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)

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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. Some examples of other mystics:. Several of his releases have charted on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Some examples of Jewish mystics:. "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" is the only Morrissey single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Some examples of Muslim mystics (also called sufi):. For his albums and singles releases with The Smiths, see this page. Some examples of Christian mystics:.

[2] (http://www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.co.uk/News/news.asp?id=675&action=more). Some examples of Hindu mystics:. 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. Examples of major traditions and philosophies with strong elements of mysticism are:. Bush had died. [1] (http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/s/119/119298_morrissey_comments_spark_bush_fire.html). At the end of the 20th Century books like Conversations With God (a series of books which describes what the author claimed to be his experience of direct communication with God) hit the bestseller lists. 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. This trend later became absorbed in the rise of the New Age movement which included a major surge in the popularity of astrology.

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. Madame Blavatsky and Gurdjieff functioned as central figures of the theosophy movement. The single reached No.3 in its first week of sales in the UK Official Charts. Theosophy became a major movement in the popularization of these interests. The first single, "Irish Blood, English Heart" debuted on KROQ on March 22, 2004 and was released internationally on May 10, 2004. The late 19th century saw an significant increase of interest in mysticism in the West that combined with increased interest in Occultism and Eastern Philosophy. Guitarist Alain Whyte described the work as a mix between Your Arsenal and Vauxhall and I, and the album has received strong reviews. [1] (http://chastitysf.guidetopsychology.com/guide.htm).

Morrissey's latest, titled You Are the Quarry was released on May 17, 2004 (but one day later in the US). In Catholic traditions, mystical theology is informed by revelation, which averts an apparent tendency to become lost in formless thought. Christian mystics, too, are obligated to obey the forms of ascetical and moral theology, as following Christ is their primary objective, rather than seeking mystical experiences for their own sake. He was given the one-time reggae label Attack Records as a platform to record new material and, reportedly, to sign new artists. In his work, Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem, a prominent 20th century scholar of that field, stated: The Kabbalah is not a single system with basic principles which can be explained in a simple and straightforward fashion, but consists rather of a multiplicity of different approaches, widely separated from one another and sometimes completely contradictory.. In June, 2003 Sanctuary Records group announced a deal with Morrissey. Readers frequently encounter seemingly open-ended statements among studies of mysticism, throughout its history, for example in Taoist thought and in studies of Kabbalah. 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. Thomas Aquinas' mystical experiences all occurred squarely within the love of the Catholic Eucharist.

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. For example, St. 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. In some definite cases, theology remains a distinct source of insight that guides and informs the mystical experience. Between 1999 and 2003, Morrissey was unable to find a record contract at all (at least one that satisfied his demands). For example, Christian mystics, through the centuries, have not decided that Jesus is not God after all: in other words, not all mysticism results in syncretism. Though his large and loyal fan base follow his every move, his albums since 1996 had great trouble reaching a wider audience. Some systems of mysticism are found within specific religious traditions and do not relinquish doctrinal principles as a part of mystical experience.

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. Mystical philosophies thus can exhibit a strong tendency towards syncretism. Composition duties were split between guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte, who have been the core of Morrissey's band ever since. The Vedic tradition is inherently mystic; the Christian apocalyptic Book of Revelation is clearly mystical, as with Ezekiel's or Daniel's visions of Judaism, and Muslims believe that the angel Gabriel inspired the Qur'an in a mystical manner. Indigenous cultures also have cryptic revelations pointing toward a universal flow of love or unity, usually following a vision quest or similar ritual. The band he assembled for 1992's hit album Your Arsenal sharply renewed his sound and sales success with a fresh, American rockabilly sound. Some mystics perceive a common thread of influence in all mystic philosophies that they see as traceable back to a shared source. 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). Elements of mysticism exist in most religions and in many philosophies.

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". Based on extraordinary perception, mystics may believe that one can find true unity of religion and philosophy in mystical experience. 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. Mystics of different traditions report similar experiences of a world usually outside conventional perception, although not all forms of mysticism abandon knowledge perceived through normal means. 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). Historically in some cultures and traditions, mind-altering substances -- often referred to as entheogens -- have had a place as a 'guide'; others use rituals and methods such as meditation, self-reflection or self-enquiry. 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.. Some mystics use the term to refer to a manner wherein the mystic plumbs the depths of the self and reality in a radical process of meditative self-discovery to discover the true nature of reality experientially.

Morrissey's ambiguous sexuality, provocative iconoclasm, and lyrical compositions blended with guitarist Johnny Marr's highly melodic songwriting to sell many recordings. In philosophy, the term Perennial Philosophy is used, and relates to a primary concern:. The Smiths are viewed by many as one of the most influential bands of the 1980s post-punk era. This causes the subjectivist tendency of mysticism to be curtailed, as experiences not aligned with truths otherwise known are discarded. 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. In Catholicism the mystical experience is not sought for its own sake, and is always informed by revelation and ascetical theology. 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. Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic mystic of the 13th century, defined it as cognitio dei experimentalis (experiential knowledge of God).

Exit Smiling (Babylon Books; 1998 [written in 1980, discusses a number of Morrissey's favourite, obscure B-movie actors] ISBN 0-907188-47-8). St. James Dean Is Not Dead (Babylon Books; 1983, 19842, 19973 ISBN 0-907188-06-0). One can receive these very subjective experiences as visions, dreams, revelations, prophecies, and so forth. The New York Dolls (Babylon Books; 1981, 19952 ISBN 0-907188-50-8). Theistic, pantheistic, and panentheistic classical pantheist/cosmotheist metaphysical systems most often understand mystical experience as individual communion with a god or goddess. Who Put the M in Manchester? (2005). Many assert that the triggering of such experience can involve ritual prayer and contemplations focused on such union, or may sometimes occur spontaneously with some individuals.

!Oye Estaban! (2000). Among these the idea of union or interrelationship of oneself and of all mortal beings with the ultimate imperishable being is often declared to be something that can be experienced in profound, definite, and personally undeniable ways, rather than something that is merely conjectured. The Malady Lingers On (1992). Different traditions adopt a range of intellectual or rational assessments of what is likely, possible, provable, approvable, or factual. Live in Dallas (1992). A wide range of perspectives occur among spiritual traditions and beliefs which embrace direct experiential knowledge of God, Divinity, or Ultimate Reality. Hulmerist (1990). In the context of epistemology, it can refer to using any kind of non-rational means, such as feeling or faith, in attempt to arrive at any kind of knowledge or belief.

2005 "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" / "Redondo Beach". Mysticism (ancient Greek mysticon = secret) is meditation, prayer, or theology focused on the direct experience of union with divinity, God, or Ultimate Reality, or the belief that such experience is a genuine and important source of knowledge. 2004 "I Have Forgiven Jesus" #10. Zen Buddhism. 2004 "Let Me Kiss You" #8. Yoga. 2004 "First of the Gang to Die" #6. Vedantic Hinduism.

2004 "Irish Blood, English Heart" #3. Transcendentalist Unitarianism. 1998 "Satan Rejected My Soul" #39. Tibetan Buddhism. 1997 "Roy's Keen" #42. Taoism. 1997 "Alma Matters" #16. Sufic Islam.

1995 "Sunny" #42. Quakerism in its theology. 1995 "The Boy Racer" #36. Near Death Experiences. 1995 "Dagenham Dave" #26. The New Age movement

    . 1995 "Boxers" #23. Native American Ghost Dances of the late Nineteenth Century were mystical in origin.

    1994 "Interlude" (with Siouxsie) #25. Mystery religions and cults. 1994 "Hold on to Your Friends" #47. Mormonism, being founded on visions, revelations, and angelic ordination. 1994 "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" #8 (#46 US). Judaic Kabbalah. 1992 "Certain People I Know" #35. Eastern Orthodox Hesychasm.

    1992 "You're the One for Me, Fatty" #19. Christian mysticism. 1992 "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful" #17. Christian Gnosticism. 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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