UPDATE: Louis Bayard responds via e-mail: “The mistake is mine, I guess. I was shuffling around some categories, and the Smiths didn’t get unshuffled, and nobody caught it.” Original post below.
In his review in the Washington Post of a David Bowie biography by Marc Spitz, critic Louis Bayard discusses the Thin White Duke’s influence, and includes this nugget, which more or less confirms that he has no idea what he’s talking about:
He spread his seed wide, though. We see his likeness in the cyclical (and cynical) re-inventions of Madonna; in the synth and electro-pop of the Smiths, Depeche Mode and Moby; in the gender-blurring tropes of Duran Duran and Boy George (and, most recently, “American Idol” finalist Adam Lambert); in the careers Bowie personally nurtured: Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Mott the Hoople, Luther Vandross.
Emphasis mine, and hat tip to @jackshafer. The Smiths, as anyone who has ever heard them can tell you, made guitar-based rock music that intentionally rejected the synthpop that dominated popular taste in the first half of the 1980s. According to allmusic.com, “The Smiths were the definitive British indie rock band of the ’80s, marking the end of synth-driven new wave and the beginning of the guitar rock that dominated English rock into the ’90s.”
I can’t wait to read the correction.
(Bayard has written for City Paper in the past.)