Morrissey, 55 years of pursuing intellect in recorded noise


Morrissey, 55 years of pursuing intellect in recorded noise

Alejandro De Luna

“I´ve come to wish you an unhappy birthday…”

Morrissey lists

Just a couple of days ago, I wrote a text on Morrissey´s comeback, one more on You Are The Quarry´s tenth anniversary [Spanish only], and another one on The Smiths´debut album, but today there´s a different reason to celebrate the pop icon and poet that changed the lives of many people. Today, the godfather of melancholia and wit becomes 55.

Everybody has pop/rock heroes, but in the case of Morrissey, his legacy goes beyond pop-like stereotypes or clichés. His songs/poems are open windows through moments of wisdom and/or situations that should concern us as conscious and thoughtful (?) beings. Since 1982, Morrissey´s using the vocal melody and pop music to speak about meaningful and serious subjects like very few artists did in the past. To this day, Morrissey is one of the few musicians (maybe the only one) with a coherent and thoughtful point of view towards many of the atrocities in the world (and yes, trolls, it goes even further than “meat is murder”.)

I never listened to an intelligent argument that do not uncovers ignorance, homophobic hate or lack of knowledge on the subject when somebody´s criticizing The Smiths/Morrissey´s music or even worse, his lyrics. It´s true that the man had some confusing moments (like any other genius), but his catalogue reveals one of the most honest – with tons of black humor – and brainy legacies in the history of popular music.  It´s ok if the hordes of haters are still out there, because his music, voice and lyrics were never meant to like everybody. It´s not that simple than with The Beatles, but indeed his music and lyrics deserves more than just a quick look. Maybe I´m asking too much as we live in the spotify age where the concept of listening to music as a whole´s gone. Also, this is not a dictatorial argument. If you don´t like Morrissey´s totally fine, but would love to hear some thoughtful arguments.

But beyond repeating statements that I wrote before, there´s a better way to celebrate Manchester´s legend: to go deep (not so deep) into lists made by the man himself (Morrissey loves to compile vestiges of pop culture) where he choose his favorite songs, albums and singers of all time.

If you want to go really deep, there´s no better way to go than with Simon Goddard´s Mozipedia or  Songs That Save Your Life.  If you want to read it from the man´s pen and paper,  just get his Autobiography.

 

“Singles To Be Cremated With” (“Headful Of Heroes” in the NME of 16 September 1989)

  • The World’s Loneliest Man – Vince Eager
  • Don’t Take The Lovers From The World – Shirley Bassey
  • What A Nice Way To Turn 17 – The Crystals
  • There, I’ve Said It Again – Sam Cooke
  • Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets – Dionne Warwick
  • Strange, I Know – The Marvelettes
  • Third Finger, Left Hand – Martha Reeves And The Vandellas
  • I Take It Back – Sandy Posey
  • Heart – Rita Pavone
  • Shoes – Reparata
  • Terry – Twinkle
  • Attack – The Toys
  • I’ve Been A Bad, Bad Boy – Paul Jones
  • Insult To Injury – Timi Yuro

“Morrissey’s top eight tracks as a castaway”

  • “(There’s Gonna Be a) Showdown” – New York Dolls from Too Much Too Soon
  • “Come and Stay With Me” – Marianne Faithfull from Tears Go By/Stay With Me
  • “Loudmouth” – The Ramones from Ramones: All The Stuff (and More)
  • “The Black Angel’s Death Song” – The Velvet Underground from The Velvet Underground & Nico
  • “Der Nussbaum” (YouTube audio) – Klaus Nomi from Klaus Nomi: The Collection
  • “I’m Not Saying” – Nico from Folk Rock & Faithful: Dream Babes, Vol. 5
  • “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell” – Iggy & The Stooges from Raw Power
  • “Sea Diver” – Mott the Hoople from All The Young Dudes

“Under The Influence” (June 2004)

  • The Sundown Playboys: “Saturday Nite Special”
  • The New York Dolls: “Trash”
  • Nat Couty: “Woodpecker Rock”
  • Diana Dors: “So Little Time”
  • Ludus: “Breaking The Rules”
  • Charlie Feathers: “One Hand Loose”
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex: “Great Horse”
  • Jimmy Radcliffe: “(There Goes) The Forgotten Man”
  • Jaybee Wasden: “De Castrow”
  • Ramones: “Judy Is A Punk”
  • Sparks: “Arts & Crafts Spectacular”
  • The Cats: “Swan Lake”
  • Nico: “All That Is My Own”
  • Patti Smith: “Hey Joe”
  • Klaus Nomi: “Death”

Morrissey’s 13 Favorite Songs Of All Time

  • 13 Mr Bloe – “Groovin With Mr Bloe” (1970)
  • 12 Roxy Music – “Do The Strand” (1978)
  • 11 The Supremes – “I’m Livin’ In Shame” (1968)
  • 10 Paul Jones – “I’ve Been A Bad, Bad Boy” (1967)
  • 09 The Crystals – “All Grown Up” (1962)
  • 08 Shocking Blue – “Mighty Joe” (1970)
  • 07 Al Martino – “Granada” (1961)
  • 06 Buffy Sainte-Marie – “Soldier Blue” (1971)
  • 05 The Tams – “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” (1968)
  • 04 Bob & Marcia – “Young, Gifted and Black” (1970)
  • 03 The Sundown Playboys – “Saturday Nite Special” (1972)
  • 02 Sparks -“This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us” (1974)
  • 01 New York Dolls – “Jet Boy” (1973)

Morrissey’s 13 Favorite Albums Of All Time

  • Jobriath – Jobriath
  • Jeff Buckley – Grace
the
  • Smoking Popes – Born To Quit
  • Damien Dempsey – Seize The Day
  • Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure
  • The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico
  • The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat
  • Sparks – Kimono My House
  • Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power
  • Nico – Chelsea Girl
  • Patti Smith – Horses
  • Ramones – Ramones
  • New York Dolls – New York Dolls

“Morrissey’s of which I am most proud (albums)” (Dec 2011)

  • Years of Refusal
  • Ringleader of the Tormentors
  • You Are The Quarry
  • Vauxhaull and I
  • Strangeways Here We Come
  • Rank
  • Louder Than Bombs
  • Bona Drag
  • Southpaw Grammar
  • Your Arsenal

“Morrissey’s of which I am most proud (singles)” (January 2012)

  • First Of The Gang To Die
  • Irish Blood, English Heart
  • I´m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
  • That´s How People Grow Up
  • Panic
  • Girlfriend in a Coma
  • Let Me Kiss You
  • Everyday Is Like Sunday
  • You Have Killed Me
  • All You Need Is Me

Morrissey´s most revered singles (1 January 2014)

  • Al Martino
  • Bobby Hatfield
  • Philippe Wynne
  • Klaus Nomi
  • Timi Yuro
  • General Johnson
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • Elvis Presley
  • Levis Stubbs
  • Damien Dempsey
  • Matt Monro
  • Dawn Upshaw
  • Melanie Safka

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