Johnny Marr picks 10 essential 7” singles and talks about how they influenced his music
When I first read this article on Mojo Magazine, I decided to hunt for all the tracks mentioned by Marr in the interview. My search, however, was mostly fruitless until I stumbled upon the great blog Plain Or Pan where to my surprise I found all songs compiled in one file and ready for download.
Don’t waste any time but hurry to get your dirty hands on this file before it vanishes in the great Black Holes of the Internet.
Heed my words.
1. Del Shannon - Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow The Sun) (Stateside B-side, 1964)
Johnny Marr: “The influence of [A-side] The Answer To Everything on me when writing Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want is well documented so I picked its sister record, this time. It was the sound of the house when I was little.”
2. The Rolling Stones - Get Off Of My Cloud (Decca single, 1965)
Johnny Marr: “The main thing I took from Keith Richards was his musical ideology; that there is a nobility in playing rhythm guitar and being the engine room and steering the ship, all these very valorous concepts which he threw in the face of guitar culture in the early ’70s.”
3. T.Rex - Metal Guru (T-Rex Wax Co. single, 1972)
Johnny Marr: “It’s so beautiful and commercial but slightly weird and I could not believe what I was hearing because it was so all-encompassing. It connected with something beyond my regular senses.”
4. The Isley Brothers - Behind A Painted Smile (Tamla Motown B-side, 1969)
Johnny Marr: “Motown provided a fantastic alternative to the rock music my mates were getting into. I ventured into this place called Rare Records on John Dalton Street in Manchester, I went into the basement and I remember to this day it was like a sea of future happiness.”
5. Iggy And The Stooges - Gimme Danger (Raw Power LP track, CBS 1973)
Johnny Marr: “I remember getting on the bus and just staring at the front cover in disbelief all the way home. I wasn’t disappointed when I played it because it sounded like I thought it would. It was mysterious, sexy, druggy, riffy and to-the-point.”
6. The Crystals - There’s No Other Like My Baby (Philles single, 1961)
Johnny Marr: “There is an unpretentiousness to it, and compared to what was passing itself off as weird in rockland with prog music at the time this just sounded weirder to me, and it seemed to come from an odder dimension.”
7. Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone (Chrysalis single, 1978)
Johnny Marr: “It reminds me of going to parties and really complaining that I didn’t want to hear Peaches by The Stranglers for the eleventh time and going through record collections with all that ELO shit in them and pulling out *Parallel Lines and going, ‘Alright then, let’s listen to this very, very loud!’”
8. Bob And Marcia - Young Gifted And Black (Harry J single, 1970)
Johnny Marr: “It was one of the records that both Morrissey and myself liked in the same way. It reminded us both of being youthful fanatics and being outside of the norm… Then, amazingly, when [New Order’s] Bernard Sumner and I started to get close we both discovered that we liked that record in the same way.”
9. The Equals - Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys (President single, 1970)
Johnny Marr: “Some records you wear down and you wear out but this one… I remember it from being out from when I was a kid but unlike some of the other tracks I play, I don’t listen to it for that reason, I like it because it reminds me of something shared between me and my mate.”
10. The Cribs - Hey Scenesters (Wichita single, 2005)
Johnny Marr: “A fantastic working class street rock’n’roll 45 that could only have come from a band in this country. It’s like, Move over, this is the new generation. The Jarmans are as hip as street musicians get from any generation.”
Paul Davidson – Midnight Rider (Tropical single, 1976)
Johnny Marr: “Aside from Keith Richards’ on Gimme Shelter, Midnight Rider contains my favourite ever guitar solo.”
Alternative TV – Action Time Vision (Deptford Fun City single, 1978 )
Built To Spill – In Your Mind (Ancient Melodies Of The Future LP track, WEA, 2001)
The Drifters – I Count The Tears (Atlantic, 1960)
Johnny Marr: “If you were to play this to the other members of The Smiths it would remind them of being in a band with me. I used to sing and play it on the guitar when we weren’t recording and forced everyone to sing along. They learned to love it!”
Hamilton Bohannon – Disco Stomp (Dakar/Brunswick, 1975)
No direct quote from Johnny, but he’s said before that Disco Stomp influenced the swampy rhythm of How Soon Is Now. That record, and undoubtedly a huge side order of Bo Diddley.
TV On The Radio – Wolf Like Me (4AD single, 2006) !!!
Extra Bonus Tracks!!!
Del Shannon – The Answer To Everything
Johnny Marr: “The influence of ‘The Answer to Everything’ on me when writing ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’ with The Smiths is well documented.” It is? ! ?
Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter (Guitar track from recording session)
Johnny Marr: “Keith Richards was badass. His solo on ‘Gimme Shelter’ is my favourite ever guitar solo.“
Download Johnny’s picks here
The text and the picture above are reproduced from the original Mojo article. The songs in the zipped file were assembled by the author of the Plain or Pan blog, Anonymous West of Scotland. Credit where its due.
Mojo Magazine, “Johnny Marr’s MOJO Mix!.” Posted by Danny_Eccleston at 9:30 AM GMT 28/01/2009.