(TOC) Johnny Marr has announced Spirit Power: The Best Of Johnny Marr for release on November 3 via BMG. The album is a personally curated collection of tracks from the last ten years of Johnny's solo career plus two brand new songs produced by Johnny Marr with his co-producer James Doviak, titled "Somewhere" and "The Answer." Released today, "Somewhere" arrives with immediate anthemic magnetism, offering an exciting glimpse of a future fan favorite.
Johnny 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."
Johnny Marr's storied life in music isn't short of milestones: 'The Inspiration Award' at the Ivor Novellos, an Academy Award nomination for his work with Hans Zimmer on Inception, an NME 'Godlike Genius Award.' But it's the past decade of exciting creative encounters that points towards a defining moment for Johnny Marr in 2023 - celebrating ten years of inspired songwriting, fronting a band.
Personally curated by Johnny, 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" (with Maxine Peake), two brand new songs, plus a cover version of Depeche Mode's "I Feel You," released for Record Store Day 2015 and revealing the degree to which Marr has found his metier as a vocalist of singular expressive power. The Deluxe CD edition of Spirit Power will feature five previously unheard demos and rarities, "Hi Hello" (Demo), "Somewhere" (Demo), "The Answer" (Crazy Face Version), "The Messenger" (Demo), and "Speak Out Reach Out" (Crazy Face Version).
It's a body of work that mirrors, above all, Marr's love of melody. Working and recording out of his own purpose-built Manchester studio, the Crazy Face Factory, Johnny Marr's songwriting has embraced an instinctive sonic evolution across four full length albums, and the last decade of Marr's creative output extends further still. From sound design work with Hans Zimmer on blockbuster productions such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2, to designing and launching a signature Johnny Marr Fender Jaguar guitar, recently released in "Fever Dream" Yellow, and partnering with Yogi Footwear to launch the Johnny Marr SS23 signature collection. This spirit of collaboration extends to long-time friends, and new - writing songs for Blondie, teaming with Noel Gallagher for performances across his solo albums, joining The Pretenders at Glastonbury 2023 for a surprise performance heralded as a highlight of the entire festival, working with Billie Eilish on the soundtrack for James Bond No Time To Die, and touring extensively as special guest to The Killers, also joining the band on stage every night across a 33-night tour of North America.
The upcoming publication of Marr's Guitars - a stunning new photography book - is set for release this fall. Following his 2016 autobiography "Set The Boy Free," Johnny describes Marr's Guitars as "a guitar book for people who wouldn't usually own a guitar book." Featuring contributions from Noel Gallagher, Bernard Butler and Ed O'Brien, the book offers a portal into the symbiotic relationship between Johnny and the guitars that have informed not just the last decade, but the lifetime evolution of his iconic sound. With personal reflections and insights written by Johnny Marr, foreword written by Hans Zimmer and photographs shot by Pat Graham, each guitar is identified with a crucial moment, a specific song, and each embodies a key aspect of Marr's lifelong passion for songwriting.
Spirit Power: The Best Of Johnny Marr will be released on November 3rd 2023 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)