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A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smithsby Tony Fletcher
Synopses & Reviews
The definitive book about The Smiths, one of the most beloved, respected, and storied indie rock bands in music history.
They were, their fans believe, the best band in the world. Hailing from Manchester, England, The Smiths--Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke, and Mike Joyce--were critical and popular favorites throughout their mid-1980s heyday and beyond. To this day, due to their unforgettable songs and lyrics, they are considered one of the greatest British rock groups of all time--up there with the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, and the Clash.
Tony Fletcher paints a vivid portrait of the fascinating personalities within the group: Morrissey, the witty, literate lead singer whose loner personality and complex lyrics made him an icon for teenagers who felt forlorn and forgotten; his songwriting partner Marr, the gregarious guitarist who became a rock god for a generation of indie kids; and the talented, good-looking rhythm section duo of bassist Rourke and drummer Joyce. Despite the band's tragic breakup at the height of their success, A Light That Never Goes Out is a celebration: the saga of four working-class kids from a northern English city who come together despite contrasting personalities, find a musical bond, inspire a fanatical following, and leave a legacy that changed the music world--and the lives of their fans.
"The Smiths, one of the most influential rock groups in the U.K. since the Beatles — perhaps the most influential U.K. band of the 1980s — finally get the complete and vivid biography they deserve. Fletcher, a music journalist who has written well-received bios of rock icons R.E.M., Keith Moon of the Who, and most recently the Clash (The Complete Guide to Their Music) perfectly captures the wit and complexity of the band and its music. Fletcher details the formation of the band in Manchester in 1982 by guitarist Johnny Marr, whose goal was to combine music 'led by an upbeat, chiming guitar riff' influenced by punk groups the Clash and the Jam with lyrics that were ''searingly poetic and jubilant' in the spirit of Leonard Cohen. He found his lyricist and lead singer in the now-legendary front-man Morrissey, who provided bleak and funny words to such songs as 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now.' Fletcher is excellent is describing how the Smiths' music not only served as a reaction to the synth-based pop music of the early 1980s but also ushered in a new era of 'indie rock' outside the corporate music world. He provides complete details of the band members' intense personal, musical, and business conflicts. Best of all for the group's ongoing admirers and fans, Fletcher displays an unflagging enthusiasm in describing every aspect of how the Smiths produced 'a torrent of brilliant work in a blazing stream of exhaustive glory.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
TONY FLETCHER is the author of six books, including Moon, the bestselling biography of Keith Moon, and Remarks Remade, the definitive biography of R.E.M. He has contributed to many publications and television shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including Newsday, Spin, Mojo, Behind the Music, and more. He lives in New York’s Catskill Mountains. He can be found at www.ijamming.net.
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock