Morrissey

(Redirected from Steven Morrissey)
For other uses, see Morrissey (disambiguation).
Steven Morrissey

Steven Patrick Morrissey, (born May 22, 1959 in Manchester in England) dropped his forenames to become Morrissey, the lead singer of the seminal UK 'indie' band, The Smiths. When the band broke up in 1987, Morrissey developed a successful solo career and is one of only a few artists to have had UK top ten singles in three separate decades.

Overview

The Smiths are viewed by many as one of the most influential bands of the 1980s post-punk era. Morrissey's ambiguous sexuality, provocative iconoclasm, and lyrical compositions blended with guitarist Johnny Marr's highly melodic songwriting to sell many recordings. The band became a success in the UK, Ireland, and Australia and became a cult obsession in the United States of America, doing quite well on college radio charts with songs such as How Soon Is Now?, and Panic.

The band broke up due to conflict between Morrissey and Marr, after a productive period from 1985 to 1987 when they released several successful albums: Meat Is Murder, Strangeways, Here We Come, and the hit The Queen is Dead (a regular member of "Best Albums of All Time" lists and easily one of the most influential of the 1980s).

Morrissey's work, both solo and with the Smiths, has been well regarded within England's artistic community and within the artistic establishment of England,even though he now lives in Los Angeles.

Morrissey's subsequent career has also provided successful albums and in 1994 he achieved his highest ever chart position with Vauxhall and I (1994) and its single "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get". After producing several albums in the early years of his solo career with a production outfit not unlike his collaboration with Marr, Morrissey moved on from the songwriting services of Stephen Street for Viva Hate (1988) and Bona Drag (1990) and Mark Nevin for Kill Uncle (1991). The band he assembled for 1992's hit album Your Arsenal sharply renewed his sound and sales success with a fresh, American rockabilly sound. Composition duties were split between guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte, who have been the core of Morrissey's band ever since.

Reputed to be uninterested in compromise or record company marketing principles, Morrissey has long suffered the consequences of operating as a quasi-outsider in the music industry. Though his large and loyal fan base follow his every move, his albums since 1996 had great trouble reaching a wider audience. Between 1999 and 2003, Morrissey was unable to find a record contract at all (at least one that satisfied his demands).

Accusations of racism meant he spent much of the 1990s maligned, based upon songs such as "Bengali In Platforms" and "National Front Disco" as well as an ill-advised performance at the first Madness re-union show at Finsbury Park, London draped in the Union Flag.

Morrissey vacated his English home for Los Angeles in the late-1990s and found an entirely new life in the American West, where, to his own amazement, he has connected with the Hispanic community, where there is now a big fan base. Morrissey's songs of alienation and isolation have appeared to translate lock, stock and barrel from the streets of Manchester to the barrios of LA, something that he himself has expressed surprise and gratitude about.

Morrissey on the cover of his 2004 album You Are The Quarry.

In June, 2003 Sanctuary Records group announced a deal with Morrissey. He was given the one-time reggae label Attack Records as a platform to record new material and, reportedly, to sign new artists.

Morrissey's latest, titled You Are the Quarry was released on May 17, 2004 (but one day later in the US). Guitarist Alain Whyte described the work as a mix between Your Arsenal and Vauxhall and I, and the album has received strong reviews. The first single, "Irish Blood, English Heart" debuted on KROQ on March 22, 2004 and was released internationally on May 10, 2004. The single reached No.3 in its first week of sales in the UK Official Charts. This is the highest placing chart position for Morrissey in his entire career as both a solo artist and the lead singer of The Smiths.

At a Dublin concert on June 5 2004, Morrissey caused global controversy by announcing the death of former US President, Ronald Reagan; then exclaiming he would have preferred it if George W. Bush had died. [1] (http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/s/119/119298_morrissey_comments_spark_bush_fire.html)

With the release of 'I Have Forgiven Jesus' in December 2004, Morrissey became the only artist to score 4 top 10 hits in the UK singles chart that year. [2] (http://www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.co.uk/News/news.asp?id=675&action=more)

Miscellaneous

  • In a 1997 interview to support the release of "Alma Matters", the lead single from Maladjusted, Morrissey cited "Shoplifters of the World Unite" as his favourite Smiths song. The song is seen by many as a rebuke of Section 28.
  • In June 2004 the British newspaper The Observer asked Morrissey what his top ten favourite British albums were. He responded he could only think of one great British album: For Your Pleasure by Roxy Music.
  • J. K. Rowling, Bono, Noel Gallagher, Harry Hill, Craig Kilborn, Thom Yorke, Jonathan Ross, Douglas Coupland and Kathy Burke have all publicly stated they admire Morrissey's work. The title of Coupland's book, "Girlfriend in a Coma", is also the title of a Smiths song, and several references to Smiths lyrics are scattered through the book.
  • In Los Angeles, Morrissey–who is known to many fans by the nickname "Moz"–has found a large Latino audience. This new and rather unexpected fan base has even led to a new nickname for L.A.: Moz Angeles.
  • In October 2004, Morrissey released a politically charged statement urging American voters to vote against George W. Bush for President. Morrissey's statement was "With all my heart I urge people to vote against George Bush. Jon Stewart would be ideal, but John Kerry is the logical and sane move. It does not need to be said yet again, but Bush has single-handedly turned the United States into the most neurotic and terror-obsessed country on the planet. For non-Americans, the United States is suddenly not a very nice place to visit because US immigration officers — under the rules of Bush — now conduct themselves with all the charm and unanswerable indignation of Hitler’s SS. Please bring sanity and intelligence back to the United States. Don’t forget to vote. Vote for John Kerry and get rid of George Bush!" [3] (http://www.morrisseymusic.com/newsitem.asp?id=89)
  • Morrissey apparently is involved in a long-standing feud with The Cure lead singer/guitarist Robert Smith.
  • Morrissey is noted for using and liking the Southam Street work of photographer Roger Mayne.
  • Morrissey is a long-time ethical vegetarian and an advocate for animal rights

Discography

For his albums and singles releases with The Smiths, see this page.

Albums

  • Viva Hate — Mar 1988
  • Bona Drag — Nov 1990
  • Kill Uncle — Mar 1991
  • At KROQ — Sep 1991 (EP)
  • Your Arsenal — Jul 1992
  • Beethoven was Deaf — May 1993
  • Vauxhall and I — Mar 1994
  • World of Morrissey — Feb 1995
  • Southpaw Grammar — Sep 1995
  • Maladjusted — Aug 1997
  • Suedehead: The Best of Morrissey — Sep 1997
  • Rare Tracks — Apr 1998
  • My Early Burglary Years — Sep 1998
  • The Best of Morrissey — Nov 2001
  • You Are the Quarry — May 2004 (a Deluxe edition was released in October 2004)
  • Live at Earls Court — March 2005

UK singles with chart positions

  • 1988 "Suedehead" #5
  • 1988 "Everyday is Like Sunday" #9
  • 1989 "Last of the Famous International Playboys" #6
  • 1989 "Interesting Drug" #9
  • 1989 "Ouija Board Ouija Board" #18
  • 1990 "November Spawned a Monster" #12
  • 1990 "Piccadilly Palare" #18
  • 1991 "Our Frank" #26
  • 1991 "Sing Your Life" #33
  • 1991 "Pregnant for the Last Time" #25
  • 1991 "My Love Life" #29
  • 1992 "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful" #17
  • 1992 "You're the One for Me, Fatty" #19
  • 1992 "Certain People I Know" #35
  • 1994 "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" #8 (#46 US)
  • 1994 "Hold on to Your Friends" #47
  • 1994 "Interlude" (with Siouxsie) #25
  • 1995 "Boxers" #23
  • 1995 "Dagenham Dave" #26
  • 1995 "The Boy Racer" #36
  • 1995 "Sunny" #42
  • 1997 "Alma Matters" #16
  • 1997 "Roy's Keen" #42
  • 1998 "Satan Rejected My Soul" #39
  • 2004 "Irish Blood, English Heart" #3
  • 2004 "First of the Gang to Die" #6
  • 2004 "Let Me Kiss You" #8
  • 2004 "I Have Forgiven Jesus" #10
  • 2005 "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" / "Redondo Beach"

"The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" is the only Morrissey single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Several of his releases have charted on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Videos

  • Hulmerist (1990)
  • Live in Dallas (1992)
  • The Malady Lingers On (1992)
  • !Oye Estaban! (2000)
  • Who Put the M in Manchester? (2005)

Bibliography

Before gaining widespread recognition with The Smiths, Morrissey (then still with forename) wrote a number of booklets on his favourite cultural subjects, music and film.

  • The New York Dolls (Babylon Books; 1981, 19952 ISBN 0-907188-50-8)
  • James Dean Is Not Dead (Babylon Books; 1983, 19842, 19973 ISBN 0-907188-06-0)
  • Exit Smiling (Babylon Books; 1998 [written in 1980, discusses a number of Morrissey's favourite, obscure B-movie actors] ISBN 0-907188-47-8)

This page about Steven Morrissey includes information from a Wikipedia article.
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Before gaining widespread recognition with The Smiths, Morrissey (then still with forename) wrote a number of booklets on his favourite cultural subjects, music and film. Today their sound is more country & western, with a bit of rock, and adult contemporary thrown in. Several of his releases have charted on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Wayne and Merrill continue to perform as The Osmond Brothers, with an occasional appearance by Jay. "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" is the only Morrissey single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Alan's eight sons occasionally perform as "The Osmonds - Second Generation". For his albums and singles releases with The Smiths, see this page. All of the brothers are married with large families themselves.

[2] (http://www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.co.uk/News/news.asp?id=675&action=more). The brothers are also well known as devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and are particularly strong on family values. With the release of 'I Have Forgiven Jesus' in December 2004, Morrissey became the only artist to score 4 top 10 hits in the UK singles chart that year. There are also two older brothers, Virl and Tom, who were born deaf. Bush had died. [1] (http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/s/119/119298_morrissey_comments_spark_bush_fire.html). Donny and Marie also performed as a duo hosted their own variety show,"The Donny and Marie Show", on the ABC network in the seventies. At a Dublin concert on June 5 2004, Morrissey caused global controversy by announcing the death of former US President, Ronald Reagan; then exclaiming he would have preferred it if George W. Donny, and to a lesser extent, Jimmy, both achieved success as solo artists, as did their one sister, Marie Osmond (born October 13, 1959).

This is the highest placing chart position for Morrissey in his entire career as both a solo artist and the lead singer of The Smiths. They were joined for a time by younger brothers Donny Osmond, (born December 9, 1957) and subsequently "Little" Jimmy Osmond, (born April 16, 1963). The single reached No.3 in its first week of sales in the UK Official Charts. They were so successful that a new word, "Osmania" was coined to describe the phenomenon. The first single, "Irish Blood, English Heart" debuted on KROQ on March 22, 2004 and was released internationally on May 10, 2004. One of their first major hits, "Crazy Horses", could be described as rock, but they followed it with gentler, more sentimental songs such as "Let Me In" and "Love Me For a Reason." This music, combined with the brothers' good looks and clean image, greatly appealed to the teenybopper market. Guitarist Alain Whyte described the work as a mix between Your Arsenal and Vauxhall and I, and the album has received strong reviews. The Osmonds career started with a big break at Disneyland, followed quickly by regular appearances on "The Andy Williams Show" in the early sixties, but their most successful period was the seventies, when they achieved a string of chart hits.

Morrissey's latest, titled You Are the Quarry was released on May 17, 2004 (but one day later in the US). The group originally comprised brothers Alan Ralph Osmond (born June 22, 1949), Melvin Wayne Osmond (known as Wayne) (born August 28, 1951), Merrill Davis Osmond (born April 30, 1953), and Jay Wesley Osmond (born March 2, 1955). He was given the one-time reggae label Attack Records as a platform to record new material and, reportedly, to sign new artists. The Osmonds are an American family pop group who achieved enormous worldwide success as teenybopper idols in the 1970s. In June, 2003 Sanctuary Records group announced a deal with Morrissey. I Can't Live a Dream (October 1976). Morrissey's songs of alienation and isolation have appeared to translate lock, stock and barrel from the streets of Manchester to the barrios of LA, something that he himself has expressed surprise and gratitude about. I'm Still Gonna Need You (November 1975).

Morrissey vacated his English home for Los Angeles in the late-1990s and found an entirely new life in the American West, where, to his own amazement, he has connected with the Hispanic community, where there is now a big fan base. The Proud One (May 1975). Accusations of racism meant he spent much of the 1990s maligned, based upon songs such as "Bengali In Platforms" and "National Front Disco" as well as an ill-advised performance at the first Madness re-union show at Finsbury Park, London draped in the Union Flag. Having a Party (March 1975). Between 1999 and 2003, Morrissey was unable to find a record contract at all (at least one that satisfied his demands). Love Me For a Reason (August 1974). Though his large and loyal fan base follow his every move, his albums since 1996 had great trouble reaching a wider audience. I Can't Stop (April 1974).

Reputed to be uninterested in compromise or record company marketing principles, Morrissey has long suffered the consequences of operating as a quasi-outsider in the music industry. Let Me In (October 1973). Composition duties were split between guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte, who have been the core of Morrissey's band ever since. Goin' Home (July 1973). The band he assembled for 1992's hit album Your Arsenal sharply renewed his sound and sales success with a fresh, American rockabilly sound. Crazy Horses (November 1972). After producing several albums in the early years of his solo career with a production outfit not unlike his collaboration with Marr, Morrissey moved on from the songwriting services of Stephen Street for Viva Hate (1988) and Bona Drag (1990) and Mark Nevin for Kill Uncle (1991). Down By The Lazy River (March 1972).

Morrissey's subsequent career has also provided successful albums and in 1994 he achieved his highest ever chart position with Vauxhall and I (1994) and its single "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get". One Bad Apple (March 1970). Morrissey's work, both solo and with the Smiths, has been well regarded within England's artistic community and within the artistic establishment of England,even though he now lives in Los Angeles. The band broke up due to conflict between Morrissey and Marr, after a productive period from 1985 to 1987 when they released several successful albums: Meat Is Murder, Strangeways, Here We Come, and the hit The Queen is Dead (a regular member of "Best Albums of All Time" lists and easily one of the most influential of the 1980s). The band became a success in the UK, Ireland, and Australia and became a cult obsession in the United States of America, doing quite well on college radio charts with songs such as How Soon Is Now?, and Panic..

Morrissey's ambiguous sexuality, provocative iconoclasm, and lyrical compositions blended with guitarist Johnny Marr's highly melodic songwriting to sell many recordings. The Smiths are viewed by many as one of the most influential bands of the 1980s post-punk era. When the band broke up in 1987, Morrissey developed a successful solo career and is one of only a few artists to have had UK top ten singles in three separate decades. Steven Patrick Morrissey, (born May 22, 1959 in Manchester in England) dropped his forenames to become Morrissey, the lead singer of the seminal UK 'indie' band, The Smiths.

Exit Smiling (Babylon Books; 1998 [written in 1980, discusses a number of Morrissey's favourite, obscure B-movie actors] ISBN 0-907188-47-8). James Dean Is Not Dead (Babylon Books; 1983, 19842, 19973 ISBN 0-907188-06-0). The New York Dolls (Babylon Books; 1981, 19952 ISBN 0-907188-50-8). Who Put the M in Manchester? (2005).

!Oye Estaban! (2000). The Malady Lingers On (1992). Live in Dallas (1992). Hulmerist (1990).

2005 "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" / "Redondo Beach". 2004 "I Have Forgiven Jesus" #10. 2004 "Let Me Kiss You" #8. 2004 "First of the Gang to Die" #6.

2004 "Irish Blood, English Heart" #3. 1998 "Satan Rejected My Soul" #39. 1997 "Roy's Keen" #42. 1997 "Alma Matters" #16.

1995 "Sunny" #42. 1995 "The Boy Racer" #36. 1995 "Dagenham Dave" #26. 1995 "Boxers" #23.

1994 "Interlude" (with Siouxsie) #25. 1994 "Hold on to Your Friends" #47. 1994 "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" #8 (#46 US). 1992 "Certain People I Know" #35.

1992 "You're the One for Me, Fatty" #19. 1992 "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful" #17. 1991 "My Love Life" #29. 1991 "Pregnant for the Last Time" #25.

1991 "Sing Your Life" #33. 1991 "Our Frank" #26. 1990 "Piccadilly Palare" #18. 1990 "November Spawned a Monster" #12.

1989 "Ouija Board Ouija Board" #18. 1989 "Interesting Drug" #9. 1989 "Last of the Famous International Playboys" #6. 1988 "Everyday is Like Sunday" #9.

1988 "Suedehead" #5. Live at Earls Court — March 2005. You Are the Quarry — May 2004 (a Deluxe edition was released in October 2004). The Best of Morrissey — Nov 2001.

My Early Burglary Years — Sep 1998. Rare Tracks — Apr 1998. Suedehead: The Best of Morrissey — Sep 1997. Maladjusted — Aug 1997.

Southpaw Grammar — Sep 1995. World of Morrissey — Feb 1995. Vauxhall and I — Mar 1994. Beethoven was Deaf — May 1993.

Your Arsenal — Jul 1992. At KROQ — Sep 1991 (EP). Kill Uncle — Mar 1991. Bona Drag — Nov 1990.

Viva Hate — Mar 1988. Morrissey is a long-time ethical vegetarian and an advocate for animal rights. Morrissey is noted for using and liking the Southam Street work of photographer Roger Mayne. Morrissey apparently is involved in a long-standing feud with The Cure lead singer/guitarist Robert Smith.

Vote for John Kerry and get rid of George Bush!" [3] (http://www.morrisseymusic.com/newsitem.asp?id=89). Don’t forget to vote. Please bring sanity and intelligence back to the United States. For non-Americans, the United States is suddenly not a very nice place to visit because US immigration officers — under the rules of Bush — now conduct themselves with all the charm and unanswerable indignation of Hitler’s SS.

It does not need to be said yet again, but Bush has single-handedly turned the United States into the most neurotic and terror-obsessed country on the planet. Jon Stewart would be ideal, but John Kerry is the logical and sane move. Morrissey's statement was "With all my heart I urge people to vote against George Bush. Bush for President.

In October 2004, Morrissey released a politically charged statement urging American voters to vote against George W. This new and rather unexpected fan base has even led to a new nickname for L.A.: Moz Angeles. In Los Angeles, Morrissey–who is known to many fans by the nickname "Moz"–has found a large Latino audience. The title of Coupland's book, "Girlfriend in a Coma", is also the title of a Smiths song, and several references to Smiths lyrics are scattered through the book.

Rowling, Bono, Noel Gallagher, Harry Hill, Craig Kilborn, Thom Yorke, Jonathan Ross, Douglas Coupland and Kathy Burke have all publicly stated they admire Morrissey's work. K. J. He responded he could only think of one great British album: For Your Pleasure by Roxy Music.

In June 2004 the British newspaper The Observer asked Morrissey what his top ten favourite British albums were. The song is seen by many as a rebuke of Section 28. In a 1997 interview to support the release of "Alma Matters", the lead single from Maladjusted, Morrissey cited "Shoplifters of the World Unite" as his favourite Smiths song.

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