Johnny Marr: "The Smiths" and the Art of Gun-Slinging Paperback – 28 Sep 2006
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From the Publisher
1) This is the worlds first and only biography of Johnny Marr.
2) This year sees the 20th anniversary of the seminal Smiths album, The Queen Is Dead, which will guarantee a high profile for all Smith-s related books and artists.
3) Similar books on Morrissey are proven strong sellers and The Smiths fanbase remains fanatical.
4) This title will also appeal to fans of the artists Marr has collaborated with as well as music fans in general
5) The title sits neatly alongside other I.M.P. titles such as Dave Grohl and Robert Smith, all maverick artists who have made an impact across more than one band
About the Author
Richard Carman is the author of Robert Smith: The Cure & Wishful Thinking (I.M.P.) and has contributed to over a dozen music books on artists including The White Stripes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shaun Ryder and Dave Grohl.
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Top Customer Reviews
I learned loads of stuff I didn't know before about Marr, The Smiths and especially Marr's post-Smiths work, but written in a style that made me not want to put the book down. This is well researched and informative, with some great observations and asides - the "jingle-jangle moaning" description of the Smiths sound combines the endless comparisons to Roger McGuinn, and that Rickenbacker picking electric guitar sound of Mr Tambourine Man by The Byrds, not Dylan, with the old complaint about miserable Morrissey.
The Smiths were easily the best band of the era and probably one of the best ever. If you're a fan, you'll enjoy this book.
The last 50 pages cover Electronic and The The this is where the book redeems itself.
Good but not great
As opposed to offering any critique or originality, the book simply describes happenings of Johnny Marr's career, something one could find out about on Wikipedia for example. Similarly, the way that the book is written puts Marr on a pedestal as an untouchable that the author seems to be in complete awe of instead of giving the reader a professional insight. This, in turn, leads to the author losing focus and attention to detail.
The lack of attention to detail is encapsulated brilliantly on page 166 in which the author writes, "In 2004 the pair reconvened as The Tears - proving that there's always hope! Equally influential, the year also saw the release of Pulp's Modern Life Is Rubbish"... if ever there was a sentence that should result in the recall of a book, this is it.
Shame on me you might think, a simple slip of pen on the author's fault, I'm just being a music snob. However, when writing a book about (arguably) one of the most influential musician's of all time, errors such as this one aren't good enough.
As one prior review states, there are no new interviews with any members of The Smiths, The The or Electronic, the book is merely a collection of facts that are already in print in other (better) books. And, although this is supposed to be a book about the man and not the bands, very little ink has been used on exploring the music that Marr has been a part in creating.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Firstly full credit to the author for putting a book together on Marr as it is long overdue.
I'm afraid that 'Johnny Marr: The Smiths and the Art of Gun-slinging' isn't... Read more
I am always a little tentative about books which are unnofficial and unauthorised simply because you dont know what you are going to get. Read morePublished on 19 Dec. 2007 by C. Huddleston
Poorly written (how about this for a sentence - "Red Wedge was pop music's answer to another year of stifling Thatcherite brutality being administered to the British public like a... Read morePublished on 7 Dec. 2007 by chepalle
Beware of this book. No more than a compilation of various references to interviews in past music publication. Read morePublished on 20 Aug. 2007 by Mr Arber
how can the idiot who made this books amazon review say that the 80s produced more poor pop since the 50s. next to the 90s and this decade the 80s pop looks brilliant. Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2006 by R. Kennedy
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