You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Arts

Book Review

‘A Light That Never Goes Out’ by Tony Fletcher

There’s plenty to be said for longevity. As the Rolling Stones mark their 50th year together, heaven knows there’s plenty to be said.

Sometimes, though, there’s a strong case to be made for brevity. Take the Smiths, the 1980s band from Manchester, England, who created an urgent, glistening style of pop-rock music with a one-of-a-kind, epigrammatic frontman, the unabashedly plummy singer Morrissey. Even in the hyperbolic world of British rock, where the Stones and the Beatles, Oasis and Radiohead have been touted as the world’s greatest, the Smiths were a true phenomenon. And they lasted a mere five years.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week