Tim Smith, frontman of cult British rock band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59.
Smith developed a rare neurological disorder called dystonia in 2008 after suffering a heart attack.
The condition left him with impaired dexterity and ability to speak, as well as painful muscle spasms.
No further information on Smith’s death is yet available.
Born in Surrey in 1961, Tim began his musical career in 1975 playing guitar for an unknown instrumental group.
Cardiacs singer Tim Smith has died at the age of 59. Smith recorded eight studio albums with the band from 1980 to 2007 and is cited with influential bands such as Blur and Radiohead
Cardiacs took an indefinite hiatus in 2008 after band frontman Tim Smith suffered a heart attack
Tim Smith lost his mobility and speech after suffering a heart attack in 2008
The Obvious Identity – 1980
Toy World – 1981
The seaside – 1983
Rude Bootleg (Live) – 1986
Large ship – 1987
A little man and a house and a window to the whole world – 1988
Cardiacs Live – 1988
On land and in the sea – 1989
Heaven is Born and Still Shining – 1992
All That Glitters is a Mare’s Nest (Live) – 1995
Sing to God – 1996
Firearms – 1999
The Special Garage Concerts Vol I (Live) – 2005
The Special Garage Concerts Vol II (Live) – 2005
He eventually started the Cardiac Arrest band with his brother Jim around 1980 and released an album – The Obvious Identity – before changing the name to Cardiac soon after.
The group went through a number of line-up changes over their first three decades, with Tim and Jim remaining the only consistent members.
The most recent line up included Tim Smith on vocals, guitar, keyboards, organ, production, his brother Jim Smith on bass and vocals, Bob Leith on drums, Kavus Torabi on guitar and vocals, Cathy Harabaras on percussion. and backing vocals and Melanie Woods on percussion and backing vocals.
During the 1990s, Smith took a hiatus from Cardiacs to work on various other projects. In 1989 and 1991 he wrote songs for a solo album – Extra Special OceanLandWorld by Tim Smith – finally released in 1995.
He, ex-wife Sarah Smith and William D. Drake were reunited as Sea Nymphs, a “more folk, more ethereal, relaxed folk” version of Cardiacs.
The heart patients had been on indefinite hiatus since Smith’s hospitalization in 2008.
Their work has been cited as a key influence by acts such as Blur, Radiohead, Napalm Death, and Faith No More.
Tim opened up about his condition in an interview with tQ in 2017.
He said: “Some days I can handle it, if I can mentally do it. I didn’t even tell the kids I was ashamed of and all I can say is I’m sorry. I had no idea what I really meant to all of these amazing people and tried to find out what they mean to me.
“The only way I can try to let you know how I’m feeling right now is… imagine if you were wearing a tight-fitting fishnet bodysuit all around you with electric pulses spinning all the time.” This is how my body feels unless I fall asleep.
Fans have taken to social media to mourn the death of the influential guitarist and frontman.
TV presenter and reporter Matthew Wright said, “We just told Tim Smith that the Cardiacs fame is no longer with us. He sings to God in person, I guess.
“My deepest condolences to his loved ones, his many friends and his countless fans. A sad day for music.
Welsh pop critic Simon Price added: “Sorry to hear about Tim Smith from Cardiacs. I met him once, years ago. Charming man.
“I have good friends and family who were part of the ‘family’ of the Cardiacs and who did a lot of fundraising work for Tim’s health care. I am thinking of you guys today.