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The Smithereens

The Smithereens

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After several years of plugging away on the East coast alternative rock scene, The Smithereens broke through to become college-rock kings in the mid '80s. The band formed in Carteret, New Jersey in 1980, led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Pat DiNizio and including lead guitarist Jim Babjak, bassist Mike Mesaros, and drummer Dennis Diken. With a sound that combined a strong '60s British Invasion influence with a contemporary alt rock/new wave edge, they released their debut EP, Girls About Town in 1980. Another EP, Beauty and Sadness, followed in 1983. By 1986 the band had earned a deal with Enigma/Capitol and released their first LP, Especially For You, with R.E.M. producer Don Dixon behind the board. The singles "Behind the Wall of Sleep" and "Blood and Roses" became hits, and the album made it to No. 51. With Dixon overseeing, they released their second album, Green Thoughts, in 1988, scoring a No. 1 hit on the Mainstream Rock charts with "Only a Memory." The band found its biggest success with its third album, 1989's 11, titled in homage to the Rat Pack film "Ocean's 11" (1960). The record brought The Smithereens their first Top 40 hit, "A Girl Like You," and gave them their highest placing on the...

After several years of plugging away on the East coast alternative rock scene, The Smithereens broke through to become college-rock kings in the mid '80s. The band formed in Carteret, New Jersey in 1980, led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Pat DiNizio and including lead guitarist Jim Babjak, bassist Mike Mesaros, and drummer Dennis Diken. With a sound that combined a strong '60s British Invasion influence with a contemporary alt rock/new wave edge, they released their debut EP, Girls About Town in 1980. Another EP, Beauty and Sadness, followed in 1983. By 1986 the band had earned a deal with Enigma/Capitol and released their first LP, Especially For You, with R.E.M. producer Don Dixon behind the board. The singles "Behind the Wall of Sleep" and "Blood and Roses" became hits, and the album made it to No. 51. With Dixon overseeing, they released their second album, Green Thoughts, in 1988, scoring a No. 1 hit on the Mainstream Rock charts with "Only a Memory." The band found its biggest success with its third album, 1989's 11, titled in homage to the Rat Pack film "Ocean's 11" (1960). The record brought The Smithereens their first Top 40 hit, "A Girl Like You," and gave them their highest placing on the album charts, at 41. 1991's Blow Up (named after another of DiNizio's favorite films) gave the band another Top 40 single, "Too Much Passion." But as the grunge scene exploded, The Smithereens' power-pop approach fell from favor. Dropped by Capitol, they cut 1994's poorly selling A Date With the Smithereens for RCA but were soon shown the door by that label as well. They didn't release another album until 2007's God Save The Smithereens. They spent the next few years concentrating on tribute albums to their heroes The Who and The Beatles before releasing their final album, 2011 in its title year. Despite DiNizio sustaining some serious personal injuries that kept him from playing guitar, the band continued performing until DiNizio's death on December 12, 2017.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Complex World (1991) Bar Boys
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Milestones close milestones

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Known for such albums as "11" and "Green Thoughts"
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Popular songs include "A Girl Like You" and "Blood & Roses".
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Released their debut EP, <i>Girls About Town</i>.
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Scored hits with "Blood and Roses" and "Behind the Wall of Sleep" from their first album.
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Reached the Top 40 for the first time with "A Girl Like You."
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