It doesn’t seem that long ago since the legendary Johnny Marr released his debut solo album – itself a long time coming given his storied career. It’s a bit of a shock to the system to realise this was ten years ago now. After four solo albums (including a double album), today, Marr announces his new collection entitled ‘Spirit Power: The Best of Johnny Marr’, due for release on 3 November through BMG. The new album also contains two new tracks, one of which, ‘Somewhere’ is unveiled today as a taster.
‘Somewhere’, of course, jingles and jangles with an archetypal heady Marr shimmer, accompanied by Marr’s ear for melody and a great pop hook.
Marr wrote the song whilst on tour with The Killers, and Blondie, in 2022. Speaking about the track, Marr said:
I’ve played a lot of arenas over the years, and in terms of songwriting, there’s nowhere to hide. For a song to work, it has to be a banger. I know it’s almost uncool to think in those terms, but I grew up in a house where my parents listened to Motown, where you couldn’t get a song released if it wasn’t full of hooks.
It fits in perfectly with his solo work so far:
‘Somewhere’ is available to download and stream here.
Personally curated by Johnny Marr, ‘Spirit Power’ encompasses songs from across four widely acclaimed UK top ten solo albums (2013’s The Messenger, 2014’s Playland, 2018’s Call The Comet, 2022 double album Fever Dreams Pts 1-4), non-album single releases ‘Armatopia’, ‘The Priest’ (w/ Maxine Peake), two brand new songs, plus a cover version of Depeche Mode’s ‘I Feel You’, released for Record Store Day 2015.
Marr says of the collection, which reflects his inherent songwriting craft and ear for melody:
It’s a conversation I have from time to time with [Pet Shop Boys’] Chris Lowe, about how much harder it is to write songs that you want to listen to in the daytime. It’s easier to do something that’s perceived as cool if it’s a bit moody. But, for me, the mission with these records was to make songs that you could listen to on the way to school, on the way to the gym, on the way back from work – you know, in the way that you had with, say, Blondie.
You can pre-order ‘Spirit Power’ here and will be vailable on heavyweight 2LP, CD and a limited Deluxe 2CD featuring additional material. Independent record shops have a limited gold 2LP while HMV will carry a limited Cobalt blue 2LP.
Spirit Power: The Best Of Johnny Marr – Deluxe 2CD Track Listing:
New Town Velocity
Spirit Power & Soul
I Feel You
Night and Day
Walk Into The Sea
Hi Hello (Demo)
The Answer (Crazy F Version)
The Messenger (Demo)
Speak out Reach Out (Crazy F Version)
Marr willa slo be playing two Exclusive Orchestral Live Shows At Manchester’s Factory International
A Night with the Johnny Marr Orchestra – 7th & 8th December 2023
Tickets On Sale Here
Feature Photograph: Andrew Cotterill