Morrissey cuts a more controversial figure than ever these days, now well past the point where anyone could feasibly even attempt to defend his offensive comments or totally unacceptable views. He has been reported as having said some truly shocking things in recent years, which none of us in our right minds would ever condone. To that end, for the sake of this article, I would like you to imagine, difficult as it may be, that after The Smiths split up there was nothing but an eerie silence, at least from one quarter of Manchester’s favourite sons.
Instead, let’s go back to a happier time – a simpler time when we found ourselves punching the air in delight at the lyrical genius of ‘Mozzer’, marvelling at the seemingly very intelligent, eloquent but shy, gangly...
Born Holles Street Hospital, Dublin, in
ELIZABETH ANNE DWYER
"With this broken voice I beseech you, my friends, to offer prayers of hope and prayers of intercession for the recovery of Elizabeth Anne Dwyer, who is my mother, who is in trouble, and who is the sole reason for all the good and motivational things in my life. I ask particularly my friends in Chile, Mexico, Italy, Peru, Paraguay, Brazil, the United States, Ecuador, Israel and Ireland to offer their prayers for Elizabeth - for she is all I have, and our collective pleas of petition might wake the sleeping gods.
She is me, and without her vahaan koee kal hal … there is no tomorrow. I ask no more of you… for there could be no more to ask."
Whatever you might make of his politics or his increasingly grumpy interventions into public life, there's no denying that during his time as frontman of The Smiths Morrissey was considered – quite rightly – to be one of the greatest lyricists of his generation. His post-Smiths work has been something of a mixed bag, but in a solo career that has so far produced 13 studio albums he has, every once in a while, turned in an album that reminds his fans why they keep the faith.
Of his first four solo albums, Vauxhall and I is one of his very best and includes one of his finest solo tracks in 'The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get'. The album joins our list of Vinyl Week exclusives this year with a new reissue pressed onto blue vinyl and limited to 1000 copies.
Tell Me is the next single to be released by Alain Whyte and both the video and song feature the debut of current band members (some of whom he’s worked with in the past in various bands. Most notably, Morrissey), Gary Day, Spencer Cobrin and Craig Gannon. Guesting on violin is Sophie Loyer.
The video/song was recorded both in the US and the UK during the era of COVID-19 as a lockdown offering. The song will be the lead track and featured single on the Tell Me EP. The release date is TBD.
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Actor, writer, producer and musician Michael Imperioli – best known for playing Christopher Moltisanti in <i>The Sopranos</i> – chooses his 13 favourite tracks, and discusses the use of music in the series. Simon Price listens in an unmarked van across the street.
The Smiths – 'Rubber Ring'
That's the first song I heard of theirs. It was, I guess, 1985 and I was at a friend's apartment New York and he had the big 12” 'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side', but he played the B-side first, which was 'Rubber Ring' and it ran right into 'Asleep'. I had never heard of The Smiths, and it was one of those experiences where that was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in my life. Like, there couldn't have been another song that would have been programmed to my brain waves better. I didn't know what it was, but it just blew my mind. The sound, the guitar, and Morrissey's voice and his lyrics, then it went into 'Asleep', which really...