One of the most celebrated guitarists in the history of contemporary music, Johnny Marr will follow his recent Q Hero Award with the release of his first ever solo album ‘The Messenger’ on February 25th on Warner Bros.
Recorded in Manchester and Berlin, ‘The Messenger’ sees Marr contributing vocals, guitar and production. It was mastered at Abbey Road by Frank Arkwright who recently collaborated with Marr on the remastering work for The Smiths’ box set ‘Complete’.
‘The Messenger’ finds Marr’s vocals leading a sound which mixes elements of angular art-rock, indie and rock ‘n’ roll. Song titles which appear on the album include ‘The Right Thing Right’, ‘I Want The Heartbeat’, ‘European Me’, ‘Word Starts Attack’ and ‘Upstarts’.
Based in Portland, Oregon since 2005, Marr returned to the UK to commence work on ‘The Messenger’. “The underlying idea of the record is my experience of growing up in Europe,” he explains. “When you’re away from your home city you’re more compelled to write about it, whether that’s because you’re homesick or you’ve got more objectivity, I don’t know. Growing up in the city influences you, and I’ve continued to see, stories and energy in it.”
Marr was first known for his work alongside Morrissey as the creative force behind The Smiths, releasing four classic and highly influential studio albums and the live set ‘Rank’, all of which peaked at #1 or #2 on the album chart.
After leaving The Smiths in 1987, Marr has continued his career as an official member or touring guitarist for a diverse array of acclaimed bands including The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse and The Cribs. Marr was a member of the Modest Mouse line-up which recorded the 2007 Billboard #1 album ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’, and of The Cribs when they hit the Top 10 with their 2009 album ‘Ignore The Ignorant’.
Marr has also guested on recordings by the Pet Shop Boys, John Frusciante, Talking Heads and Beck.
‘The Messenger’ represents our first chance to capture Johnny Marr’s musical vision exactly as he envisioned. And if the past tells us anything, it’s that Marr’s future projects are an ongoing story worthy of the world’s attention.