The Smiths is the debut, eponymous album by The Smiths. It reached the second position in the UK Albums Chart, and remained in the position for 33 weeks.
After signing with independent record label Rough Trade, the Smiths began preparations to record their first album in mid 1983. The band selected Troy Tate (former guitarist of The Teardrop Explodes) as producer for sessions at Elephant Studios in Wapping, based on Geoff Travis' recommendation. During the following month the group recorded 14 songs, on a tight budget.
While recording a BBC session for Dave Jensen in August 1983, the Smiths met producer John Porter. Travis, harboring reservations about the group's session with Troy Tate, gave Porter a cassette of the sessions beforehand in the hopes that he could remix them. Porter told Travis that the sessions were "out of tune and out of time." Feeling the Tate sessions were unsalvageable, Porter offered to rerecord the album himself. Despite praising the work with Tate only a week prior to the press by stating "we've done everything exactly right and it'll show", Smiths singer Morrissey accepted (as did Travis), while guitarist Johnny Marr hesitantly agreed.
During this time, the album was under the working title "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle".
The Smiths began work with Porter in September 1983. Due to tour commitments, the band had to make the record in a piecemeal fashion. Recording started at London's Matrix Studios, with the majority of the work undertaken during a week's stay at Pluto, just outside Manchester. Final overdub sessions happened at Eden Studios in London that November. After listening to a finished mix of the album the following month, Morrissey told Porter and Travis that the album "wasn't good enough". However, the singer said that due to the album's cost of 6,000 pounds, "[they said] it has to be released, there's no going back".