NUMBER 10: MORRISSEY
If you didn’t fit into society as a teenager, chances are at some point or another, you discovered the soulful lyrics of a band called The Smiths. Following that you would then turn to Morrissey’s solo work once you had been pleasured with the back catalog of The Smiths.
I’d first experienced The Smiths when sharing a bedroom with my elder brother in Sydney back in the mid 1980’s. He was into punk, scar, mod and all sorts of music. Maybe it was his hair, but Morrissey stood out like a sore thumb when The Smiths came onto late night or early morning music shows. We used to get re-runs of Top of The Pops from England and The Smiths were often turning up on a late night music jukebox called Rage which, may I say, still runs on ABC TV to this day. Anyway, I am most certain that the seeds of Morrissey were planted in my mind without me even knowing about it.
Fast forward to 1993 and, off the back of discovering Bowie, I began to search high and low for similar artists. The Cure popped up early as to did The Beatles and The Sex Pistols. Morrissey on the other hand was like a god like figure for my developing mind. I totally understood everything about him. I felt an instant connection to his lyrics and Your Arsenal was the first solo album of his I bought after exhausting my collection of Smiths albums. You see, Morrissey speaks to the outsiders of life. The people who just don’t fit in anywhere. The ones longing for and searching for their appropriate place in life. Morrissey, I can assure you, i most definitely their man of the hour!
Sadly, Morrissey fell out of favor after his impressive yet rejected 1995 album, Southpaw Grammar. Thankfully, in mid 2004 he returned with one of his best albums to date, You Are The Quarry and from there on his stocks once more rose and influenced a whole new generation of lost and bewildered teenagers. The thing is, Morrissey is an enigma. He’s also an acquired taste so the masses have never been able to understand him though I am grateful he has never been adopted by the mainstream.
I still to this day listen to his albums on a regular basis. He is a man who will forever hold a special place in my heart and is worthy of his positioning in my 39 people, places and things list. Viva Le Morrissey!