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    2. The Smiths

    Years active: 1982 - 1987 Influence: Monotone vocal style, confessional lyrics, British invasion Hometown: Manchester, England. Jam: "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now." The single greatest ode to the human experience ever written.

    The Smiths are a quintessential indie band. Morrissey's dead-pan depressed songs wove themselves into the very fabric of indie music—a genre dedicated to woeful lamentations and rages of a domestic, detached nature. Driven by the contrasting muses of traditional Johnny Marr and the forlorn, subversive Morrisey, the group rocketed to the top of UK charts and cult fame, but never quite became stars. Larger political struggles dipped in and out of the band's material, but the particularly personal nature of The Smith's songwriting opened the door for a whole host of confessional rock sounds. By elevating the every day feelings of the everyman to the pedestal of rock 'n' roll superstar, Morrissey and Marr stumbled into roles as genre creators. The indie musician became the ordinary rock star, shrouded simultaneously in both mystery and fame.