The history books are effectively closed on The Smiths, the widely influential 80’s British sad-rock band that inspired countless teenagers of more than one generation to foreswear animal products in favor of crying in their bedrooms with the door closed. Lead singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr have turned down a reported $50 million to reunite, which means that the band’s 1987 breakup is really the final chapter.
That sense of finality may be depressing for the band’s fans (who, it should be noted, tend to enjoy being depressed), but it’s also the reason why the official website for The Smiths’ music can reveal this impressive interactive timeline without an ellipses or a “to be continued” tucked away at the end. Rather, “The Interactive Sound Of The Smiths” traces the band’s history from the inauspicious debut in October of 1982, playing their first gig at The Ritz in Manchester, England, through to that fateful day in September of 1987 when they called it quits. The years in between are quite eventful: singles and albums are released, charts are topped, critics are effusive, photoshoots are shot, and each of the musical milestones on the website includes an expandable link that opens up into an embedded Spotify playlist with the corresponding album/single/etc.
Of course, even after that 1987 breakup, there are a few beats on the timeline, but we’ll consider the release of live albums and compilations to be codas in the band’s storied legacy–one that doesn’t end with a triumphant return at Coachella, Glastonbury, or SXSW.