Fomer SMITHS guitarist JOHNNY MARR has condemned a new Greatest Hits package of the group’s material, accusing the label responsible, WARNER MUSIC UK, of breach of contract on the release and of seeking nothing more than a “quick buck”.
Marr hit out in a terse statement saying: “Last week Warner Music UK released an album they titled ‘The Very Best of The Smiths’. I would like to make it known that this album was released without any opportunity for either Morrissey or myself to have any input into any aspect of the record or its promotion and, as a result, the record is totally substandard. It has been very poorly remastered and the sleeve is a sad parody of what a Smiths record should look like.
“Warners have seen fit to release a record that does not come up to the standards that we set ourselves and are known for as a group. When The Smiths catalogue was signed to Warners it was on the condition that we maintained artistic control over the catalogue and any new releases. It now appears that Warners feel they can disregard both the word of their then Chairman and the terms of their contract with us in order to make a quick buck.”
Warners could not be reached for comment this afternoon (July 2). The album is at number 36 on the UK chart.