The 'This Charming Man' band's legendary guitarist is proud of what they achieved, but also glad he left in 1987 - causing the end of the group at the height of their popularity - because it means people "appreciate" them more.
He told The Sun newspaper: "I think people still love The Smiths because we never spoiled it by sticking around too long. We never messed it up so, as time has gone on, people have appreciated that more than wondering why we stopped. We just seemed to strike the right note."
Johnny - who was in the band with singer Morrissey, bass player Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce - also has no regrets about leaving, and points out he hasn't stayed in any of the other bands he has joined for too long either.
He added: "People think that I quit because there were some tensions, some fighting, but it wasn't like that. I've never hung around for long. Even after The Smiths when I've played with The The, Modest Mouse or The Cribs it's been the same.
"The idea of staying in the same place year in, year out, it just doesn't work for me and never has."
The Smiths Complete, a set of the band's four albums - 'The Smiths', 'Meat Is Murder', 'The Queen Is Dead' and 'Strangeways, Here We Come' - remastered by Johnny were released this week.