From CDNOW.COM DAILY MUSIC NEWS JULY 31. 2002
Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has signed with iMusic, a division of ArtistDirect. His debut album under the deal will be from his band, Johnny Marr and the Healers, in January 2003. The group features Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey, on drums and Kula Shaker's Alonsa Bevan on bass. In a statement released Wednesday (July 31), Marr says, "I've been lucky enough to collaborate with people I respect and have really enjoyed all the records I've done. But there's things I want to do and a sound I want that I can only get with my own band."
LEGENDARY GUITARIST AND SONGWRITER JOHNNY MARR SIGNS WITH iMUSIC
Johnny Marr and the Healers to Release Debut Album in January 2003
Los Angeles, CA -- July 31, 2002 -- Using the word "legendary" in the headline above isn't hyperbole. In fact, NME, the UK's most-read weekly music magazine, named The Smiths (Marr's former band) the "Most Influential Band in British History." And while The Smiths may have influenced music on the whole, Johnny Marr's distinctive style has influenced enough guitarists to land him resolutely in the Guitar Hero catageory.
Radiohead, Blur, Oasis, Suede, The Pixies, Elliot Smith, and The Stone Roses are among those who've gone on the record with their collective respect for Johnny and his abilities. Revered as a guitarist, Johnny was named as one of the all-time greatest guitarists in a 2001 list that included Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix. Marr formed The Smiths in 1982 at the age of 18, recording seven albums in five years. (Words: Morrissey, Music: Marr). He left the Smiths in 1987 to join forces with New Order's Bernard Sumner to form the British supergroup Electronic. In the course of his illustrious career,
Johnny has played with Beth
Orton, Oasis, the Pretenders, and The The, among many others. While he's clearly been busy
for the last decade, it's Marr's upcoming album that's absorbed his attention
of late. Johnny may be driving the project, but with the Healers,
he's assembled a gifted collection of musicians: he's joined in the band by
Zak Starkey (yes, the son of Ringo and current Who drummer), and
Alonsa Bevan (Kula Shaker). Marr has also reunited with infamous/famous Smith's
manager, Joe Moss.
("What have you gotten me into this time, Stanley?" is Moss' official statement in commenting on the reunion.)
The as-yet-untitled CD includes
11 new songs, each written by Marr, and for most people, it'll be the first
opportunity to hear Johnny Marr and The
Healers. The UK's Guardian prepares listeners with this: "Marr's new
music will shock those reared on gentler Smiths chimings, but maybe this
is the point." (The
paper goes on to describe the music as "jaw-droppingly heavy," justifying
Marr's claim that he wanted a collision between "T Rex, The Stooges, Santana,
Eno, The Wailers. In the Arizona desert.") CDNow! offered no preparation
for those expecting a Smiths redux prior to
reviewing a Healers' live show: The Healers were described as "heavier
than a neutron bomb and faster than a bullet train -- most easily the loudest
and most vicious project Marr's been involved with since The Smiths."
"I've been lucky enough to collaborate with people I respect and have really enjoyed all the records I've done," says Marr. "But there's things I want to do and a sound I want that I can only get with my own band."
The CD will be released on iMUSIC in January of 2003
------ END -------