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The Smithereens


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Carteret, New York NJ, United States (1980 – present)

The Smithereens are a / group from Carteret, New Jersey. The group formed in 1980 and consists of Pat Dinizio (lead singer/guitar), Jim Babjak (guitar), Mike Mesaros (bass), and Dennis Diken (drums). The group gained some notoriety when a single from its first album, Blood And Roses, was included on the soundtrack for and as the theme song of the 1986 Albert Pyun movie Dangerously Close and the video got some moderately heavy rotation on MTV. The group spent some time in its initial semi-celebrity phase defending itself in Rolling Stone against thinly-veiled accusations of sounding too much like The Byrds and The Beatles, pointing out that its Marshall Amplifier-heavy live sound was closer to heavy metal than it was to The Beatles.

Along with a basic Eastern-coast roots-rock sound that owed much to the inspirations of DiNizio, including Buddy Holly, The Who, The Clash, Elvis Costello, and Nick Lowe, the Smithereens deployed a uniquely retro obsession with , the late British Invasion pop of John’s Children and The Move, and other artifacts of fifties and sixties culture that lent its music substance and style. The highest position a Smithereens album attained on the Billboard pop charts was in 1990, when 11 peaked at #41 on the strength of the single A Girl Like You (which hit #38). The group is still active and tours frequently, but went for seven years without releasing a new studio album, following God Save The Smithereens in 1999.


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  • richardneal

    Underrated band

    11 Nov 2014 Reply
  • DiscoJer

    I saw them during Spring Break in '90, I guess.

    18 Aug 2014 Reply
  • guitar_focus

    I close my eyes and I hear 'Blood and Roses'

    6 Feb 2013 Reply
  • skmelanie

    Especially for You is a killer album. I really need to listen to some more stuff by them though.

    25 Jul 2012 Reply
  • Ghestal

    Especially For You froma thrift store for 20 cents. Score

    20 May 2012 Reply
  • Chaosophia218

    Top of the Pops is amazing song! Heard it on Candy Crawford's DVD.

    5 Feb 2012 Reply
  • Nessyliz

    Really great band, I love their guitar sound.

    12 Jan 2012 Reply
  • viathin12

    saw them live at infinity hall a month or two ago it was awesome

    23 Dec 2011 Reply
  • ChuckyG80s

    Saw them live tonight in Natick. They still kick ass, and sound fantastic.

    31 Jul 2011 Reply
  • dmikedrab

    first heard these guys on Miami Vice

    24 Jul 2011 Reply
  • rosepetals1984

    I really love "2011" as an album. The guys are in fine form and sound amazing.

    1 Jul 2011 Reply
  • RockerMag

    See our awesome interview wtih Dennis Diken of the Smithereens here:

    21 Jun 2011 Reply
  • My_Sharona


    6 Jun 2011 Reply
  • RandyB1961

    I was getting worried about the band releasing so many covers albums, too, but SMITHEREENS 2011 has put my mind at ease. It is a welcome return to late-80s form for the band and I'm loving it.

    6 May 2011 Reply
  • foetusized

    Y'all need to stop whining about cover albums. [i]2011[/i], an album of new material is now out, and it's a good'un.

    2 May 2011 Reply
  • massimo35

    ricordi ricordi ricordi

    11 Mar 2011 Reply
  • edark86

    Chalk me up as another who finds their recent string of cover records completely baffling and pointless. It's a shit stain on their (otherwise excellent) career.

    19 Jan 2010 Reply
  • ruiner2001002

    I think what bothers me about the cover albums isn't the quality of the music, but that's it's getting to the point where that's all they're going to be known for. Even if the band feels like they don't have it in them to write any new songs, I'd rather they just quietly retire rather than be the world's most popular bar band.

    14 Jan 2010 Reply
  • rosepetals1984

    Well, as much as I would like to hear them come out with new material and scale back on releasing the cover albums, I can say I still love the albums they've released in the past and note them as one of my favorite bands. Creativity comes in many forms, and if it means exploring their roots a bit, that's fine and I can understand it, but I can agree it's a bit much to release cover albums at the frequency they are.

    8 Oct 2009 Reply
  • DanAbnrml9

    Agree with soulbleed. They're starting to act like a Vegas act. It's especially sad since prime Smithereens was obviously influenced by '60s British Invasion and '70s punk but wasn't purely imitative. I just don't know why we need a bunch of albums of The Smithereens redoing the Beatles catalog...

    19 Sep 2009 Reply
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