Monday, November 18, 2013

A Good Day's Work

Here's how the story goes:

One Friday in June of 1984, Johnny Marr decided to write a song, as one is wont to do when one is the 20-year-old musical mastermind of The Smiths, for Morrissey to later add lyrics and a melody to. It'd been a week or two, perhaps, since their last single, so it was high time.

He thought it should be something up-tempo, and he had a little portable 4-track, so he went to work. A bit over an hour later, he had this:

That same night, he was alone and feeling a bit melancholy. So he decided to write another song, a slow one this time. He came up with this:

The next day, he went into the studio with the outstanding Smiths rhythm section of Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce. Believing it's a good idea to write songs in groups of three, Marr thought he'd see if they could maybe recreate the swampy vibe of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Run Through the Jungle"—a difficult task, made exponentially trickier by the fact that he'd never actually heard CCR's recording, just The Gun Club's cover of it. Undeterred, the band jammed for a few hours and, intoxicated by the results—even then, they already had a pretty good grasp of what they were creating—nailed the basic track. That night Marr added roughly a billion guitar overdubs later, this was the result:

Really, that's not a good day's work, or a good weekend's. It's not a good month's or even a good year's. That's a pretty sweet career, right there. In about 36 damn hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment