The Smiths are often cited as one of the most influential alternative rock bands to come out of the UK. Forming in 1982 in Manchester, The Smiths, headed up by Morrissey alongside guitar legend Johnny Marr, bass player Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce, dominated the independent music scene throughout the 80s and have enjoyed a committed following ever since. One man who was there to capture it all was photographer Lawrence Watson, whose natural affinity with Morrissey and ability to blend into the background led to some of the most captivating images ever taken of the band. From the very first commission for the cover of Londons City Limits magazine, to the session for the captivating cover sleeve of Morrisseys Interesting Drug single, Watson encapsulates all that is celebrated about this Manchester band in his new book The Smiths, to be published by Foruli Codex
on 12th August 2013. Timeless photographs taken over a series of photo shoots are united into one beautifully presented paperback. The majority of the images are previously unseen and context is provided by captions by Watson himself. Watsons relationship with Morrissey means that The Smiths provides insight into some uniquely intimate moments with one of the most enigmatic front men in UK rock history. The Smiths will be available for just £20 from Amazon and all good book sellers.
Lawrence Watson was first drawn to photography through a love of darkroom technique, from processing to printing, and enjoying the post-production as much as capturing the footage itself. Armed with his camera and enthusiasm the young punk-rocker captured 70s and 80s London at Anti-Nazi League and H-Block marches, before stumbling on music photography and the writing was on the wall.
The relationship between Watson and The Smiths band first blossomed through Lawrences fondness for their music. His admiration for Morrisseys song writing, wit and Northern charm, lead to a chemistry between the pair born out of mutual respect. Morrisseys hands-on approach to shoots and his strong ideas, from locations to props, translated into fantastic photographs taken throughout The Smiths peak from 1982-1985, as well as Morrisseys solo career thereafter. Capturing the boys in their hometown of Manchester was key to portraying what the band represented and the power of youth. The Smiths from Foruli Codex contains images from famed Manchester locations, including the Albert Finney store on Oldham Road and the Piccadilly Hotel, both for NME cover shots, and of course the Salford Lads Club a venue that will always be associated with The Smiths.
Lawrence Watson commented, "Resurrecting these photographs of Morrissey and The Smiths has reignited some wonderful memories of working with one of the greatest bands in the world. As their music will live on forever, so too will these photos which captured the group in their rawest form and convey what made them so special. For fans who, like me, were lucky enough to have been there - I share these with you".
Foruli Codex is one of three imprints of Foruli Ltd, a specialist publisher and record label, together with Foruli Classics and Foruli Limited Editions. It specializes in original books in the fields of music, photography and popular culture. Other titles include End: East London Photography by David Apps, and Saturdays Kids: The 1980s British Mod Revival by Darren Russell. All titles are available from the Foruli Codex website, Amazon and all good booksellers starting from just £14.99.