The Smiths popularity

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Anonymous

Guest
Who do you think contributed the most (accidentally or deliberately) to keep people's interest in the Smiths alive after their demise? Johnny or Morrissey? Or do you think it would have happened anyway even if they both were disappeared into oblivion?
 

butley

Well-Known Member
I think interest in The Smiths would have endured even if Morrissey and Marr had faded into obscurity. However I think 85% of The Smiths popularity was down to Morrissey. Morrissey would have made his mark without Johnny somehow. I am not sure Johnny would have left such a legacy without Steven Patrick. Their post Smiths careers say it all really.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I think interest in The Smiths would have endured even if Morrissey and Marr had faded into obscurity. However I think 85% of The Smiths popularity was down to Morrissey. Morrissey would have made his mark without Johnny somehow. I am not sure Johnny would have left such a legacy without Steven Patrick. Their post Smiths careers say it all really.

agreed. morrissey instantly went out and made albums that retained a lot of the smiths in them and i mean not the vocals alone but i think of a song like well let you know show that it was morrissey that retained that odd sense of rhythm as he insisted on the crowd sounds and the long middle bit. johnny has never made anything else that remotely sounds like it, the smiths music, and while he can say thats down to choice, i somewhat agree, i also think he somewhat cant. i think johnnys very aggressive with ideas and needs a strong check on his instincts sometimes.
 

MOODYBLUE

BITTER,TWISTED,AND PROUD
The smiths have,and will continue to be a central part of many,many people's lives,and a musical "guiding hand",because of the unique,musical relationship between the two,but more specificaly because of morrissey's ability to make the listener think that the song is about their emotions,and their day to day problems,and make the listener realise that they are not alone.it has never happened before....nor will it happen again !!!
it is the feeling of "oneness" with Morrissey that separates him from any other artiste.
he is simply peerless.......accept no substitutes.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Morrissey would have made his mark without Johnny somehow.
Not a chance. Without Johnny's enthusiasm, drive, and song-writing talent, Morrissey would still be living with his mum, writing plays about toast and maybe doing a bit of music journalism. Either that or he would have topped himself years ago. He's readily admitted he had given up on being in a band until Johnny came along and crowbarred him out of his bedroom malaise.

Anyway - that wasn't the question. Obviously Morrissey has done a lot to keep those songs in the public eye, because - obviously - his voice is the same, and he hasn't managed to do a gig since 1992 without including at least a few Smiths songs.

But, I think the Smiths had done enough, that even if Morrissey had retired, and we'd never heard from him again - they would still be of interest. Who knows - if he'd become a recluse, never had a solo career, and never granted any interviews, maybe the music press would be even more obsessed by the mystique around them?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Not a chance. Without Johnny's enthusiasm, drive, and song-writing talent, Morrissey would still be living with his mum, writing plays about toast and maybe doing a bit of music journalism. Either that or he would have topped himself years ago. He's readily admitted he had given up on being in a band until Johnny came along and crowbarred him out of his bedroom malaise.

Anyway - that wasn't the question.

True, this wasn't the question but I always find it quite fascinating that Johnny is on record saying that it was Moz who actually encouraged everyone to release that many records in such a short period of time and that it was Moz who actually organized all the Smiths tours. So, I think that Moz needed someone for getting the foot in, as they say, and maybe someone who inspired him but, ultimately, the speed in which all of that happened may have been Moz's doing, after all.

Regarding the original question: I think the popularity of the Smiths would have increased by time anyway without anyone's doing BUT I think Moz's worldwide touring to this day and his relocation to places like Los Angeles or Rome as well as the fact that he embraced and embraces such varied cultural communities (which is an irony in itself given that he is the one who has always been accused of being stuck in british culture) didn't hurt the Smiths popularity either.
 

butley

Well-Known Member
Remember, Johnny did not just randomly knock on the door on the off chance. Maher was told to check out an interesting singer and lyricist. With another singer Johnny's tunes would not have left such a lasting legacy. Who is humming The Right Stuff today by Bryan Ferry? Anyone?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Remember, Johnny did not just randomly knock on the door on the off chance. Maher was told to check out an interesting singer and lyricist. With another singer Johnny's tunes would not have left such a lasting legacy. Who is humming The Right Stuff today by Bryan Ferry? Anyone?

yeah i mean moz was already in a band, already had some things published/being published and i think that morrissey giving up on music is just him in that moment and he would have returned very quickly to the world at large. let me ask this. do you think that johnny could write music again like the music in the smiths without morrisseys suggestions on riffs/arrangements? ive never seen him do it so i dont know. the messenger cam the closest imo but not quite really. i mean there are lots of technically fantastic guitarists who dont put out the most moving interesting songs.
 
Morrissey got me into the smiths but i'd never downplay Johnny Marr's role, one wouldnt really work without the other. It's obviously got to do with the listeners personality, the bookish loner will alway say morrissey, the "cool kids" will always go for marr.
 

Chip

Member
Without Johnny Marr the music of the Smiths would not have existed. Period. The fact that every song is musically perfectly comes down to Marr.

Yet, a huge part of the Smith's popularity rests on Morrissey's lyrics which I think set the overall tone for the band. Think of what feelings individuals find the Smiths to be evocative of--whether they love or despise the Smiths. That all comes down to Morrissey's lyrics--which is what a lot of people relate to and connect with--which is ultimately what I think is behind the enduring legacy of that material. The Smiths themselves are very much wrapped up in Morrissey's personality (or his perceived personality of that era).

What would happen if we had all of the Smiths songs as recorded, but with a different vocalists and different lyrics? Or what if we took Morrissey's lyrics exactly as written and he had sung them over substandard material? It is really hard to say. There is something inherently special about the Smiths and while both Morrissey and Marr are immensely talented it is hard to imagine removing one of them from the equation and still getting something on that level.

We are lucky the combination of the two happened.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Without Johnny Marr the music of the Smiths would not have existed. Period. The fact that every song is musically perfectly comes down to Marr.

Yet, a huge part of the Smith's popularity rests on Morrissey's lyrics which I think set the overall tone for the band. Think of what feelings individuals find the Smiths to be evocative of--whether they love or despise the Smiths. That all comes down to Morrissey's lyrics--which is what a lot of people relate to and connect with--which is ultimately what I think is behind the enduring legacy of that material. The Smiths themselves are very much wrapped up in Morrissey's personality (or his perceived personality of that era).

What would happen if we had all of the Smiths songs as recorded, but with a different vocalists and different lyrics? Or what if we took Morrissey's lyrics exactly as written and he had sung them over substandard material? It is really hard to say. There is something inherently special about the Smiths and while both Morrissey and Marr are immensely talented it is hard to imagine removing one of them from the equation and still getting something on that level.

We are lucky the combination of the two happened.

i just cant agree with that but i feel were about to have the discussion weve already a while ago (few months which was actually pretty good). the thing about it is marr had no influence in the vocals or the lyrics while they both did the music. why did marr save cemetry gates, because moz told him to use it and he did as he asked. marr writes great riffs but i think the smiths music would be much much more straight forward if he alone was doing the music. probably much more verse chorus verse and much more traditional. to me what makes a lot of the smiths music work/be special are those strange arraignments and songs with no choruses etc. as to the simple break down of old stereo types, i just cant get on with that. i mean, im a pretty bookish person and have been all my life but im not shy or unsocial or unpopular for that matter. the fact that morrissey is a lion in a bookish looking person is such a huge part of his appeal and why he is so popular among the old school emo/punk crowd.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I think the original question of the person who started this thread was who kept the Smiths legacy more alive after their split or interested more new fans in them? Johnny or Morrissey? Just saying!
 

SouthpawGlamour

Slum Mum Peace Corps
Marr's playing in the Smiths is excellent, using the guitar to create soundscapes. Posts Smith he is just a good guitar player, I think that's fair, but would be interested to hear if he has done anything post smiths in peoples opinion that is excellent standard.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I think the original question of the person who started this thread was who kept the Smiths legacy more alive after their split or interested more new fans in them? Johnny or Morrissey? Just saying!

i see then moz as his post smiths music sounds closest to the music of the smiths. it also excellent
 

kissmyshadestoo

Nobody ever looks at me twice
Remember, Johnny did not just randomly knock on the door on the off chance. Maher was told to check out an interesting singer and lyricist. With another singer Johnny's tunes would not have left such a lasting legacy. Who is humming The Right Stuff today by Bryan Ferry? Anyone?
And perhaps without Marr's music, Morrissey lyrics would have never been heard. It's the sum of all parts......it's like asking if the Beatles would have been good without Lennon.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
And perhaps without Marr's music, Morrissey lyrics would have never been heard. It's the sum of all parts......it's like asking if the Beatles would have been good without Lennon.

its not an equal comparison though as both john and paul played and wrote together and then by themselves. lennons and pauls partnership is nothing like moz's and marr's. if people wanna believe the myth that marr bernard butler like just turned up with a finished tune for the vocalist to sing over is wrong then i think it does a disservice to the creative process
 
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