I always sigh when a Morrissey or Smiths song pops up on Random iTunes Weekends, bracing myself for the bashing to come from my regular readers.
I need to find a pocket of Smiths fans to whom I can market the blog on these occasions, so the lovers can drown out the haters.
‘Glamorous Glue’ is a track from Morrissey’s best solo album, 1992’s Your Arsenal. This one of several albums that will always remind me of the year I met my wife.
Well, I guess the Random iTunes Fairy is on a Smiths kick, or at least a Morrissey kick. ‘Papa Jack’ is a cut from the mopey crooner’s 1997 solo album Maladjusted.
This song appeared on only the early releases of that album, making it a bit of a collector’s item. Perhaps I’ll sell my copy one day and retire on the proceeds, as I might have done with my childhood Star Wars toys had my mother not given them away to a neighbor’s kid. (Just checking to see if you’re reading, mom!)
I know I don’t have a lot of fellow Morrissey and Smiths fans in these parts, but I was thrilled to have today’s Random Weekend SOTD pop into my headphones.
‘We’ll Let You Know,’ from Morrissey’s best solo album, Your Arsenal, is a tribute/takedown (depending on whom you ask) of British football hooligans, and an extraordinarily effective piece of work.
I know Morrissey is not very popular in these parts, but ‘Hairdresser On Fire’ is another example of why I dig him so much.
Morrissey’s sound, both solo and with The Smiths, is so distinct. Plenty of bands have imitated, or drawn inspiration from, that sound but nobody has done it as well.
‘Bengali in Platforms’ is a track from Morrissey’s solo debut, 1988’s Viva Hate, an album released just six months after the final Smiths’ album (Strangeways, Here We Come).
Viva Hate was the start of a strong solo run for Morrissey, and proof that even after the unfortunate demise of The Smiths, at least one half of the Morrissey/Marr partnership would continue to thrive.
Morrissey’s seventh solo album, 2004’s You Are the Quarry, was released seven years after his sixth. Considering he released all six of those records over the course of nine years, that was a major hiatus.
I didn’t really take to You Are the Quarry the way I did to Morrissey’s previous efforts. Whether that’s due to me or him, I don’t know. It could be I just wasn’t in the same mood or mindframe that made me a huge fan a decade earlier. Or perhaps it’s simpler than that, and the songs just weren’t as good.
Best Albums of the 90s – #13
Your Arsenal – Morrissey (1992)
Three albums in my top 13 were released in 1992. As I’ve written more than a few times on this blog, that year was a musical touchstone for me in large part because it was a year of major life changes.
Two of the albums from ’92 that appear here are excellent in their own right but wouldn’t necessarily have earned a spot in the top 20 if they didn’t have such powerful personal associations. The third scores very high on both the personal and artistic scale, but I’ll get to that one in due time.