Music

Top 10 essential Morrissey

Ben Marshall isn’t just the newly appointed curator of Vivid LIVE – he’s also a huge Morrissey fan. So when none other than Moz was announced as the first act for Vivid – he’ll play four shows in May at the Opera House Concert Hall – we thought who better to put a playlist together of his post-Smiths career than the man that brought him here. The festival of light, music and ideas takes place from May 22 to June 8.

1. ‘Suedehead’

The 1988 first post-Smiths single. It’s three minutes, 53 seconds of jangly pop perfection, hitting #45 in Australia (back when you really had to sell records to chart). Also notable for featuring super producer Stephen Street on bass and guitar and Factory Records stalwart and all-round good guy Vini Reilly (The Durutti Column) on guitar and keyboards.

2. Speedway

Powerful closing track from the masterful 1994 Vauxhall & I album – check the shredding buzzsaw 20 seconds in, confounding the sonic palette you were expecting and the self-effacing lyric “All of the rumours, keeping me grounded/I never said, I never said they were completely unfounded”. Though it doesn’t stop the defiance at the end because “I’ve always been true to you, in my strange way”. Presumably this song also inspired the name of the uber-fan site and unofficial Morrissey posting board www.true-to-you.net.

3. ‘Every Day Is Like Sunday’

Inspired by a novel about a group of people in Melbourne waiting for nuclear devastation (Neville Shute’s On the Beach if you’re interested) – they tend not to make pop singles like this anymore. Also perhaps the most perfect Morrissey-esque song title since ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’.

4. ‘You’re Gonna Need Someone On Your Side’

Muscular, low-slung, rockabilly-style driving opener from the highly regarded 1992 album Your Arsenal and a great marker that Morrissey needn’t be surrounded by a Smiths sounding context to sound sensational.

5. ‘We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful’

Perhaps inspired by Gore Vidal’s vicious and perceptive quip that “Every time a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies”, this is a glam inspired, Spider from Mars-produced (Mick Ronson) ode to deliberate bitchiness complete with slow clapping style sarcastic laughter from Moz himself. What’s not to like? And remember, his funny songs are usually poignantly sad, and his sad songs often damn funny.

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