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Johnny Marr on his favourite Smiths song: "It doesn't sound like any other group"

Johnny Marr
(Image credit: Donna Santisi/Redferns)

There's a lot of candidates for Johnny Marr to pick from as his favourite song with The Smiths. The Manchester band created an incredibly rich body of work in their relatively brief five years together. Nevertheless, the guitarist's choice might be surprising to some. 

Taken from their final studio album, 1987's Strangeways Here We Come,  Marr's explanation as to why Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me remains a favourite for him is as nuanced as the song itself.

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"It's built around the guitar riff going round and round, the hart of it is the guitar riff but I orchestrated it using a keyboard and string sound," Marr explained in an interview shared by Kyle Mullin. 

"What I love about it is the drama in it – the drama sums up how I was feeling at the time. That song got written because at the core of it is a very melancholic and dramatic guitar riff that goes round and round and round. And first and foremost, amongst other particularly melancholic things in the Smiths, I hear myself in that. 

"There's a side of myself, an introspective side, and probably melancholic side, that comes out because I'm a musician. Then I just blew that up musically with a superb performance by the rest of the group, and great composition by Morrissey.

"I love the words, and I love the singing, I love the bass playing and I love the drumming," Marr praises. "I have great pride in that; I have pride in the band and I have pride in the composition. " 

Marr also gets the crux of The Smiths in his reflections on the song; they were a truly original indie guitar band.

"It doesn't sound like any other group," reason Marr. "And it's a guitar group that were DIY in every sense of the word. Genuinely independent on a genuinely independent record label, particularly then. Producing themselves and the producer, being me, still under the age of 24. And it's so grand. It's impressive to me… it's an impressive piece of music and I can say that with objectivity as a bystander who kind of analyses music to the nth degree!"

Johnny Marr will release his Fever Dreams EPs as the album Fever Dream Pts 1-4 via New Voodoo Records on 25 February.

Rob Laing

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.