634 votes

 

47. “Oscillate Wildly”

B-side of “How Soon Is Now?” (1985) | 618 votes

 

48. “Stretch Out And Wait”

B-side of “Shakespeare’s Sister” (1985) | 598 votes

 

49. “This Night Has Opened My Eyes”

Appears on Hatful of Hollow (1984) | 591 votes

 

50. “I Won’t Share You”

Appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) | 580 votes

 

 

 

51. “Nowhere Fast”

Appears on Meat Is Murder (1985) | 578 votes

 

52. “Pretty Girls Make Graves”

Appears on The Smiths (1984) | 574 votes

 

53. “Paint A Vulgar Picture”

Appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987)) | 548 votes

 

54. “Meat Is Murder”

Appears on Meat Is Murder (1985) | 524 votes

 

55. “Vicar In A Tutu”

Appears on The Queen Is Dead (1986) | 494 votes

 

56. “Never Had No One Ever”

Appears on The Queen Is Dead (1986) | 481 votes

 

57. “These Things Take Time”

B-side of “What Difference Does It Make? (1984) | 468 votes

 

58. “You’ve Got Everything Now”

Appears on The Smiths (1984) | 438 votes

 

59. “Suffer Little Children”

Appears on The Smiths (1984) | 396 votes

 

60. “Shakespeare’s Sister”

Non-album single (1985) | 384 votes

 

 

 

61. “Hand That Rocks The Cradle”

Appears on The Smiths (1984) | 362 votes

 

62. “Jeane”

B-side of “This Charming Man” (1983) | 355 votes

 

63. “Miserable Lie”

Appears on The Smiths (1984) | 332 votes

 

64. “I Don’t Owe You Anything”

Appears on The Smiths (1984) | 281 votes

 

65. “Accept Yourself”

B-side of “This Charming Man” (1983) | 270 votes

 

66. “Wonderful Woman”

B-side of “This Charming Man” (1983) | 142 votes

 

67. “The Draize Train”

B-side of “Panic” (1986) | 127 votes

 

68. “Money Changes Everything”

B-side of “Bigmouth Strikes Again” (1986) | 78 votes

 

69. “Death At One’s Elbow”

Appears on Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) | 74 votes

 

70. “I Keep Mine Hidden”

B-side of “Girlfriend In A Coma” (1987) | 64 votes

 

 

 

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35 Comments

  • Marc Hemrick

    I forget, did this list have “work is a four letter word”, it was on a compilation for Sire record, like just say yes????, something like that

    the song was not good, it would be like number 71.

    I love these lists, keep it up, and thank-you

    Marc

     
  • gonzax

    Work is a four letter word wasn’t on this list. Personally, though I know many people hate it, it is a big personal favorite, I love what they did with the song, it’s a fantastic cover in my opinion. As for the list, it’s unbelievable, in a bad way, that “Well I wonder” is below “Is it really so strange?” but lists are just that lists. Nice poll again, though, it was fun.

     
  • Scott Stalcup

    Shocked “Handsome Devil” placed so low, but when it comes to Smiths songs, it’s hard to go “Marry, Shag or Throw Off a Cliff?”

     
  • @greggweiss

    I’m surprised that #16 is as high as it is… and I’m surprised that #41 is as low as it is!

     
  • Marty

    I know, there is no dispute in matters of taste, but FFS, half the first album in the bottom 15?

     
  • Matt Netter

    Glad to see Golden Lights didn’t even make the list. The only bad song they ever recorded IMO. Nice to see other fans agree.

     
  • Chucky

    C’mon people, read the post…”Work is a Four-Letter Word” and “Golden Lights” weren’t even eligible for the voting as they are not Morrissey\Marr originals.

     
  • Nortley

    Been waiting for the results for days! Thanks for doing this poll.

    Any plans for another one?

     
    • Scott Stalcup

      Yeah (R.E.M.). I (R.E.M.) agree with (R.E.M.) what (R.E.M.) Nortley asked.

      (Read the above in your best Kevin Nealon impression)

       
    • Zachary

      A New Order poll would be interesting. Even post-JD, their output is so stylistically different depending on what album/year you’re listening to. Plus, it might finally put to rest the “No Hooky, no New Order” argument.

       
  • gyeah69

    These polls are fun, I want you to know, slicing up eyeballs I want you to know so glad to have you all back on the scene. Cheers to all involved!

     
  • Polterguys

    Don’t ever need to hear ‘How Soon Is Now’ ever again. One of the most overplayed songs ever.

     
    • Hot Dots

      Tend to agree, but when you first ever hear it. it is awesome.

       
      • UE405

        Exactly right. I remember going off to university in fall 1984 and discovering “college radio,” and keeping a running list of songs and bands that caught my ear. “How Soon Is Now” was toward the top of the list — the first time you heard it was kind of a consciousness-changing experience, like a door had been opened. The Smiths probably have better and more representative songs, but none more distinctive.

         
    • Nortley

      Personally speaking I can never hear “How Soon Is Now” enough. Still compelling all these years late.

      But any short list of most overplayed songs for me would have to include:

      Been Caught Stealing – Jane’s Addiction
      Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
      Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
      She Blinded Me With Science – Thomas Dolby
      Jeremy – Pearl Jam

       
      • April

        I still remember walking into a college bar (late night on Christmas Eve) and “How Soon is Now” was playing and we started dancing immediately. It was pure joy and I still love it. For the next awesome poll, I suggest New Order or Depeche Mode.

         
  • Jason

    Slightly disappointed in the list? Still great, but was hoping to see album tracks like “Fountain”, “I Know it’s Over” and “What She Said” a little higher. The top 20 is almost just a singles comp.

     
    • Polterguys

      Exactly how I felt about the Cure list.

       
    • Nortley

      I think that will be the case with all of these polls.

      A New Order poll will have “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “Love Vigilantes,” “Blue Monday,” “True Faith” etc. near the top and a R.E.M. poll would likely have “Losing My Religion,” “The One I Love,” “It’s The End of the World,” “Fall on Me, “Radio Free Europe” etc. near the top.

      Good songs all, but also the best known.

       
  • Hot Dots

    Stunned at how low some of the Meat is Murder tracks are.

     
  • Scott

    Surprised at how low I Won’t Share You is.

     
  • Mr Magellan

    How about a Spotify playlist?

     
  • Not surprised at the top 10. There is a light was on my list as well. A perfect song that I will NEVER deny. That Joke is my other favorite.

     
  • Myron

    Meat Is Murder ahead of Suffer Little Children? So much to answer for…

     
  • Am I the only one who loves Jeane?

     
  • Serenity Harris

    Woah woah woah “hand that rocks the cradle” needs to be way farther up on the list like top 20

     
  • Reel Around the Fountain 25……cmon…….

     
 

 

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