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20 September 2023

Johnny Marr Announces ‘Spirit Power: The Best Of’

Johnny Marr
Press/Andrew Cotterill
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Johnny Marr has announced a new compilation, Spirit Power: The Best Of Johnny Marr. Set for release on 3 November, Spirit Power is a major new collection spotlighting the breadth of musicality across the first 10 years of the prolific songwriter’s solo career.

Spirit Power includes two brand new songs produced by Johnny Marr with his co-producer James Doviak – Somewhere and The Answer. Released today after premiering live on the Zoe Ball BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show, Somewhere arrives with immediate anthemic magnetism, offering an exciting glimpse of a future fan favourite, listen below.

Johnny wrote the song while on tour with The Killers, and Blondie, in 2022. Speaking about the track, the former Smiths guitarist 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.”

Personally curated by Johnny Marr, Spirit Power encompasses songs from across four widely acclaimed UK Top 10 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 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. He elaborates: “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.”

Spirit Power: The Best Of Johnny Marr – Deluxe 2CD Track Listing

New Town Velocity
Easy Money
Spirit Power & Soul
Hi Hello
The Messenger
I Feel You
The Answer
Spiral Cities
Night and Day
Sensory Street
Walk Into The Sea
Tenement Time
Hi Hello (Demo)
Somewhere (Demo)
The Answer (Crazy F Version)
The Messenger (Demo)
Speak out Reach Out (Crazy F Version)

The news comes after Electronic, Marr’s collaboration with Bernard Sumner of New Order, announced the vinyl reissue of of their best of, Get The Message.

pre-order get the message: the best of electronic now

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