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Friday 23 April 2010

Stex ft. Johnny Marr 'Still Feel The Rain' 12" Version

It's probably fair to say that after Johnny Marr left The Smiths in 1987 he felt a little bit liberated. He'd already flown to Paris to record an African influenced album with Talking Heads, stuck out a single with Bryan Ferry which took a Smiths instrumental and funked it up, and recorded apocalypse-rock album Mind Bomb with The The. None of them were very Smithsy. In 1990, after the perfect New Order and Pet Shop Boys chic of Getting Away With It this single was released. Stex were a London based dance act, who somehow talked Johnny into playing guitar on this single, and as far as I can tell this was all they released. In the video dreadlocked Stex and the female singer dance around in early 90s style, while white denim and sunglasses clad Johnny dances and nonchalently plays his guitar. Another man plays, excuse me, keetar. This is the 12" mix, starts like a balearic chugger, with that drum sample, and features housey, Soul To Soul type vocals, and is very nice in a 1990 kind of way. Johnny's guitar riff takes the whole thing somewhere else- loose, funky, Chic-esque, light-fingered- and makes welcome re-appearences throughout the song. I remember reading about it in the long-gone Select magazine, with a photo of Johnny and Stex from the video shoot, and it all looked and seemed so cool. Bought the 12". Then nothing. Johnny Marr obviously went on to many other things, but not too many of them had the joy, freedom and freshness of this.


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