"The Smiths: Better than the Beatles?" - Salon article, interview with Tony Fletcher

The Smiths: Better than the Beatles? by David Daley - Salon

No band captured the tormented teen soul like The Smiths. The author of a new 700-page bio explains why they matter.

The terrific British music writer Tony Fletcher has just published the definitive biography of the group, “A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths,” taking almost 700 pages to tell the story of just 70 songs and this essential slice of the 1980s.
 
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Whether they're the best or not (whatever that means) can be debated, but I think the Smiths are certainly more unique and less imitable than the Beatles.
 

MIDNITE

Active Member
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MIDNITE

Active Member
No band captured the tormented teen soul like The Smiths. The author of a new 700-page bio explains why they matter.

The terrific British music writer Tony Fletcher has just published the definitive biography of the group, “A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths,” taking almost 700 pages to tell the story of just 70 songs and this essential slice of the 1980s.

Article/Interview in Salon



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A

Anonymous

Guest
As songwriters, yes, The Smiths were more talented than the Beatles, but The Smiths wouldn't exist without the Beatles. Even if The Smiths weren't fans of the Beatles, everyone that they were influenced by (besides the girl groups and early motown) were. So every band that Johnny and Morrissey loved (which gave them a musical goal to shoot for) and hated (giving them a musical goal to rally against) wouldn't exist, and I don't think they would've had such a great drive to prove they were the best band of their era.
 

Oh my god. it's Robby!

spontaneously luminescent
I grew up listening to a lot of the Beatles, but they were "my mother's music" to me
however, I do have to admit, The Smiths were one of the few bands of "mine" my mother really liked
so to me they are inextricably linked, both being really great, just from different eras
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Really, really enjoyed that article. Fletcher really knows his stuff when it comes to Morrissey & Marr - and kudos to him for being honest enough to discuss Morrissey's sexuality and "Catholic repression" etc. A great article.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
the smiths had the best of johnny and me, i have not heard that quote before, would have been a better title for the article

It's a great quote, but out of context in the interview - Moz said that in 1990 when his solo career had barely begun, and Fletcher makes it sound as though it's some sort of nostalgic comment from 2010 or something. I think it's pretty clear these days that Moz doesn't want to romanticise the Smiths to the detriment of his solo career.
 
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Qvist

Active Member
I didn't get a good impression of Fletcher from that interview. He speaks with glib assurance of things he can't possibly know. Which usually s typical of the worst kind of muso journo writing. Anyone read his REM book?
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
I'd suggest The Beatles have had better books written about them
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
Really, really enjoyed that article. Fletcher really knows his stuff when it comes to Morrissey & Marr - and kudos to him for being honest enough to discuss Morrissey's sexuality and "Catholic repression" etc. A great article.

I agree. I am looking forward to reading the book. Perhaps after the holidays.
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
It's a great quote, but out of context in the interview - Moz said in 1990 when his solo career had barely begun, and Fletcher makes it sound as though it's some sort of nostalgic comment from 2010 or something. I think it's pretty clear these days that Moz doesn't want to romanticise the Smiths to the detriment of his solo career.

Great insight.
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
I didn't get a good impression of Fletcher from that interview. He speaks with glib assurance of things he can't possibly know. Which usually s typical of the worst kind of muso journo writing. Anyone read his REM book?

No good? He mentions R.E.M. several times in this article. I figured he had written about them or was in the process of doing so.
 

cornelius blaze

Boychild mustn't tremble!
 

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