Over the band’s short flame of a life, The Smiths became one of the most important to emerge from the explosion of British indie music in the ’80s. From 1982 to 1987, the songwriting partnership of Morrissey and Marr reached mythic proportions, combining jangle pop guitar work with countless literary references to create gorgeously acidic indie-pop anthems.
At the time, the NME was running a weekly column called “Portrait of the Artist as a Consumer,” where musicians du jour were asked to share their tastes in culture. When the former Smiths frontman was featured, his book list included Oscar Wilde’s complete works, a murder anthology, and feminist tomes on the history of rape culture and toxic masculinity.
Popcorn Venus by Marjorie Rosen
From Reverence to Rape by Molly Haskell
Beyond Belief by Emlyn Williams
The Lion in Love by Shelagh Delaney
Against Our Will by Susan Brownmiller
The Angel Inside Went Sour by Esther Rothman
Men’s Liberation by Jack Nichols
The Murderers’ Who’s Who by J.H.H. Gaute & Robin Odell
The Handbook of Non-Sexist Writing by Casey Miller & Kate Swift