Moz vs. Marr

All about The Smiths' music, gigs, stories, anything.

Postby Qvist » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:23 pm

To me, from the very beginning, The Smiths has been more about the music than the lyrics (great though they are), and the music has always been more about the guitars than the vocals. It's just that melodious drive from the lead guitar that makes them such a unique band. So, I always used to consider Marr as really the key creative figure in the band. Lately however I am not so sure. When I look at what Marr has done since The Smiths, I don't see that he has left much of an imprint anywhere. He failed to put his stamp in any way on The The, for example. Morrissey on the other hand has not only produced incomparably better things, his production is also much more reminiscent of what The Smiths did. So, on the strength of that, I am compelled to conclude that he seems likely to also have been the main creative force in The Smiths on the purely musical side. Maybe one way of putting it was that he provided the spirit while Marr provided the technique.

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Postby elko » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:32 pm

Qvist wrote:To me, from the very beginning, The Smiths has been more about the music than the lyrics (great though they are), and the music has always been more about the guitars than the vocals. It's just that melodious drive from the lead guitar that makes them such a unique band. So, I always used to consider Marr as really the key creative figure in the band. Lately however I am not so sure. When I look at what Marr has done since The Smiths, I don't see that he has left much of an imprint anywhere. He failed to put his stamp in any way on The The, for example. Morrissey on the other hand has not only produced incomparably better things, his production is also much more reminiscent of what The Smiths did. So, on the strength of that, I am compelled to conclude that he seems likely to also have been the main creative force in The Smiths on the purely musical side. Maybe one way of putting it was that he provided the spirit while Marr provided the technique.

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I don't know how you can say that when, as far as I'm aware, Morrissey has no musical background, has never played an instrument, written a complete song on his own, or been a solo producer or arranger.

The difference between them is, Morrissey writes his songs around his personality or the character he's created, and so the themes will always be pretty similar. Johnny Marr is, like you say, technically gifted, and can adapt his talent to change styles and avoid stagnation. You can see it in their trajectory when he got fed up of 'jingle-jangle indie', and then moved to rock, glam and eventually something approaching orchestrated syntyh-pop. A lot of his post-Smiths work has been him trying to destroy his image as 'The Smiths guitarist', and so it's unfair to say that he wasn't the musical force behind The Smiths just because he sounds different to how he did twenty years ago.
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Postby this_charming_girl » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:39 pm

it depends what the real question actually is though i think?! if you're saying 'who made The Smiths what they were?' then the answer is probably Morrissey because of his personality and the lyrics and everything about him. if its about who is more talented, then its probably Marr, because what is a band without the music?! and instead of people just loving him because he's him,as they do with moz, people actually really respect him as an amazing musician. its one fo those question's nobodys ever going to agree on! :P

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Postby HandsomeDevil » Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:36 pm

Quite simply, Johnny's music wouldn't have the meaning that it does without Morrisseys lyrics. And likewise Morrisseys lyrics probably wouldn't be as good as they are without Johnnys melodies to back them.
I think its fairly obvious that Morrisseys lyrics today aren't what they were in The Smiths.
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Postby Still Ill » Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:05 am

HandsomeDevil wrote:Quite simply, Johnny's music wouldn't have the meaning that it does without Morrisseys lyrics. And likewise Morrisseys lyrics probably wouldn't be as good as they are without Johnnys melodies to back them.
I think its fairly obvious that Morrisseys lyrics today aren't what they were in The Smiths.


I just think Morrissey's lyrics just sound angry. At least in his early lyrics, his anger was transformed into irony. Now they're more literal.

Marr should just embrace his jangly, melodious style that made him the genius he was.

Right now it's a draw for me. :lol:
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Postby Qvist » Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:12 pm

Hi Elko

That may be so, and this is basically also why I always used to assume that Marr was the musical force, Morrissey the lyrical. But like I said, what leaves me wondering about that (and of course I can only speculate on the basis of what things sound like to me, I do not know what actually was Morrissey's musical role in the band) is the fact that what Morrissey has been doing solo is in many ways musically close to The Smiths as well as qualitatively strong, while Marr in my opinion has achieved little of interest, Smiths-like or otherwise.

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Postby this_charming_girl » Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:12 pm

well if we're just talking personal preference then im afraid for me it's Moz, no contest! :D either listening to The Smiths or his solo work, i never get bored of it and love his voice just as much every time i hear it, and after seeing him 3 times you cant not love him! :P

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Postby Cracked Pleasures » Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:12 pm

I find it a hard one. I would say Morrissey because it's the intelligence and emotions in his lyrics that turned me into a Smiths fan. But then as well, Marr is the reason why I prefer the Smiths to Morrissey solo, because he adds something special to those lyrics and voice, there was a unique chemistry existing there where Marr just wrote the perfect music for those words (or Moz writing the perfect words to those riffs) and that's what truely made the Smiths what they are. If I must choose one, I'd say Moz, but I find it a bit unfair towards Marr so I may go for both in all fairness.
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Postby Lazy Dyke » Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:53 pm

Johnny Marr was undeniably a genius, but I honestly don't think that The Smiths would have got anywere without Morrissey, not least because he came up with the name anyway.
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Postby Pashernate_Lover » Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:37 am

I don't think this question can be answered- they were both fabulous, are both fabulous and will likely both be fabulous until they die, at which a time we will all remember them as being fabulous.
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Postby charles » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:17 pm

Moz n Marr is just about a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship.
You can whistle (or hum!) along to Moz's singing, and seamlessly carry on whistling to JM's guitar parts and then back into the vocals and so on; there is always a melody. Vey few pop groups have been that consistent.
A thought- Johnny Marr could have knocked on Boy George's door. Go on- think about that!
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Postby kurt » Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:12 pm

Pashernate_Lover wrote:I don't think this question can be answered- they were both fabulous, are both fabulous and will likely both be fabulous until they die, at which a time we will all remember them as being fabulous.


Fabulous!

charles wrote:Moz n Marr is just about a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship.
You can whistle (or hum!) along to Moz's singing, and seamlessly carry on whistling to JM's guitar parts and then back into the vocals and so on; there is always a melody. Vey few pop groups have been that consistent.
A thought- Johnny Marr could have knocked on Boy George's door. Go on- think about that!


:blink: F*** that! :lol:
Last edited by kurt on Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bouazizi » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:16 pm

i think the fusion between the two was too great to be seperated.

and for this reason, i'd have to say that one is equally as good as the other!

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