Hateful and Hollow: Morrissey's lifelong mission to piss off his fanbase.
In the bleak mid-80s, life was tough for young people in general, and in particular for those of a more sensitive disposition. Sensitivity wasn't cool. Cool was brash, buccaneering, blokey.
So when The Smiths came along, they spoke to a generation of (mostly white) dispossessed young people of a sensitive and mostly left wing bent. Their anthems to loneliness, quirkiness and being different struck a chord in many in a such a profound way that it is still ringing in their ears decades later. Their music was wonderfully refreshing (and Johnny Marr remains an untroubling hero) but it was the lyrics of Stephen Patrick Morrissey that made a lot of lonely vulnerable people going through a difficult time feel less alone.