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Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,069 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
The story of the rise and fall of The Smiths, the lives of singer Steven Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr and the differences that tore them apart.
Paperback, 358 pages
Published December 31st 1993 by Omnibus Press (first published 1992)
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Autobiography by MorrisseyMozipedia by Simon GoddardSaint Morrissey by Mark SimpsonWhy Pamper Life's Complexities? by Sean CampbellSongs That Saved Your Life (Revised Edition) by Simon Goddard
Morrissey & The Smiths
7th out of 64 books — 28 voters
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Best Non Fiction About Music
130th out of 910 books — 849 voters

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Community Reviews

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Feb 25, 2015 virgodura rated it it was ok
This book is hugely overrated. The two stars I've given it are purely because The Smiths are great and their story is great but if you've obsessively read all of the Smiths-related articles and interviews on the internet, there is no point in reading this at all unless you desperately desire information on Morrissey's grandmother. Tbh, to write a dull book on The Smiths is a crime in itself but Rogan's book is also irritating in that the chapters on Morrissey's childhood are filled with quotes a ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now

I recently looked up "miserable" in a rhyming dictionary and it said, "sorry, no perfect rhymes could be found".

Lucky for us there is Morrissey.

I think Morrissey has answered the one question that the rest of humanity most dreads: if you could only have one, would you choose sex or romance?

If you choose sex and it's absent from your life, at least you can slip into left-hand drive.

If you choose romance, sometimes you have to make do with misery.

It helps if you can w
Aug 18, 2007 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: every true fan
Exhaustingly researched, this book is recommended for true fans. If not an obsessive fan, skip the first 150 pages and you will still love it. It is researched so well, the first 150 pages read like a daily list of morrissey's life. "What did he eat on friday, 24 June, 1980" is not in truth a joke that is funny anymore. The author -Johnny Roghan- is intuitive in his writing enough to know when not to include information, but only after page 150 (when The Smiths actually form as a band). If you ...more
Jun 22, 2011 Alex rated it it was ok
Im afraid that i will have to echo many of the sentiments in other reviews of this book for i also found it to be quite a sluggish read, firstly having to slosh through the first hundred pages or so with little to nothing of any interest to fans of either Morrissey or Marr, secondly the almost overbearing tone of writing by Rogan is at times enough to make your eyes fall out from rolling them so much at what you had just read. that aside i must admit for any perspective fans this is a book to st ...more
Apr 10, 2009 Brian rated it it was amazing
Often held as the greatest work in modern music literature, this is the book that caused Morrissey to famously wish death on Johnny Rogan. The level of research is staggering. Perhaps not for those without an interest in Morrissey or the post-punk music scene.
Dec 13, 2007 minnie rated it really liked it
This is a brilliant book, exhaustively researched etc and every Smiths fan must read it (even if Morrissey says not to)!
kim McDonald
Aug 09, 2007 kim McDonald rated it it was amazing
a little longwinded but by far the best morrissey book out there.
Nov 04, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, biography
This book was perhaps a tad overstuffed and overly detailed for the first 100 pages or so (love the right-on complaint from the reader below: "did we really need to know about Morrissey's *grandmother*?") but once Rogan got into the nuts and bolts of the formation of the group and their brief, tumultous, but often glorious history, I plowed through the last half of the book in a day, as my love of The Smiths rose like a phoenix from the ashes of my years as a twentysomething fanboy. I had a majo ...more
Heather Van breda
Apr 28, 2016 Heather Van breda rated it really liked it
Three stars for being thorough. But I never got what I wanted out of the book, which was a look at how Morrissey and Marr interacted, of their relationship. It's not the books fault, it was a biography, after all. But I kept hoping I'd get a better look at the relationship, but it was mostly on-the-record information. I'd love to read an embellished, even a little imagined, The Story of The Smiths based on this biographic report.

It was rather enjoyable to read how their songs came together, and
Jun 12, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
If you know me at all, you know that I am an obsessive, adulating fan of both The Smiths and Morrissey - although I suppose the sentiments of most Moz fans are equally extreme. That adoration aside, I've found this book to be an extremely valuable read for its loquacious writing, historical accuracy, and generally fascinating assessment of the phenomenon that was/is The Smiths, or Morrissey/Marr. The facts that this guy digs up are astounding - he has an insatiable thirst for knowledge of the UK ...more
Sep 17, 2008 Scott rated it it was amazing
Thorough to the point of being obsessive, this is by far the most comprehensive rock biography you will ever read. For example, apparently it was not enough to simply tell the reader that Morrissey was born in Ireland – the author gives a complete history of the family & provides a detailed picture of the socioeconomic climate of Ireland at the time. There was a point where I literally forgot I was reading a book about music. It does not get any better than this, however, if you like thoroug ...more
Apr 13, 2013 Sophiee rated it it was amazing
This book appears to be very well researched. It is also incredibly well written hence not just there to present the bare facts but to elaborate eloquently with interesting vocabulary choices along the way. My favourite chapters were 'The Private World' because that looked at the period of time in which Morrissey was my age and 'The Formation of The Smiths' because it showed how well Morrissey and Marr got on originally and how worthy of writing about their initial meeting was. I thoroughly reco ...more
Jul 15, 2013 Bustagroovy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is the longest I've ever taken to read a book. There is so much detail, starting with the history of the entire solar system. Morrissey doesn't even meet Marr until p.208 (plus I discovered Candy Crush when I was halfway through). It's great that every detail of the Smiths' existence is fully documented, but it's kind of like an old smurf collection - I'll probably never look at it again but happy to know it's there if I want to!
Aug 13, 2011 khrome rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, biography
This is a great book if you are an obsessive fan of The Smiths. But if you are not that obsessive, or just not into knowing every little detail of a celebrity's life, this book may have way too much information for you. As one reviewer points out, the book flows much better in the latter half, after the formation of The Smiths. But something that makes the first half worth skimming through are events that inspired some of Morrissey's lyrics.
Sep 12, 2010 Caitlin rated it it was amazing
Obsessively researched by a man who truly loved the 1980s indy and "The Smiths." My favorite group, so it was interesting to read about the strange relationship between the lyricist and singer, and his composer. It is a tale of the sad unraveling of one of the most talented singer/songwriter duos since Lennon/McCartney.
Jul 27, 2008 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I actually loved, loved, loved it when I first read it. Now it's more of a novelty because I'm less obsessed with Morrissey the man these days. My affection for The Smiths and his solo work is still true, but this book doesn't interest me as much as it did when I was a teenager.
Oct 08, 2015 Albert rated it liked it
Read this when it came out years ago, it being one of the few books o could find about my favorite band. Alas, I found it to be lacking in many details but it was satisfying just to have any information to mull over. Maybe I should re-read it to see if my first impression holds up
Jun 23, 2012 Evan rated it it was ok
Incredibly irrelevant. Much of the information in the book doesn't directly have anything to do with Morrissey. I don't care who was on TOTP when Morrissey was 15. Not everything that happened in world when he was alive is relevant to him...
Tom Bates
Dec 21, 2012 Tom Bates rated it it was amazing
Huge Smiths fan and have read almost every book about them but this is the best one, written 20 years ago, and details almost everything you could wish to know about the personalities in the band and the record industry, with a smattering of relevant local history. Very, very good!
Aug 17, 2013 DeanJean rated it really liked it
Spoiler alert: After reading this book (if you are a obsessive Smiths fan as I am) you might find both Morrissey and Johnny Marr to be slightly less likeable then before.

Johnny Rogan is one excellent mine-digger for information. That's all I can say!
Drew Athans
May 02, 2014 Drew Athans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My full and detailed review is at my site:

A hugely expanded and updated edition of this seminal work. It doesn't replace Fletcher's or Goddard's excellent Smiths books but it is still the benchmark.
Frankie Reeves
May 07, 2013 Frankie Reeves rated it really liked it
Uber detailed, seemingly objective account of two of the planet's musical masterminds. An amazing and must-read book for any Morrissey and/or Marr fanatic!
Cate Kavanagh
Mar 08, 2013 Cate Kavanagh rated it did not like it
Dense and verbose language along with pain staking detail ensures this book is a struggle together through.... Even for the most dedicated of Smith's fans.
Maria Paula Lorgia
Jun 29, 2011 Maria Paula Lorgia rated it it was amazing
Esta biografia es todo lo que debe tener una biografia: amor por el objeto de estudio, años de investigación, objetividad y contexto entre otras miles de cosas. Muy recomendada.
Terry Wheeler
Terry Wheeler rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2013
Curt Woyte
Curt Woyte rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2013
كلام على
كلام على rated it did not like it
Sep 24, 2014
Noam rated it liked it
Jul 19, 2011
John McDonagh
John McDonagh rated it really liked it
May 17, 2015
Marty rated it liked it
Nov 29, 2015
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