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Johnny Marr

The Messenger

The Messenger (2013)



Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher; 31 October 1963) is an English musician, songwriter and singer.

Between 1982 and 1987 he was the guitarist and – with Morrissey – co-songwriter of The Smiths, an English rock band formed in Manchester. Marr has also been a member of Electronic, an alternative dance supergroup formed with Pet Shop Boys frontman Neil Tennant and New Order singer and guitarist Bernard Sumner; The The, an English musical and multimedia group led by singer/songwriter Matt Johnson; Modest Mouse, an American indie rock band formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington; and The Cribs, an English three-piece indie rock band originally from Wakefield, West Yorkshire. He has also worked as a prolific session musician. In 2013, he released a solo album titled The Messenger.

In 2013, NME honoured Marr with its "Godlike Genius" award, hailing him: "Not content with rewriting the history of music with one of the world’s greatest ever bands, the Smiths, he’s continued to push boundaries and evolve throughout his career, working with some of the best and most exciting artists on the planet." He was voted the fourth best guitarist of the last 30 years in a poll conducted by the BBC in 2010. Phil Alexander, Editor-in-Chief of Mojo, has described Marr as "arguably Britain’s last great guitar stylist".

Marr’s autobiography Set the Boy Free was published in November 2016.