The second track on Morrissey’s solo debut, 1987’s Viva Hate, ‘Little Man, What Now?’ takes its title from a 1932 German novel (later adapted into movies in both Germany and the United States). The song’s lyrics have nothing to do with the plot of the novel, however.
Instead, this short tune memorializes the career of a child star who faded into obscurity after reaching adulthood.
This track appears on Morrissey’s 1994 album Vauxhall and I, his fourth solo release.
The four Smiths albums plus Morrissey’s first four solo records make up the universe of my appreciation for him and the band. I listened to his next couple of releases with diminishing enthusiasm, and jumped off the bandwagon entirely by the mid-2000’s. I’m surprised to see that Morrissey released his 13th (!) solo album just this year.
‘Suedehead’ is the first single from Morrissey’s first solo album, 1988’s Viva Hate. The Smiths had released their final album and split up the year before.
The song, about a brief fling that leads to an unwelcome obsession, wound up charting higher than any song The Smiths ever released, and higher than any song Morrissey would ever release as a solo artist.
Morrissey kicked off a successful solo career following the disbanding of The Smiths in 1987. He has released 11 albums in the three decades since, though the most interesting output came during the late 80s through mid 90s.
For my money, his best solo albums are his 1988 debut, Viva Hate, and his third album, 1992’s Your Arsenal, easily his best work. Sandwiched between them was 1991’s Kill Uncle, an oddly endearing record that I rank as my #9 album of 1991.
Morrissey is a glutton for punishment. I don’t mean that his lyrics are full of him wallowing in misery, though that’s certainly true, too. I mean that he keeps popping up on Random iTunes Weekends despite the fact that I am the only fan of his who reads this blog.
Today’s track is the ninth Random Weekend appearance by Morrissey, and that doesn’t count anything by The Smiths. Continue reading