In the year 1984, The Smiths released two non-album singles, William, It was Really Nothing and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now. That same year they compiled an album Hatful of Hollow, which contained all the singles, B-sides, as well as the versions of all the songs that had been recorded throughout the previous year for the Peel and Jensen shows. The following year, The Smiths released Meat is Murder, which was their second album. It was also their single studio album on top of the UK charts. Their single-only release, Shakespeare’s Sister, reached the 26th spot on the UK singles charts. However, the only single that was taken from the album, That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore, was not that successful, it barely made it to the top 50 chart.
During the year 1985, The Smiths started to take lengthy tours to the US and the UK while making the forthcoming studio record, The Queen is Dead. Shortly after the single, Bigmouth Strikes Again, was released, their album The Queen is Dead got released in the month of June 1986. It got extremely popular and soon made it to the second spot in the UK charts. Unlike popular beliefs, nothing was good within the band itself. There was a legal dispute with Rough Trade that had delayed the making of the album by almost 7 months. Marr was also feeling the tiredness that was spreading amongst the band members due to the hectic recording schedule and long tours. During the early half of the year 1986, Rourke got fired from the band due to use of heroin. Craig Gannon replaced Rourke as the band’s bass guitarist on a temporary basis. However, he got reinstated within a fortnight. Nonetheless, they retained Gannon as a rhythm guitarist.
The early part of the next year their single album, Shoplifters of the World Unite, got released and managed to make it to the 12th spot on the UK Singles Charts. This was followed by a second compilation album, The World Won’t Listen that got more popular and reached the second spot in the UK charts. The band’s second single, Sheila Take a Bow, made it to the UK top-10 list. However, this single was the last one during the lifetime of the band. Although the band tasted success at almost every step, the continued differences within the band saw them on the verge of a breakup. Morrissey and Marr had a strained relationship during this time. Marr finally left the band in the month of July 1987. They tried to find a replacement and conducted several auditions. However all of their efforts proved fruitless.
When the fourth album of the band, Strangeways, Here we Come, got released, the band had already broken up. The breakdown in the band was mainly due to the annoyance of Morrissey with the work done by Marr. His annoyance was also with other artists. On the other hand, Marr had also started to feel frustrated with the musical inflexibility of Morrissey. According to Morrissey, the breakup of the band was mainly due to a lack of a proper managerial figure. Their last album, Strangeways, did reach the 2nd spot in the UK charts, but was not that popular in the US.