The final singles released by legendary artists

7 December 2021, 18:00

The Smths in 1987: Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce, Morrissey and Johnny Marr
The Smths in 1987: Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce, Morrissey and Johnny Marr. Picture: Andre Csillag/Shutterstock

What were the last singles issued by these classic acts? You'll be surprised...

Radio X has previously looked at the curtain-call albums by your favourite acts, but what were the last single releases from these legends?

  1. The Smiths - Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me

    On 7 December 1987. the final single from the Smiths' final LP, Strangeways Here We Come, snuck into the shops and crept to Number 30 in the charts. The band had officially split by this point, but this was the last Smiths single to appear on the Rough Trade label and as such is their official swansong.

  2. Nirvana - All Apologies

    The final song on the final Nirvana album... and the final single to be released before Kurt Cobain's death in April 1994. It was technically a double A-side with the controversial Rape Me, but nobody mentioned that song much at the time for obvious reasons. Pennyroyal Tea was due to get a single release in April '94, but Cobain's suicide caused its cancellation.

  3. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart

    Love Will Tear Us Apart had been pencilled in as a Joy Division for the best part of six months before Ian Curtis took his own life in May 1980, making this the last release that was planned with the singer. It made the UK Top 20 in June that year, but the band were too busy mourning their friend to notice.

  4. David Bowie - Lazarus

    The final Bowie single before the genius died in January 2016, this was a shattering way to end a career. The moving video appeared on YouTube just three days before the superstar died, leaving the world with the image of the musician slowly backing into a wardrobe... and closing the door.

  5. The Stone Roses - Beautiful Thing

    All For One was the Roses' first single in over 20 years, appearing in May 2016. The follow-up was less heralded, but marks the swansong of the band. No album followed and guitarist John Squire has since confirmed that The Stone Roses have called it a day.

  6. Oasis - Falling Down

    Nobody knew it at the time, but the third single from 2008's Dig Out Your Soul would end up being the last release from the Gallaghers as a band. Noel has since said he's happy with this being the group's epitaph.

  7. The Verve - Rather Be

    The Wigan band's reunion for the album Forth in 2008 wasn't as earth-shattering as everyone had expected and with Richard Ashcroft appearing solo in the video, it was only a matter of time before time was called on The Verve. The track only made it to Number 56 in the charts. Shame.

  8. The Jam - Beat Surrender

    Everyone knew in advance that The Jam were shutting up shop at the tail end of 1982, which makes this upbeat Northern Soul-styled stomper all the more poignant. Britain sent it to Number 1 as a last salute to a job well done.

  9. The Maccabees - Spit It Out

    Indie fans across the country wailed when it was announced that The Maccabees were ending their acclaimed career and the much-loved band wrapped things up with this song from their Marks To Prove It album.


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