Results for The Smiths

interviews

Stephen Street

Jim and Greg often like to invite a noteworthy record producer to come on the show to share some behind-the-scenes insights. This week they talk to Stephen Street. Stephen worked with The Smiths on three of their landmark albums during the 1980s. Then in the '90s, he recorded with Blur on five of their releases. He also produced the hugely successful debut by The Cranberries. Today he continues to work with top British bands like Babyshambles and The Klaxons. Stephen shares with Jim and Greg some of the backstory of making tracks like "Meat is Murder" and "Girls and Boys." He also expresses huge admiration for both Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon of Blur. Stephen thinks a Blur reunion is not far off-much more likely than a Smiths one.

Go to episode 243

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr is something of a serial collaborator. First, there's his most famous partnership: with Morrissey in The Smiths. Then there's Bernard Sumner, Billy Bragg, Bert Jansch, The Cribs and Modest Mouse. So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that it took three decades for him to go solo. On The Messenger Marr isn't afraid to harken back to his Smiths sound. Mostly, he explains to Jimand Greg, he thought about all the fans he meets at shows (all but one fan). He admits that some of the lyrical content isn't that far from the songs he wrote as a lad, but lucky for us he was weened on great guitar pop from T. Rex. Greg asks Marr about the almost insane decision to quit The Smiths at the height of their fame. But he insists that the band wouldn‘t have lasted another two weeks; musically, they achieved everything they could. That’s not to diminish the band. He also credits them with inventing "indie."

Go to episode 399
specials

Back-to-School Songs

September is a time of mixed emotions. For some, it's an exciting new beginning. For others, it's a time of doom and dread. Either way, here are some of Jim and Greg's favorite Back-To-School songs to kick off the new school year.

Go to episode 145
reviews
World Peace Is None of Your Business (Deluxe)World Peace Is None of Your Business available on iTunes

Morrissey World Peace Is None of Your Business

After releasing nine solo studio albums, a best-selling autobiography, and making several retirement announcements, you'd think the former frontman for The Smiths might be running out things to say, but Morrissey's dogged disdain for much of the world marches on with the release of latest record, World Peace Is None of Your Business. After hearing the albums' lyrics, Jim and Greg would prefer Morrissey didn‘t speak up as much, with both critics disappointed by Morrissey’s words dipping into misogyny and inexplicable weirdness minus any of the wry wit he's typically known for. Musically, there are some pleasant surprises on World Peace Is None of Your Business, like erupting guitars, sentimental oboes and even a didgeridoo, but overall the album isn‘t Moz’s best and gets a Try It from Jim and Greg.

JimGreg
Go to episode 451
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm NotWhatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not available on iTunes

The Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

One of the albums Jim and Greg review this week made so much news that they need to discuss it at the top of the show. The British band The Arctic Monkeys broke records this week when its debut album became the fastest selling in British chart history. While neither Jim nor Greg can fully comprehend this phenomenon, they both like the record. Jim gives the album a Buy It rating, but admits that The Arctic Monkeys are not nearly as amazing as the hype might have you believe. Greg likes lead singer Alex Turner's Streets-like approach to lyrics, but doesn't think the Arctic Monkeys are a great band yet. He gives Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not a Buy It too.

The Arctic Monkeys are not the first British band to face this kind of hype. There have been a number of UK bands who achieved rave reviews and huge success but were never able to break out across the pond. A look at lists compiled by British media outlets The Guardian and NME demonstrate this point. Bands like The Jam, The Stone Roses, The Libertines, Blur and The Smiths are up there with The Beatles and The Clash in the minds and hearts of British fans and critics, yet none of these groups achieved any major fame in the States. One theory given by Jim: Americans are discerning of imports ever since the first "British Invasion." Greg points out that there was a second British invasion in the '80s, and wonders if it is the very Britishness of some of these bands that prevent American fans from identifying. Or perhaps some tastes just don't translate.

JimGreg
Go to episode 10
lists

Guitar Riffs

Does anything define rock and roll more than its basic element, the guitar riff? Rock solos can be overblown and overrated, but a riff, when done right, can rule a song. It it in many ways, the essence of rock ‘n’ roll. So, inspired by Greg's recent BBC essay, Jim and Greg run through their favorite examples of guitar riffs in rock history, and they hear some picks from listeners across the country. But first, a definition. A riff is a brief statement – sometime only a handful of notes or chords – that recurs throughout the arrangement and can become the song's central hook. And for a guitarist like Nile Rodgers, it's not just a static foundational element, but like a river moving through the song. Now onto the goods.

Go to episode 462

One Note Wonders

Rock and roll is an art form that traditionally values change and transformation. But, there are a number of terrific artists and bands who have sustained careers by doing one thing really well. The best examples of these one trick ponies are The Ramones, AC/DC and Motörhead. Fans of these bands know that their sounds don‘t change from album to album… but they don’t care! Jim and Greg celebrate these and other One Note Wonders. Here are their nominations:

Go to episode 126

Guitar Riffs

Does anything define rock and roll more than its basic element, the guitar riff? Rock solos can be overblown and overrated, but a riff, when done right, can rule a song. In many ways, it's the essence of rock ‘n’ roll. Jim and Greg run through their favorite examples of guitar riffs in rock history, and they hear some picks from listeners across the country. But first, a definition. A riff is a brief statement – sometime only a handful of notes or chords – that recurs throughout the arrangement and can become the song's central hook. And for a guitarist like Nile Rodgers, it's not just a static foundational element, but like a river moving through the song. Now onto the goods.

Go to episode 596

Going Solo

Paul McCartney solo Paul McCartney released his first post-Beatles album 45 years ago this month, launching a commercially successful solo career that is still going strong. Sometimes members of a famous band go out on their own and fall flat on their faces. But in this segment, Jim and Greg share examples of artists going solo and living up to expectations.

Go to episode 490
news

Music News

First up in the news is the official announcement of The Police reunion, which will kick off at this month's Grammy Awards. Jim and Greg asked Police guitarist Andy Summers about a potential reunion when he was on the show last year, but he wouldn‘t give up any secrets. What isn’t a secret is the potential for big bucks — something our hosts suspect to be the prime reason for Sting, Summers and Stewart Copeland joining forces again. Also cashing in on a reunion is Van Halen. The band has announced it will perform at the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with a possible tour to follow. And, with pending reunions by Rage Against the Machine and Smashing Pumpkins, 2007 is poised to be the year of the reunion. Jim and Greg are still keeping their fingers crossed for reunions by The Smiths, Hüsker Dü and The Replacements.

Also making news is rocker Tom Waits. He sued car manufacturer Opel for using his vocal likeness in a recent Scandanavian ad campaign. Waits refused to lend his own voice to the commercial, so he believed Opel went out and found the next best thing. A judge agreed, and Opel was forced to pay an undisclosed settlement which Waits plans to give to charity. This isn't the first time the singer has had to tangle with an auto company. Last year he won a case against Volkswagen-Audi, which also impersonated his voice and changed his song without permission.

Next up Jim and Greg discuss YouTube's new plan to share revenue with some of its content providers. The website's co-founder Chad Hurley made the announcement at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and explained that revenues will only be shared with users who own the full copyright of their material. Guess this means that Lasse Gjertsen should be expecting a check sometime soon.

Go to episode 62