Thirty years ago this week, The Smiths released their self-titled debut. It arrived at a time when every bass groove, dissonant guitar and echo-ey drum machine rhythm that would become identified with late '70s and early '80s post-punk music was at its peak. However, this debut also represented a new approach to a genre that The Smiths would eventually became associated with: Their sound still retained the same somber approach, but coupled with jangly rhythms you could dance to. Instead of treading through dark territory already previously established by such notable acts like Siouxsie and the Banshees or Joy Division, The Smiths' presence challenged the limitations of this already progressive genre.
1984 was a big year for debut releases, with the likes of Run D.M.C., The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, all groundbreaking in their respective genres. But The Smiths, with all due respect, may be the only ones whose album still sounds relevant today. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of this post-punk classic, here is a list of the top albums in descending order that have established this genre as our favorite institution for indulging in melancholy grooves.