Album News — October 31, 2012 at 11:13 am

Johnny Marr of The Smiths to release solo debut ‘The Messenger’ in February

Since quitting The Smiths in 1987, guitarist Johnny Marr has played with a wide variety of acts, from Talking Heads and The The to Electronic, Modest Mouse, The Cribs and even his own short-lived band, Johnny Marr + The Healers. Early next year, though, he’ll finally release his first proper album under his own name.

In interviews this week with the NME and The Sun, Marr revealed that his long-gestating solo debut will be called The Messenger and is due out sometime next February, following a tour in January.

Of the album, Marr — who turns 49 today — told the NME:

“It is late in the day to be making my debut. I didn’t want to be in someone else’s band at this point. In the past I might have been reluctant to stand up front, and I’ve been lucky enough to be in bands with great singers, so it wasn’t necessary. But this is my band now, and the frontman in my band has to play guitar. I do both.”

The guitarist also spoke of the ever-present rumors of a Smiths reunion:

“Everybody seems to know more about a Smiths reunion than I do. Those rumours are like a sport for everyone involved bar the people who were in the group 30 years ago. But it’s not happening.”

Marr also is set to join Dinosaur Jr in New York this December to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of that band’s classic album You’re Living All Over Me. As for his former partner Morrissey, we’re still waiting for the remainder of his U.S. tour to be rescheduled.


UPDATE: Johnny Marr this week announced that The Messenger will be released Feb. 25 on Warner Bros., and features Marr contributing writing, vocals, guitar and production. Songs include “I Want the Heartbeat,” “The Right Thing Right,” “Upstart,” “Word Starts Attack” and “European Me.” Marr will tour the U.K. in March and play festivals “worldwide.”






  1. Tentatively looking forward to this. Loved everything he wrote in The Smiths and he did some great work with Modest Mouse but everything else he has done has been pretty bad. And by calling this his solo ‘debut’ does he indicate a wish to ignore the existence of Johnny Marr & The Healers? I realize he started that band with mates from other established bands however, he wrote all the songs and sang. Hope this is good!

  2. “but everything else he has done has been pretty bad.”

    At the risk of sounding rude, you’re a silly boy. He’s done so, so much–film soundtracks, one-offs, serious work w/ the Cribs & Oasis & The Finn Brothers (and he was on Portlandia) but just off the top of my pretty red head: the first Electronic album is brilliant–one of the best of the 90s.

  3. Ray Shackleford

    F@*K YEAH! Been waiting on this one.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *