After re-inaugurating the Slicing Up Eyeballs readers poll last month with a 1-to-225 ranking of 40 years worth of songs by The Cure, we continue that theme with a new poll to determine just how you’d all sort the oeuvre of another giant act of the era: The Smiths.
The iconic Manchester band released a total of 70 original songs between 1983 and 1988, and with your help in the coming weeks, we’re going to rank them from best to worst.
VOTING: Below you’ll find a ballot listing all 70 officially released songs written and recorded by The Smiths. This list includes all of the band’s Morrissey/Marr-penned singles, B-sides and album cuts — but not any live recordings, remixes, alternate Peel Session versions or covers (namely “Golden Lights” and “Work is a Four-Letter Word”). You’re welcome to vote for up to 25 of your favorite Smiths songs. (Certainly you can vote for fewer — as few as just one, if that’s your thing.)
A couple notes on all this:
- We’re more certain this time around that this list of 70 songs is definitive, so there is no write-in option. But you can email email@example.com if you’ve got any questions about song eligibility beyond the rules described above.
- While you can vote for up to 25 songs, they all will be weighed equally when the results are tallied. But if you’d like to share your ranked Top 25 (or fewer) lists with the rest of the Slicing Up Eyeballs readers, feel free to drop them in the comments below, and make your case for what you believe are The Smiths’ absolute best songs.
DEADLINE: Voting ends 5 p.m. EST Friday, June 16, and results will be posted later in the month.
Sound good? Then vote away.
(If you have any difficulty using the webform below, go directly to Polldaddy to vote: poll.fm/5t4ic)
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Listen: The Smiths’ Record Store Day 7-inch with 2 previously unreleased demos
- ‘Trump will kill America’ etched into vinyl of The Smiths’ Record Store Day single
- Watch: Morrissey walks off during ‘Everyday is Like Sunday,’ ends concert after 6 songs
- ‘Breakfast with The Smiths’ radio show finds new home on The Independent FM
- The Smiths to issue unreleased versions of 2 songs on Record Store Day 7-inch
Panic is just classic!
Hang the DJ!
These are the greatest songs the smiths have recorded.
so many better songs than the ubiquitous How Soon is Now? and There is a Light. The opening bass on Well I Wonder takes me instantly back to being a teenager in the 80s
Don’t be a snot. There is a Light is fucking brilliant and I am an older guy as well. Reminds me of the 80’s in a great perfect way. And one of my very favorites.
This was difficult, too many great songs…
Not easy as most of songs were worth voting for x
My favorite album is Meat is Murder!!
My all-time favorite band, tough choices to make. Favorite song is “Half A Person.”
Being that they are my all time favorite group this list was the quintessential Sophie’s choice for me.
Sublime musical genius
Favourite band of all time.
+1 to Brett. Panic for the win.
We can thank Marc Bolan for the lovely inspiration, too!
What a playlist that 25 makes!
I hate trying to decide. At least I didn’t have to rank my choices!
Thanks for doing this!
An impossible task as the list changes more than the tide on the sea.
Best band ever? Certainly the most nostalgic for me.
Best. Band. Ever.
Well I wonder is my favourite
I would have voted for Golden Lights but it wasn’t on the list.
I like that song too. Strange that it wasn’t there!…
It’s a cover song, which is why it doesn’t appear, but it’s also a really interesting choice as your favourite song.
Still fresh after all these years … love.
Well, that wasn’t easy. Already regretting certain omissions.
This is brutal. Like asking “who’s your favorite child?”
How soon is now? is not only the best Smiths song. It’s one of the best songs of all time. Period.
I totally agree with you!
Couldn’t agree more!
I don’t know… I never really got the “I am the sun, I am the air” part.
I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar. I am the son and heir.
Be for real. The lyric is “I am sunning my hair.”
I am the son and the heir.
Duh. I was joking, guys. Hence the “wink” emoticon.
That joke isn’t funny any more.
So much to choose!
Love The Smiths
To be able to vote for 25 songs out of 70 isn’t so difficult. The Cure poll was much harder since wenhad to choose from a much larger pool of songs.
There is no better song than “There is a Light that Never Goes Out”. My favorite song from any band. Still haven’t heard it live yet.
That was actually really simple. Just went with my car mix CD’s tracklisting for the most part.
I like to vote for 30 songs
I like to vote with 30 songs
I miss “Work is a tour letter word”.
Echo and the Bunnymen next?
Hey Smiths fans – I’ve created a Spotify playlist based on musical references from Marr’s autobiography. Feel free to give it a listen if you’re so inclined.
Thanks for creating this poll, slicing eyeballs!
Nice one! Thanks for this!
Headmaster Ritual is the best song in my world
I agree, and it’s grown on me over the years. So intense right from the get go through to the end.
Rubber Ring is the best Smiths song period.
I Know It’s Over, end the debate now
Man, that was hard!
“London”. The intensity. So, so, so, so, SO glad I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s
Narrowing it down to twenty five is so difficult! Such a brilliant ban! One of my all-time favorites.
“I know it’s Over” – I was 18 when it came out and I’m not ashamed to admit it made me cry. No other song had the same impact on me when I first heard it.
Amen. I had a little break down to that song back in the day. Sorry mom.
There’s 25 that never goes out
Thought picking 25 would be straight forward but when every song is a classic its virtually impossible to pick the 25 ‘best’
Who’s up next: New Order? Siouxsie? Echo? Bauhaus?
R.E.M. Talking Heads, The Police, The Pogues, Shrieckback, Depeche Mode, Midnight Oil…..the list of possabilities goes on!
The Songs That Saved Your Life…..
and the songs that made you cry.
I would definitely have voted for “Work is a four letter word”, I totally love that cover, that and Golden Lights should have been included, in my opinion. Great poll again anyway.
And of course, everybody knows “There is a light…” is the best song ever created in the history of popular music, here on earth, on the rest of the milky way and probably also beyond that. Incidentally, listening to “Well I wonder” right now which is equally wonderful and sublime. No one makes songs like this anymore.
I’m upset this poll doesn’t rank the 70 songs from best to least best
I need more than 25 songs…
Do a pixies one x x
As a graduate in English literature, I have to vote for “Cemetry Gates.”
Keats and Yeats are on your side.
But Wilde is on mine so you lose! :)
I have always felt that I had to defend my love for The Smiths to those who didn’t like / get them. Anyone else? Also, PANIC for the win – how can you not sing along?
Please, please, please let me get what I want, this time….. Great band… Johnny Marr great guitarist
Ask gets my vote.
Not only do I know all the above songs, I know them all well. It’s hard not to love The Smiths.
Wonderful Woman is tops for me.
please, please let me get what i want is a beauty. play it loud….
Reel Around the Fountain ❤️ And everything in that vein
God that was hard !
Death of a disco Dancer Classic!
Amazing output in such a short time, everything they recorded was quality.
This night has opened my eyes and I will never sleep again … I think this is possibly my favourite Smiths song but it’s hard to say for sure, so many to choose from.
I love them all but “How Soon Is Now” is my ALL TIME favorite.
Assume we know what the top two or three will be, curious whether done of my faves are yours also.
‘The Boy With the Thorn In His Side’ live from Rank should be on here as it is vastly superior to the studio version,
If we can go for specific versions like Lol has, then mine would have to include:
“There’s a Light That Never Goes Out” (original lyrics on the closing “There’s a light in your eyes and it never goes out…”)
“Sheila Take a Bow” (demo version without the honking 70s Christmas Glam horns on it, as much as I love it (First video I remember seeing on MTV, or maybe the second. Can’t remember which was first: The Smiths or Modern English.)
“Frankly, Mr. Shankly (demo version with the piccolo trumpet)
and last but by all means first…
“Handsome Devil” (Live at the Hacienda)
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me. I can relate to that song.
A lot of us can.
That Joke just isn’t funny anymore!
Hard, but I love the Smiths.
Don’t forget the songs that made you cry and the songs that saved your life.
My all time favourite is I Know It’s Over.
Hilarious cover of “Girlfriend In a Coma” by Mojo Nixon:
This Charming Man.
Gonna get the ball rolling at Nortley’s suggestion. We seem to play well together, so here ’tis: Top 25 R.E.M. Songs (in no particular order after the first few)
1. Ages of You
2. Voice of Harold (Has to be this version. It’s a “muh-hust.”)
3. Begin the Begin
4. It’s the End of the World As We Know It
5. Disturbance at the Heron House
6. All the Right Friends
7. Driver 8
8. Pretty Persuasion
9. Can’t Get There From Here
10. Gardening at Night
11. Radio Free Europe (Hib Tone Single)
12. Talk About the Passion
13. Fall on Me
14. Perfect Circle
15. Exhuming McCarthy
16. These Days
17. Finest Worksong
18. Time After Time (AnnElise)
19. The One I Love
20. Burning Down
21. (Don’t Go Back to) Rockville
22. Turn You Inside Out
23. Get Up
24. Pop Song ’89
25. World Leader Pretend
1-HOW SOON IS NOW?
2-THIS CHARMING MAN
3-I KNOW IT S OVER
4-BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN
5-THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT
6-THE HEADMASTER RITUAL
7-WELL I WONDER
8.HEAVEN KNOWS I M MISERABLE NOW
10-YOU HAVEN T EARNED YET,BABY
11-BARBARISM BEGINS AT HOME
12-REEL AROUND THE FOUNTAIN
14-WILLIAM,IT WAS REALLY NOTHING
15-LAST NIGHT HAS OPENED MY EYES
16-I WANT THE ONE I CAN T HAVE
17-THE BOY WITH THE THORN IN HIS SIDE
18-SOME GIRLS ARE BIGGER THAN OTHERS
19-THAT JOKE ISN T FUNNY ANYMORE
20-MEAT IS MURDER
21-LAST NIGHT I DREAMT THAT SOMEBOBY LOVES ME
22-GIRLFRIEND IN COMA
23-SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITED
REM TOP 15
1-THE ONE I LOVE
3-LEADER WORLD PRETEND
4-DISTURBANCE AT THE HERON HOUSE
5-IT S THE END OF THE WORLD
7-EXHUMING MAC CARTHY
9-AGES OF YOU
10-FALL ON ME
13-TALK ABOUT THE PASSION
14-GARDENING AT NIGHT
15-TURN INSIDE OUT
Marr was so innovative in his arrangements that not counting alternate versions like Back to the old house (peel) is a bit of nut. That version is top 5 for me. However, the original didn’t make my list
imo the best smiths’ song is You’ve got everything now. great bass line, the track has an energy of its own, plus that ‘killing moon’ guitar at the end.
Suffer Little Children
My top three (in no particular order):
I want the one I can’t have.
I know it’s over.
I blame the Smiths for adding to my depression during my younger days. But I wont share you is hitting me in the feels right now
One Album allowed on an island – Louder Than Bombs
It’s like being asked to list your 25 favorite children.
Finally voted…as expected, nearly impossible. I was going to omit How Soon is Now and There is a Light, but I just couldn’t do it. As over played as they may be, they are still both incredible songs. My 25 are listed below – some crazy songs that I left off (Paint a Vulgar Picture and This Charming Man are two I can’t believe I didn’t include)…but with a band this brilliant, it’s nearly impossible to limit it to just 25. Here were my choices in alphabetical order (and I’d love to do a similar poll for REM and the Replacements):
Back to the Old House
Bigmouth Strikes Again
Half a Person
The Headmaster Ritual
How Soon Is Now?
I Know It’s Over
I Want The One I Can’t Have
I Won’t Share You
Is It Really So Strange?
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
The Queen Is Dead
Reel Around the Fountain
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
Well I Wonder
What Difference Does It Make?
William It Was Really Nothing
You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby