I once had a Smiths phase and somehow still have all their records as well as several Morrissey solo albums. Not that I listen to them anymore but it's not that I don't like the band. I generally dislike 80's indie but these guys certainly had talent. Plus they really had something special about them. However listening from some distance it strikes me that while some tunes were great but some vocal mannerisms were extremely annoying. You can get really tired of their music after only 2 or 3 songs. Mozza's lyrics were cool but the self-pity thing is not something that you want to relate to all your life if you know what I mean. And while Johnny Marr was a good guitarist who played cool little parts he wasn't nearly as brilliant as british critics wanted you to believe. Which brings us to the question of hype - we're talking about the band hyped as the most important since The Beatles and arguably the coolest ever. I think even Smiths fans would agree that they had their share of over-the-top hype, in UK especially. The elitist 80's cult surrounding The Smiths (especially their place in rock history) certainly had all the birthmarks of indie snobbery and somehow bordered on the edge or religious. You know all the talk of Queen is Dead as THE album of the 80's etc. So how do your rate em after all these years - a nice 80's british band with few cool songs and a decent guitar player or as saviours of 80's rock'n'roll and gods of british music?