Morrissey (born Steven Patrick Morrissey, 22.5.1959) Morrissey is an English singer and songwriter who first rose to fame as the enigmatic front man of 1980s band The Smiths.
Childhood: Morrissey was born in Urmston, Lancashire, to Peter and Elizabeth Morrissey, both Irish Catholic immigrants. He was raised, along with his older sister Jackie, in the Hulme area of Manchester. When the terraced streets began to be demolished, however, they moved to Stretford.
Morrissey developed an early interest in music and became fascinated with iconic singers such as Marianne Faithfull and Sandie Shaw, as well as movie icons like James Dean. Whilst he was a child, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley murdered a number of children in Manchester and this had a huge effect on him and his songwriting.
Morrissey's first ever gig was T. Rex at BelleVue in Manchester in 1972. Later in the 1970s, he became obsessed with the New York Dolls and set up a fan club for them. He also founded a fan club for The Cramps. He went on to form his own punk band, the Nosebleeds, with Billy Duffy, who went on to be in Southern Death Cult and The Cult.
The Author: In the early 1980s, Morrissey had two books published by Babylon Books, The New York Dolls and James Dean Is Not Dead.
The Smiths: Morrissey met John Maher (Johnny Marr) in 1982 and the pair began songwriting together. The drummer from The Fall, Simon Wolstencroft, drummed on their demo tapes but was replaced by Mike Joyce. Andy Rourke eventually joined on bass and they soon signed to Rough Trade Records, who released their debut single, 'Hand In Glove' in May 1983. The record was picked up by the BBC DJ John Peel and in February 1984, their debut album, The Smiths was released and went to number two in the UK album chart.
The band's second album, Meat Is Murder was the only studio album that reached number one in the UK album chart. In 1986, Andy Rourke was fired from the band for using heroin, though he was reinstated after two weeks. His temporary replacement, Craig Gannon, stayed in the band, on rhythm guitar. This five piece recorded the single 'Ask' with Kirsty MacColl on vocals. Gannon left the band in 1986 and the band left Rough Trade, signing a deal with EMI, much to the consternation of their fans.
The Smiths split shortly before the release of their fourth album, Strangeways, Here We Come.
Solo: Morrissey's debut solo album, Viva Hate was released in 1988. The album was produced by Stephen Street and also included Vini Reilly (of Durutti Column) and Andrew Paresi.
His second LP, Bona Drag, was a compilation of singles and B-sides and non-album tracks, such as 'November Spawned A Monster'.
Kill Uncle was Morrissey's next studio album and was produced by Clive Langer. Mark E. Nevin was brought on board as a songwriter. The band with whom he toured to promote the album later became his studio band for the next album, Your Arsenal, which was produced by Mick Ronson and included the Top 20 single 'We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful'.
Morrissey's second number one album came with 1994's Vauxhall & I. the album included the single 'The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get.' Despite saying at the time that he would quit after the album's release, he went on to record Southpaw Grammar, which reached number four in the UK album charts.
In 1997 - after a brief break due to a lengthy court case with Mike Joyce & Johnny Marr over The Smiths' royalties - Morrissey released the single 'Alma Matters', shortly before the album Maladjusted. Around this time, he moved to Los Angeles.
Morrissey took another, lengthier break from recording, until the release of You Are The Quarry on Attack Records. The lead single from the album was 'Irish Blood, English Heart', which reached number three in the UK singles chart. The album became one of the most successful of his career, selling over 1 million copies.
2006 saw the release of Ringleader of the Tormentors, which was recorded in Rome and featured the singles 'You Have Killed Me' and 'I Just Want To See the Boy Happy'. The album was recorded by previous David Bowie collaborator, Tony Visconti.
In 2007, it was rumoured that Morrissey may write the song for that year's Eurovision Song Contest but nothing came of his talks with the BBC on the matter. That same year, Morrissey ended his contract with Sanctuary Records and undertook a Greatest Hits tour, supported by Girl In A Coma and Kristeen Young.
'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' was the lead single from 2009's Years of Refusal.
Controversy & Personal Life: Morrissey has had a number of public feuds, with the likes of Robert Smith (The Cure) and Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers). When he took to the stage draped in a Union Jack at Madness' Madstock gig, he was accused of nationalism and of having far right political leanings.
In 2008, when NME pulled their financial support from a Love Music Hate Racism gig in London, Morrissey donated £75,000 to the event. This was following an NME interview with Tim Jonze in 2007, which implied that Morrissey still harboured racist ideas.
Morrissey is outspoken on the subject of vegetarianism and has been vegetarian since the age of 11.
For many years, the media has debated the subject of Morrissey's sexuality. In 1984, Johnny Marr stated that Morrissey was not sexually active at that time but that he had had plenty of girlfriends and male friends in the past.
OK Go are warning us of 'bad people on the rise'.
Ok Go appeared on 'The Late Late Show With James Corden' this week to play their brand new cover of Morrissey's 1989 single 'Interesting Drug'; a song for which they also released a video earlier this week addressing the current political state of the US.
OK Go perform live rendition of 'Interesting Drug'
The band performed last night (January 18th 2017) after unveiling a video to go with the track that features various clips of president-elect Donald Trump speaking at conventions, as well as shots of him and his associates on the front of newspapers. The song features on their latest album 'Hungry Ghosts'.
Continue reading: OK Go Channel Morrissey With Cover Of 'Interesting Drug'
Morrissey has allowed PETA to use The Smiths' 1985 track for the purposes of a new mobile-friendly video game, titled 'The Beautiful Creature Must Die'.
British indie legends The Smiths have teamed up with animal rights group PETA to create a new video game based on the group’s 1985 song ‘Meat Is Murder’.
The track, from the Mancunian group’s album of the same name, has long been an anthem for vegetarians and has been specially rendered in 8-bit form, with the song playing in the background as players get to save cows, chickens, pigs and turkeys from being killed in a slaughterhouse as bombs fall in all direction. The retro-styled game, titled 'The Beautiful Creature Must Die', has been created in partnership with tech firm This Is Pop.
Morrissey has given permission for PETA to use 'Meat Is Murder' in a new video game
Continue reading: The Smiths And PETA Team Up For 'Meat Is Murder' Mobile Game
The two artists had collaborated together in the early 90s.
Kate Bush has penned a heartfelt tribute to Prince, following his untimely death last Thursday (April 21st). The notoriously private star took to her website to share her sadness over his death, describing the singer as ‘playful and mind-blowingly gifted’.
Kate Bush has paid tribute to Prince following his death on April 21st.
“I am so sad and shocked to hear the tragic news about Prince,” Bush wrote. “He was the most incredibly talented artist. A man in complete control of his work from writer and musician to producer and director. He was such an inspiration.”
Continue reading: Kate Bush Posts Heartfelt Tribute To Prince
Franco and his band Daddy will release an album titled 'Let Me Get What I Want’.
Actor James Franco and his band Daddy have signed a record deal to release an album and film inspired by The Smiths. The album will be titled Let Me Get What I Want in reference to The Smiths' song 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’ and will be released in 2016 through Kobalt records.
James Franco and his band Daddy will release a Smiths inspired album.
Daddy is comprised of the actor and multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Keefe, while the album will also feature actual Smiths' bassist Andy Rourke playing on every track. Franco has previously written poetry influenced by The Smiths’ music and will use them as the basis for the album.
Continue reading: James Franco Signs Record Deal For The Smiths Inspired Album
The former Smiths front man plays London’s Eventim Apollo on September 20th and 21st.
Morrissey has said that his forthcoming London dates are likely to be the last time he ever plays in the UK. The former Smiths frontman, who released album World Peace Is None of Your Business last year, is currently without a record deal after a fallout with label Harvest Records.
Morrissey could be done with playing live in the UK.
In a message posted to his fansite True to You Morrissey said, "There is absolutely no way that we can generate any interest from record labels in the United Kingdom, therefore the imminent two nights at Hammersmith are likely to be our final ever UK shows.”
Continue reading: Morrissey Says Upcoming London Shows Are Likely To Be His Last
‘List of the Lost’ follows the singer’s 2013 memoirs.
Morrissey will publish his debut novel titled List of the Lost next month, according to the singer's fansite 'True To You'. The novel is the former Smiths frontman’s first foray into fiction and comes two years after the publication of his best-selling memoir Autobiography.
Morrissey will publish his debut novel in September.
A post on the fansite reads, ‘Morrissey’s first novel, List of the Lost, will be published by Penguin Books (UK) at the end of September. The book will be issued in softcover/paperback as a New Fiction title, and comes almost two years after Morrissey’s very successful Autobiography publication of October 2013.’
The former Smiths frontman has also attacked his label Harvest for showing ‘zero intrest’ in his recent Msg show.
Morrissey has announced he’ll be headed back to the UK later this year, to play three shows in September. The 56 year old is currently on an 18-city tour of North America which included a headlining gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden last weekend.
Morrissey has announced a handful of UK live dates.
Morrissey will pay Hull Arena on September 18th, followed by a two night stint at London's Eventim Hammersmith Apollo on September 20th and 21st. Noticeably absent from the list is a gig in the singer’s home city of Manchester, which was also left out from his last UK tour. Tickets for all three shows go on sale next Friday (July 10).
Continue reading: Morrissey Announces Three UK Dates For September
Morrissey congratulated Ireland on its historic referendum, but says the country still has work to do.
Morrissey has congratulated Ireland on its historic referendum result on gay marriage, though there's a "must do better" caveat. The former Smiths frontman shared a message on the True To You blog on Sunday after Ireland had voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage.
Morrissey praised Ireland - but said the country still has work to do
In the message under the headline 'Congratulations to Ireland', Morrissey wrote: "The people, once again, teach the church. The people, once again, teach the politicians."
Continue reading: Morrissey Congratulates Ireland On Gay Marriage..But There's A Caveat.
Morrissey has written to Al Gore concerning meat and dairy products at the upcoming Live Earth events.
Morrissey, the former Smiths frontman and animal rights activist, has written an open letter to climate change campaigner Al Gore and Live Earth 2015 founder Kevin Wall to request that meat and dairy products are not served at the upcoming concerts.
Morrissey is a fervent animal rights campaigner
"Serving meat and dairy products at an event to combat climate change is like selling pistols at a gun-control rally," Morrissey wrote. "Your responsibility is to alert people to a crisis, not sell out to the vendors responsible for it."
Continue reading: Morrissey Writes To Al Gore To Take Meat Off The Menu At Live Earth 2015
Always one to give great copy, the legendary former Smiths frontman attacked the current trend among indie artists for crowdsourced music.
Legendary indie music icon Morrissey has spoken out against crowdsourcing in pop. Currently without a record deal and having a reputation for falling out with record label bosses over the years, the star has vowed never to resort to raising money online as a means of making new music.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, the Mozfather took aim at artists who use the internet to source the money for album projects. “It is a desperate measure, and insulting to your audience,” he railed. “We have already provided sufficient amounts of money. What is the next thing you're going to ask?”
Morrissey performing live in London, 2014
Continue reading: Morrissey Derides Crowdsourced Music As "Desperate" And "Insulting"