"Johnny Marr review: Where Morrissey failed, his Smiths bandmate scores a clear win" by Bernard Zuel

Johnny Marr review: Where Morrissey failed, his Smiths bandmate scores a clear win (4/5 stars) - The Sydney Morning Herald
by Bernard Zuel

Excerpt:

Comparisons are odious, no doubt, and a cheap shot one way or another. But it's too hard to ignore, two months after Morrissey – Johnny Marr's partner in the Smiths and his tetchy rival in the 30 years since – played in these parts.

Both have far longer solo careers than their brief, if storied, time in that great Manchester band of the 1980s, yet never is a word written about them without reference to the Smiths, often suggesting that no matter how good their subsequent work is, it will never match what they did then.

Of course, that's unfair and not automatically right, as the dull Smiths' songs What She Said and Meat Is Murder proved in May. And, of course, that's never going to change.

But if it is true that Morrissey and Marr unfairly carry the weight of those six years of oft-brilliant songwriting and recording, it's also true both are lifted by the deep emotional legacy of that band. Put it this way, at both shows, while the best of their solo years earn strong cheers, any moments of the Smiths are greeted with roof-rattling roars of recognition, connection and satisfaction.

The test is how do they build around it and how do they bring us to the "best of the rest"?

Morrissey, a stage natural, this year failed where he had succeeded in 2012, resting on his charisma and loading the set with the fruits of a dull recent record.

Marr, an inferior singer, by contrast built on the explosions of joy that were his 2014 Australian shows, helped not just by a better choice of Smiths songs (the thrill of a long unheard The Headmaster Ritual; the glorious pleasures of There Is a Light That Never Goes Out) and a better grade of non-Smiths material, but a better grasp of how to enjoy the moment.



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Comments

T

Tynamuna

Guest
I lost him when he said that what she said was dull...... What she said is anything but dull. It's a adrenaline pumping firecracker
 

bored

Lust a prima vista
Based on the ~35 times I've seen Morrissey and the number of records I own by Morrissey (basically all of them) compared to the times I've seen JM live (0) and the number of records I own by him (2, Electronic's first album, The The - Dusk) I'd say I have a very different view of the two and what they did with their careers.

JM does a great job of playing Smiths covers and I do enjoy watching them on YouTube but other than that his career beyond The Smiths has been as remarkable as that of John Oates.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Johnny was on xfm Manchester the other day talking about his book, said he's gonna be getting some Moz things off his chest in it.
I can't wait, there's gonna be a public meltdown. "Buckle up people and get on board the Crank-Train, the louder ya'll scream the crazzzier those TTY STATEMENTS gonna be ! You know whad am Goddam sayin ? " Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhh. haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !
Now am on topic Mofo so get down behind Edd Sheeran and kiss my arse !

Benny-the-British-Butcher
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
What a pile of utter horse shit. I bet 'P' came in his pants reading that review. Twats.
 

Satlook

Member
old news (may 27)
JM Solo is not interesting for me, Only with the Smiths.
I don't like his (solo)music and i don't like his voice.
 

klaus

Junior Whopper
Maybe the author should rent Who Put the M in Manchester? I think Marr is about 5 years behind Morrissey in terms of playing The Smiths catalog.
 

darkeyelids

Member
I was at the show the author is writing about.

Whilst Marr may play the 'greater' hits of the smiths AND play them better than moz (musically of course)

You just can't beat morrissey live
 

butley

Well-Known Member
The Smiths would be very little without Morrissey. While I appreciate Johnny's talent he did always come across as a bit of a tool, guitar playing aside.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Johnny Marr is a great guitarist, but he has been a journeyman in one form or another for 30 years. Even if Morrissey's career is over now - and perhaps it is - there is no doubt about which one 'succeeded' after the Smiths.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Maybe the author should rent Who Put the M in Manchester? I think Marr is about 5 years behind Morrissey in terms of playing The Smiths catalog.
Sorry but the author must have rented the remastered re-release "Who took the M out of Manchester" with added bonus footage " who took the milk out of the cow for their cheese "

Believe me Steven has avoided his beloved Manchester since his last piss poor performance there. If you remember he failed to sell out the venue, came on stage to early while the home cult were in the bars supping Boddingtons ale, had to give out free tickets to make it look full, no budget for tv monitors, complained that Manchester had given him nothing despite Tel Aviv giving him the key to the city and very probably had cheese on his rider.

Now then ! Tell me I'm wrong ! Tell me I'm off topic ! Tell me I'm making it up ! Tell me he could perform in Manchester without those black curtains ! Tell me I'm the CrankFraud !

As Surface said on another post " I have a mind of my own "

Please stay on topic, I am hear and I am now, stretching out and waiting for your replies and they better be good. Otherwise kiss my ass !
My name is Benny the bitch ! Thankyou ! You've been great !

Benny-the-British-Butcher
 

marred

Member
another blogger who has no idea what he's talking about. I was at the Marr gig and it was fantastic! And so were the 3 gigs and book signing of Morrissey!
 

AgathaC

Member
Johnny Marr is a great guitarist, but he has been a journeyman in one form or another for 30 years. Even if Morrissey's career is over now - and perhaps it is - there is no doubt about which one 'succeeded' after the Smiths.
you mean, selling out a gig in 10 seconds kind of over..twice.
 

butley

Well-Known Member
What pathetic journalism also. Comparing the two shows. Can Johnny only be critiqued in relation to Morrissey? Johnny must be used to everyone's ongoing fascination with Morrissey who is the true artist of the two. I still maintain Morrissey's musical skill is underestimated. Some of those amazing melodies he put over Johhny's great tunes are mind blowing. The lyrics and vocal melody for You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby are stunning.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
If I may without upsetting the cult ! I promise to stay on topic !
Now then this is impossible to call as I see it. They are both entitled to perform their own songs ! Surely ! Who is best at this and that ?
Steven is to the guitar what Johnny is to the tambourine so let's have a Smith-off shall we ?
Johnny on tambourine and vocals
Steven on guitar and vocals
Name the song of your choice boys ?

I look forward to your on topic response otherwise kiss my ass !

Benny-the-British-Butcher
 
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Anonymous

Guest
another blogger who has no idea what he's talking about. I was at the Marr gig and it was fantastic! And so were the 3 gigs and book signing of Morrissey!
Couldn't agree more. This is just a reviewer who hasn't really bothered to look into either Morrissey's or Johnny's work after the Smiths (they didn't even recognise that Johnny's solo career only began a few years ago) and has settled to compare the two based upon how many hit Smiths songs they play.
 

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