Johnny Marr has announced a new compilation album ‘Spirit Power: The Best Of Johnny Marr’ and shared new single ‘Somewhere’.
The former Smiths guitarist will release the new collection on November 3 via BMG, which will spotlight “the breadth of musicality across the first ten years” of Marr’s solo career, according to a press release – you can pre-order/pre-save the album here.
The record will also include two brand new tracks produced by Marr along with co-producer James Doviak – ‘The Answer’ and ‘Somewhere’. Listen to the latter below.
The musician wrote ‘Somewhere’ while on tour with The Killers and Blondie in 2022. Speaking about the song in a press statement, 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.”
‘Spirit Power’ has been personally curated by Marr and features songs from across his four solo albums: ‘The Messenger‘ (2013), ‘Playland (2014), ‘Call The Comet‘ (2018) and 2022 double album ‘Fever Dreams Pts 1-4‘.
Also on the compilation will be non-album single releases ‘Armatopia’, ‘The Priest’ with Maxine Peake, the two brand new songs and a cover version of Depeche Mode’s ‘I Feel You’, released for Record Store Day 2015.
The Deluxe CD edition of ‘Spirit Power’, meanwhile, 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).
— Johnny Marr (@Johnny_Marr) September 20, 2023
“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,” the musician said of his love of melody, which is captured in the collection. “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.”
The ‘Spirit Power: The Best Of Johnny Marr’ deluxe tracklisting is:
‘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)
As part of the celebrations for his 10 years as a solo artist, Marr has announced two homecoming concerts in Manchester with 30-piece orchestra.