Monday, October 11, 2010

Morrissey. The 15 Best Songs (Post-Smiths)

Right now I am reading this killer book called Mozipedia - review is here.  It's an encyclopedia of everything involving Morrissey - The Smiths, solo career, etc.  While I am reading, I've been listening to everything Morrissey and it got me to thinking.... what are the absolute best solo Morrissey songs?  Here are my 15 selections.  Please feel free to leave your list in the comments section at the bottom of the page.  Click on song titles to purchase - or scroll down to the bottom for a Spotify playlist.

15.  Will Never Marry - The B-side to Everyday Is Like Sunday. Such a beautiful arrangement of acoustic guitar and strings.  The woman shouting 'Steven' in the background is producer Stephen Street's wife who was visiting the studio the day it was recorded.

Memorable quote:  I will live my life as I will undoubtedly die - alone.

14.  Irish Blood, English Heart - Morrissey's 25th solo single released after a 7 year recording absence since the release of 1997's Maladjusted.  From 2004's brilliant You Are The Quarry, IBEH marked an exciting return for Morrissey.

Memorable quote:  There is no one on earth I'm afraid of.

13.  Life Is A Pigsty - My favorite track from 2006's Ringleader Of The Tormentors.  In an interview with The Sun upon its release, Morrissey had this to say, "I think life for many people is a pigsty... and I don't think the world is a particularly fantastic place.  But once again, we're not supposed to say these things, are we?  It's supposed to be rock 'n roll, and wild, and beer, and madness.  I'm just being realistic."

Memorable quote:  Life is a pigsty and if you don't know this, then what do you know?

12.  First Of The Gang To Die - Also from You Are The Quarry, this great track fits in with the other Morrissey crime songs, such as The Last Of The Famous International Playboys.  Although it wasn't released until 2004, it was played live on his August 2002 tour - as witnessed by yours truly on his stop in Phoenix at The Celebrity Theatre.  It was so memorable that when I bought the album 2 years later, I recognized it immediately.

Memorable quote:  And he stole from the rich and the poor and the not-very-rich and the very poor.

11.  Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself - From my favorite Morrissey album, 1993's Vauxhall And I.

Memorable quote:  I've been stabbed in the back so many many times, I don't have skin but that's just the way it goes.

10.  Boxers - Morrissey's 18th solo single is a tale about a defeated fighter.  Originally released as a non-album single in 1995, it was later included on the compilations World Of Morrissey and My Early Burglary Years.

Memorable quote:  Your weary wife is walking away.  Your nephew is true, he still thinks the world of you and I have to dry my eyes.

09.  Everyday Is Like Sunday - This song, also from Viva Hate, is probably on everyone's top list.  Not much more can be said about it.  It's one of his most popular solo songs.

Memorable quote:  Come Armageddon, come.

08.  Now My Heart Is Full -  The glorious, opening track from Vauxhall And I.

Memorable quote:  Everyone I love in the house will recline on an analyst's couch quite soon.

07.  Interesting Drug - Originally planned to be a part of his second solo album, Interesting Drug ended up being a single that was then a part of his first compilation Bona Drag, which collected his early singles and b-sides.  Making up part of his backing band on this track are former Smiths, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke.  Backing vocals provided by Kirsty MacColl.

Memorable quote:  Because enough is too much.

06.  Jack The Ripper - Originally released as the b-side to 1992's Certain People I Know, and produced by Mick Ronson (from David Bowie's Spiders For Mars), the definitive version is the live take that appears on Beethoven Was Deaf and World Of Morrissey.  Breathtaking.

Memorable quote:  No one knows a thing about my life.  I can come and go as I please.

05.  Mute Witness - I've probably listened to this song hundreds of times.  From Moz's second solo album, Mute Witness is about a woman who witnesses a crime but is not able to give the police details on what she saw.  Cool haunting, backing vocals at the end of this standout track from Kill Uncle.

Memorable quote:  Now see her mime in time so nicely.  It would all have been so clear if only she had never volunteered.

04.  Suedehead - Morrissey's debut single after leaving The Smiths.  Vini Reilly, Durutti Column guitarist, was brought in to play guitar on the Viva Hate album, but refused to play the guitar break in the bridge section because he felt it was 'too easy.'

Memorable quote:  Why do you come here when you know it makes things hard for me?

03.  The Last Of The Famous International Playboys - Most likely one of everyone's favorite Morrissey songs.  Former Smiths, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce, make an appearance on this track addressed to the gangster Kray brothers.  According to author Simon Goddard, one of the Krays gave his 'approval' of the song, stating he 'liked the tune,' but felt the lyrics were 'lacking a little.'

Memorable quote:  I never wanted to kill, I'm not naturally evil.  Such things I do just to make myself more attractive to you.  Have I failed?

02.  Speedway - The closing song from 1993's Vauxhall And I.  The thunderous drums at the very end were recorded in the dining room at the studio were the album was recorded.

Memorable quote:  I've always been true to you, in my own sick way I'll always stay true to you.

01.  Late Night, Maudlin Street - The truly epic tale of youth, love and loss from Moz's debut solo album Viva Hate.  Although it was released back in 1988, it was never played live until 2002.  Almost reaching 8 minutes in length, this track is a masterpiece.

Memorable quote:  You without clothes, oh I could not keep a straight face.  Me without clothes, well a nation turns its back and gags.

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  1. 1. Late Night Maudlin Street
    2. Disappointed
    3. The Last Of The Famous International Playboys
    4. The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye
    5. You're The One For Me, Fatty
    6. Seasick Yet Still Docked
    7. Jack The Ripper (live version)
    8. Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself
    9. Southpaw
    10. Reader Meet Author
    11. Trouble Loves Me
    12. I Have Forgiven Jesus
    13. Life Is A Pigsty (absolutely!)
    14. Ganglord
    15. ?

  2. Great picks, Tom. Southpaw is so great, almost made my list.

  3. 15. Pregnant For The Last Time (can't believe i forgot this one) classic early 90's Moz humor :)~

  4. Top 15, from the recordingsI actually own (I do not have his entire catalog):

    Alma Matters
    America Is Not The World
    Come Back To Camden
    Everyday Is Like Sunday
    I Have Forgiven Jesus
    I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now
    Jack The Ripper
    Life Is A Pigsty
    Moon River
    My Love Life
    The Never Played Symphonies
    Now My Heart Is Full
    The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get

    Lew B.
    San Diego, CA

  5. Nice picks, Lew. Never Played Symphonies, My Love Life and Alma Matters almost made the cut for me. Very difficult to narrow it down to just 15. Happy to see your list. :)

  6. Thanks Bret Helm! 1st Of The Gang To Die and Speedway almost made my list!

  7. 1. I Have Forgiven Jesus
    2. Life Is A Pigsty
    3. Now My Heart Is Full
    4. My Love Life
    5. Sorrow Will Come In The End
    6. My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye
    7. I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now
    8. Everyday Is Like Sunday
    9. The More You Ignore Me
    10. Alma Matters
    11. Speedway
    12. November Spawned A Monster
    13. To Me You Are A Work Of Art
    14. Ganglord
    15. Boxers

  8. Nice picks, Kari! Difficult wasn't it? :) Now, you gotta make one for The Smiths!

  9. morrissey sikertir eyüpten wereydaJune 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    let me kiss you ulan orospu çocukları

  10. Let Me Kiss you is a rad song. Great lyrics. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  11. LOL, that translates according to Google as "Let me kiss you (ulan) sons of bitches". It's turkish.