The Times: "20 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" - Johnny Marr #6 (January 13, 2023)

6. Johnny Marr

The jangly counterpoint to Morrissey’s miserabilism, Marr’s chiming chords helped to define the indie sound. Since the demise of the Smiths those clamouring for his fretboard fairy dust have included Bryan Ferry, the Pretenders, the The, Pet Shop Boys, Talking Heads and Hans Zimmer.

 

Ketamine Sun

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Yes, and not mentioning Moz in the Vini Reilly-entry

20. Vini Reilly​

Vini who? Shame on you. A founding member of the Durutti Column, Reilly forged a unique, shimmering guitar style for the Manchester post-punk outfit that absorbed elements of folk, jazz and classical. A stroke in 2010 left him tragically unable to play as he had before.

true. But I’m just glad they mentioned him at all, I hope it made him smile.
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
About Robert Smith who is in at N°17, "Many a novice has tried to emulate his extended outro solo on A Forest".

Well, RS also took some of his cues to John McGeoch, like the little circular motif on Fascination Street which is a variant of the McGeoch's guitar motif on Israel. Smith played live that Siouxsie classic track, nearly 100 times when he was the guitarist for the Banshees between 1982 and 1984. There is a bridge between those two songs for the guitar tune.

Mick Ronson should have arguably been in and also Marc Bolan. Johnny is in, as the brilliant natural guitar maestro he is.
This list from The Times does not include John McGeogh therefore it is redundant. imo.
 

Luxo

UncleSkinny is a transphobe
Johnny Marr and Robert Smith are both fantastic guitarists in their own way.

I'd like to see the critics play as well as them and write songs that are as iconic as theirs.
 

stux

Please wait..............
Johnny Marr is a ludicrously overrated guitarist. He’s a fantastic songwriter, but the jingly jangly guitar sound was nothing new and he borrowed heavily from others.
Overrated maybe.

Personally I do not think he the 6th best of all time, nowhere near but he is/was very very good. Precise, clean, intricate, accurate, he can do a lot. I’ve played guitar to a good standard for many years and learning smiths songs is always challenging and fun.

If we are really looking at he best of all time Johnny isn’t in the list, Robert Smith is laughably not even in the conversation.

where is mark knopfler? he is amazing. Roy Clark to go back a few years. These guys are both stunning to watch.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Overrated maybe.

Personally I do not think he the 6th best of all time, nowhere near but he is/was very very good. Precise, clean, intricate, accurate, he can do a lot. I’ve played guitar to a good standard for many years and learning smiths songs is always challenging and fun.

If we are really looking at he best of all time Johnny isn’t in the list, Robert Smith is laughably not even in the conversation.

where is mark knopfler? he is amazing. Roy Clark to go back a few years. These guys are both stunning to watch.
I agree Knopfler should be on this list. As should the late Stevie Ray Vaughan; he should be near the very top, maybe after Hendrix.
 

Ketamine Sun

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I agree Knopfler should be on this list. As should the late Stevie Ray Vaughan; he should be near the very top, maybe after Hendrix.

Albert King over SRVaughan, Robert Fripp, and may as well throw Derek Bailey in there as far as uniqueness goes.

And I would put Kevin Shields in there as a modern great, probably the last, so far, to really do something different with guitar in popular music.
 
S

Strummer76

Guest
Look, I love The Smiths, we all love The Smiths but Johnny the 6th best guitarist of all time? Not a chance. He wouldn't even be top 50 if we're being honest.
 

gordyboy9

Game Of Death.
phil manzanera of roxy music is a fantastic guitarist,his work over the last 50 years is something else.
 

Ketamine Sun

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Overrated maybe.

Personally I do not think he the 6th best of all time, nowhere near but he is/was very very good. Precise, clean, intricate, accurate, he can do a lot. I’ve played guitar to a good standard for many years and learning smiths songs is always challenging and fun.

If we are really looking at he best of all time Johnny isn’t in the list, Robert Smith is laughably not even in the conversation.

where is mark knopfler? he is amazing. Roy Clark to go back a few years. These guys are both stunning to watch.

Check out Adrian Belew at 1:24 in, stunning
playing throughout ….


 

gordyboy9

Game Of Death.
what makes 16 better than 17 but worse than 15,these lists are just filler,something for people to read,they arent going to change anyones opinion anytime soon.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
What about your man who played with Moz for part of the Quarry tour (after Alain left), he also played with THE THE on the Comeback concert at the Royal Albert. Barrie Cadogan. He's a virtuoso on guitar. Moz shuda kept him on. He does good backing vocals too and doesn't grimace every time he touches a string.
 

SeniorLife

To be finished, would be a relief.
'The jangly counterpoint to Morrissey’s miserabilism....' I stopped reading after that. Low-life cheap shots at Moz are so mind-numbingly boring.
I agree, wholly. It’s so trite and lacks any knowledge of who Morrissey is, and who he isn’t.
Whoever wrote Marr’s piece obviously did a 30 second Wikipedia search and went with it. When you write a line that has been used so many times, you lose all credibility, of which you probably never had any to begin with.
 

SeniorLife

To be finished, would be a relief.
Lazy ‘journalism’ and click bait at it’s truest definition.

If your desire was to make a real piece worthy of reading, The Times (not familiar with the paper, from the States) should have made an effort to do a peer review where the guitarist isn’t allowed to include themselves.

And broaden it to at least 50. This looks as if it is written by a group of interns that maybe one has a true sense of the guitar.

I can’t see the whole list…..any mention of Greenwood?

Be well and avoid bile such as this…..
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
Hang on. I assume they mean lead guitar. Otherwise I'd include Peter Hook from JD/New Order and Simon Gallup from The Cure and Andy from The Smiths.
 
L

Lujissey.Lawrence is mine

Guest
I couldn't disagree more. Everyone takes from others but that means nothing. JM is one of the most clever and original guitar players of all time. His sound was distinct, personal and different from everyone else at the time.
Did he borrow from Chic's Nile Rodgers and others? yes. Every musician borrows from others but when you create your own personal sound that makes you special and he truly is something special when it comes to guitar playing, let alone as a writer of incredible melodies.
and Maurice Deebank.........
 

Juan Dulces

I just see trees.
An *interesting* list. Robert Smith? I like him, but I've never met anyone who would rate him as all-time great guitarist.

Mick Ronson is the major omission, but he's probably used to it.

For R. Smith, I would say it's his innovation on the instrument, a jagged minimalist style --- and I'm sure it's the early Cure material that got him in. To understand why he's influential as a guitar player (if you have time), please listen to Jumping Someone Else's Train and all the pick-slides and solos on If Only Tonight We Could Sleep.

Mick R. was a great player as well. I'm often unhappy with some of the omissions too.
 

Juan Dulces

I just see trees.
Yes, and not mentioning Moz in the Vini Reilly-entry

20. Vini Reilly​

Vini who? Shame on you. A founding member of the Durutti Column, Reilly forged a unique, shimmering guitar style for the Manchester post-punk outfit that absorbed elements of folk, jazz and classical. A stroke in 2010 left him tragically unable to play as he had before.

Honestly, they don't need to mention Morrissey. It would simply clutter (or dilute) Vini R.'s story. The Durutti Column's LC and Short Stories For Pauline are truly works of art. You can't deny that Viva Hate is a GREAT solo debut, but Morrissey had good musical material and solid players - including an ace/avant-garde guitarist/songwriter - with him.

For me, the icing on the cake for Viva Hate is Vini's playing all over it. His signature style resonates on Little Man, What Now?, Suedehead, Dial A Cliche, Bengali...it's a shame there was any kind of confusion regarding Vini's 'status' on that album, etc. I was disappointed to learn that.
 
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