Morrissey: We’ll Let You Know

“We are the last truly British people you will ever know.”

We’ll let you know is the third track on Your Arsenal, and the first to catch my ear and call out: “Hey. Listen to me. I’m the sort of stuff you really like.” There is an extended musique concrète interlude that I consider to be an album highlight. It immediately reminded me of two other cherished sounds. Read more

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Morrissey: You’re Gonna Need Someone On Your Side

“… and here I am.”

The second of two Morrissey discs I bought at aka music on the weekend that it closed is 1992’s Your Arsenal, his third solo album apart from the Bona Drag singles compilation. This is the 10th disc in my #LastDayAtAKA series. Skipping over his second solo album, the morbidly titled Kill Uncle, I’ve lost a bit of the context for this one, but that won’t stop me from enjoying the music. Read more

Morrissey: Margaret On the Guillotine

“Make the dream real.”

Margaret on the Guillotine is the thirteenth and final track from Viva Hate. It hadn’t occurred to me until I looked it up that “Margaret” might refer to anyone of note. It’s a testament to how out-of-touch I am with British politics that I didn’t immediately catch the reference to then British Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party Margaret Thatcher. Read more

Morrissey: Dial-A-Cliché

“Grow up, be a man, and close your mealy-mouth.”

Dial-A-Cliché is the twelfth and penultimate track on Morrissey’s 1988 solo debut, Viva Hate. Though it was never a smash hit single, I was quickly drawn to its snarky title: the perfect retort to repetitive boilerplate lecture nonsense that young people can’t seem to avoid. The music is pensive and relaxing. Read more

Morrissey: Hairdresser on Fire

“You are repressed, but you’re remarkably dressed … and you’re always busy.”

Hairdresser on Fire is the next installment of Morrissey’s noun-preposition-noun song title series. If I didn’t have other things to do today, I’d go through all of my Smiths and Morrissey recordings and list all of the songs that follow this format. Maybe look for some common themes. 🤔

I believe Morrissey uses “on fire” here in the sporting sense of being productive and outpacing the competition—not in the literal sense of a hairdresser literally combusting, which is the image that came to my mind when I first read the title. Read more

Morrissey: Suedehead

“You can’t go home again.”

The seventh track on Viva Hate, Suedehead, was also Morrissey’s debut solo single after leaving The Smiths. It took some doing, but after about a week of repeated listenings to the full album, this is the first song from Viva Hate to get stuck in my head. Suedehead stands alongside Every Day Is Like Sunday as an album highlight. Read more

Morrissey: Bengali in Platforms

“Life is hard enough when you belong here.”

Bengali in Platforms is the fourth track from Viva Hate, directly following Every Day Is Like Sunday, and the first on the album to follow Morrissey’s familiar noun-preposition-noun song title format. I wasn’t about to spend a whole lot of time on this one until in came to my attention that some of the lyrics in it have been the cause of controversy due to a possible racist interpretation. I had to have another listen. Read more

Morrissey: Everyday is Like Sunday

“How I dearly wish I was not here.”

Everyday is Like Sunday is my pick for the highlight of Viva Hate. There’s nothing specific to say about why I like it, other than that it’s the third track on the album, the second released single from the album, and the first song that gave me that feeling of liking a song more than I like other songs. Read more

Morrissey: Alsatian Cousin

“P.S.: bring me home and have me”

Disc No. 9 in the #LastDayAtAKA series is Viva Hate, the solo debut from The Smiths’ former frontman, Steven Patrick Morrissey, better known as simply Morrissey. It is the first of two Morrissey albums I picked up at a.k.a. music on that fateful day in 2015.

Some of you may remember, back in 2015, I did a revue of all the Smiths and Morrissey albums I owned at the time. About I month after the conclusion of that revue was the last day at a.k.a music, where I bought these two additional albums, hoping eventually to post an addendum. Here we are at last, in 2018, I’m finally getting around to these albums. Read more

Robert Schneider, The Apples in Stereo: Non-Pythagorean Musical Scale

“As you go higher in the scale, they get closer together. … It’s kind of a weird scale.”

By far the most interesting inclusions on New Magnetic Wonder are frontman Robert Schneider’s two short Non-Pythagorean Compositions, numbered 1 and 3. Non-Pythagoran Composition 2 was included on the CD as an MP3 bonus track in the Enhanced CD. The Non-Pythagorean Compositions present on New Magnetic Wonder do sound like the short clips Mr. Schneider played in this video, but don’t seem to be up on YouTube in their own right. Read more