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Johnny Marr

seen live indie rock british rock britpop

Born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 to Irish immigrants in Ardwick Manchester, UK, Johnny Marr is a guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer.

He is best known for being the founder member, songwriter and guitarist in The Smiths. The band released numerous singles and four studio albums between 1983 and 1987 until the band dissolved.

Since leaving The Smiths in 1987, Marr focused mainly on contributing to the work of established bands. He played session guitar and or wrote music for artists such as The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Billy Bragg and Kirsty Maccoll (among others). He also briefly became a full-time member of The The due to his friendship with singer Matt Johnson.

Most notably, in 1989 he teamed up with New Order's Bernard Sumner to form synthesiser/guitar super group Electronic. Combining at first with Pet Shop Boys vocalist Neil Tennant, the duo released Getting Away With It which peaked at #12 in the UK charts. Electronic soon solidified as just Sumner and Marr and between them they released three albums. Self titled debut, Electronic, Raise the Pressure and Twisted Tenderness were released in 1991, 1996 and 1999 respectively.

In 2000, Johnny formed his own band called the Healer’s. He quickly enlisted Zak Starkey the drumming son of the BeatlesRingo Starr. In 2003 Johnny Marr + the Healers released an album called Boomslang, which featured Johnny writing lyrics and on vocals which was an unfamiliar role for him.

In September 2006 Marr announced his membership of the US band Modest Mouse on his website. His work appeared on their 2007 album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. The following year he joined The Cribs as a full time member, touring, co-writing and recording their 2009 album Ignore the Ignorant. He left the band in 2011 to concentrate on solo work.

In 2013 he finally released his first proper solo effort, The Messenger. This was followed by extensive touring with the setlist including songs from his time in The Smiths and Electronic. He quickly followed up this debut with his second solo set in 2014 with Playland.

In June 2018, He released his third album called Call the Comet with 12 tracks. Call the Comet received generally positive reviews from music critics upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album scored an average rating of 76, based on 13 reviews. Writing for the Associated Press, Mark Kennedy opined that it was "easily his best as a solo artist, deep and rich both musically and lyrically" before concluding, "So feel free to stay in bed, Morrissey. Marr is who we need now."

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