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Johnny Marr Says Label Blocked Smiths Rarities Set

Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr tells NME that, in addition to the massive Smiths box set released in 2011, he wanted to put out another box set, collecting the band’s rarities and instrumental tracks. But that hasn’t seen the light of day because of “record label politics”, he says.

“When I started putting the Smiths box set together I discovered lots of different versions and instrumentals and different mixes that I wanted to put out. But I was stopped,” he said. “I think that stuff should come out properly but there were politics that stopped me so I just gave up trying.”

He added, “What I’m talking about is these bootlegs of instrumentals and alternative versions. I wanted them to come out properly. But someone, somewhere didn’t want it out. I think that’s a shame. I’m a fan and I like that stuff to be done properly. I really tried to protect the legacy.”

Watch Johnny Marr tell the story behind the Smiths song “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and perform it for the first time in about 25 years: