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Set the Boy Free Audiobook

Set the Boy Free

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Publisher's Summary

Johnny Marr narrates his story in a memoir as memorable and distinctive as his music. From the guitarist and co-founder of the profoundly influential British band The Smiths, this is an enlightening account of a remarkable life, from a humble childhood in Manchester to his first meeting with Morrissey. An absolute must-listen for music fans.

Johnny Marr was born in 1960s Manchester to Irish immigrant parents and knew from an early age that he would be a musician.

Forming his first band at 13, Marr spent his teenage years on the council estates of Wythenshawe playing guitar, devouring pop culture and inventing his own musical style. It wasn't until the early '80s, when Marr turned up on the doorstep of a singer named Steven Patrick Morrissey, that both a unique songwriting partnership and the group recognised as one of the most iconic bands of all time were formed.

In 1983 The Smiths released their first single, and within a year their eponymous debut album reached number two in the UK chart, paving the way for mainstream and critical success on their own terms. For Marr, tensions within the band and desire for a wider musical scope led to his departure from The Smiths in 1987, ensuring the end of one of the most influential British groups of a generation.

But this was just the beginning for Marr. From forming Electronic and The Healers to playing with Bryan Ferry, Talking Heads, Kirsty MacColl, Pet Shop Boys, Billy Bragg, Nile Rodgers and Bert Jansch to joining The Pretenders, Modest Mouse and The Cribs to recently collaborating with Hans Zimmer and receiving acclaim and worldwide success in his own right as a solo artist, Marr has never stopped. Here, for the first time, he tells his own side of the story. From roaming the streets of Manchester to constantly pushing musical boundaries as the most loved guitarist Britain has ever produced, Johnny Marr's memoir is the true history of music - told by one of its very own legends.

©2016 Johnny Marr (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks

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4.7 (214 )
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  •  
    C. Cameron Dunfermline, Scotland 04/11/2016
    C. Cameron Dunfermline, Scotland 04/11/2016

    Mr C

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "exactly as you would expect from Johnny Marr..."

    Loved it. Straight talking storytelling from Johnny Marr, reminiscing about his time in all these great bands. Finally hearing his side of the Smiths story.

    A man who has stuck to his principles his whole career and continues to deliver fresh music to this day.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JulianLa Manchester, UK 10/11/2016
    JulianLa Manchester, UK 10/11/2016 Listener Since 2010
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    "this guys a class act, Highly Recommended"

    brilliant deliverance from Johnny who actually put the time in to deliver his brilliant autobiography.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EDWARD KELLY 08/11/2016
    EDWARD KELLY 08/11/2016
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    "Thanks Johnny"

    I'm lucky enough to have been around for the whole journey. Great read, great music, great values, great man...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs Dolan Norfolk 07/11/2016
    Mrs Dolan Norfolk 07/11/2016 Member Since 2014
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    "For the love of the guitar"

    Brilliantly captures what it means to love music and to live for it. The only thing that stopped me listening was pausing to listen to each Smiths/The The/Modest Mouse/Johnny Marr album after listening to Johnny's description of making it. Will rekindle anyone's love of guitar riffs: There IS a light that never goes out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drama Dave 27/11/2016
    Drama Dave 27/11/2016
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    "Better than Mozzer's"

    loved it. Great narration. no frills. to the point. The definitive smiths story. In your face johnny rogan

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Serck Berkshire, England 17/11/2016
    L. Serck Berkshire, England 17/11/2016 Member Since 2013
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    "Ruddy Marr-velous"

    This is an absolutely brilliant journey through the life and times of Johnny Marr, read by the man himself. As well as finding out about how he started out and how The Smiths formed (and why it turned ugly), Marr offers an insight into the drive and ambition and unadulterated passion needed to succeed in a craft. His writing style is pure and honest; miles better than the trumped up over-hammed nonsense written by Morrissey in his autobiography, which he doesn't even bother to narrate himself. Marr's book is a must-read for any music fan.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 26/03/2017
    Adam 26/03/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "The man who changed guitar culture."

    A very fun and inspiring story from start to finish. A beautifully written and down to earth biography of Johnnys life so far.

    Highly recommended for anyone with even a vague interest in his music and collaborations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liam_H Kent, UK 19/03/2017
    Liam_H Kent, UK 19/03/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "More than a jangly guitarist"
    Would you listen to Set the Boy Free again? Why?

    Yes. Johnny Marr is a hero of mine.


    What other book might you compare Set the Boy Free to, and why?

    Morrissey an autobiography.


    Which character – as performed by Johnny Marr – was your favourite?

    NA


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but took a week.


    Any additional comments?

    More than that bloke from The Smiths who wasn't Stephen Patrick Morrissey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james moriarty 10/03/2017
    james moriarty 10/03/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "What a legend"

    Hugely enjoyable insight into Johnny's life. He comes across great and very honest. Pleased to have read it.

    When are The Smiths reforming?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Purley, United Kingdom 03/03/2017
    Brian Purley, United Kingdom 03/03/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "Compelling listen"
    If you could sum up Set the Boy Free in three words, what would they be?

    inspiring, crisp and authentic


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great insight into how the Smiths formed, worked together, developed and the music business as whole. Also took me back with the description of 70s and 80s Britain - a different world. Not knowing his life after Smiths/Electronic it was also good to hear about his other projects - although to be honest the Smiths are hard to beat!

    His writing is well considered and to the point and at times laugh out loud funny.

    Makes such a difference that he is reading it himself - you can really feel it.

    Like all geniuses he's slightly nuts as well which is great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Endre
    10/11/16
    Overall
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    "Absolutely Magnificent"

    What a great 'read' this is. A unique and magnifying tour inside Johnny Marrs life and mind guided by himself and in his own words and voice. It gives an honest and thorough insight to his professional life and career, and also a great perspective on his musical achievements that started with the Smiths and has stayed curios and vibrant ever since. A must read for music lovers!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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