Happy 58th Birthday Morrissey: Amoeba Music Celebrates Date With Instore 20% Sale Today On All Morrissey and The Smiths Items

Posted by Billyjam, May 22, 2017 10:17am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music wishes a very happy birthday to Morrissey who turns 58 today: May 22nd, 2017. In recognition of the celebratory occasion, Amoeba is throwing a 20% off sale on all Morrissey solo and The Smiths releases, as well as on all related items. Happening all day today the sale includes all formats (CD, vinyl, cassette, DVD etc.) and extends to any merch (T-shirts, posters, etc.) for Morrissey or The Smiths. [Note: This 20% off The Smiths / Morrissey sale is during business hours all day today, May 22nd, in each of the three Amoeba stores: Berkeley, San Francisco and Hollywood. Also note that there will be two other birthday related 20% sales later this week: Wednesday for Bob Dylan who turns 76 and Friday, May 26th, for the late Miles Davis]

On May 22nd, 1959  Steven Patrick Morrissey was born with "Irish Blood, English Heart" in Lancashire, England.  The uniquely talented singer/songwriter, known affectionately as Moz, first came to wide fame and acclaim between 1983 and 1984 with singles like "Hand In Glove," "This Charming Man," "What Difference Does It Make," and "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now." All of these were iconic singles by The Smiths: the short-lived band he formed in 1982 with guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. And although the band would break up in 1987 after only five years together their popularity never faltered over the years/decades since thanks to a combination of the influential indie band's solid back-catalog and Morrissey's consequent prolific solo career.  Scroll down to see both The Smiths and Morrissey's discographies. Also below are a series of videos capturing  highlights of the careers of The Smiths and of Morrissey solo as artist and as public figure: one known for his advocacy of such issues as animal rights and vegetarianism, and for never been afraid to speak his mind.

Always outspokenly honest, Morrissey's rapid-fire Q+A interview with Britain's Daily Mail newspaper over the weekend, while briefly concise, was both revelatory and highly entertaining. For example when asked about the last time he cried Morrissey replied, "The election of Predicament Trump. He’s a child impersonating an adult, isn’t he? And I can’t forgive him for the sugar-capped teeth and slippery smile of Kellyanne Conway." [Note that for last month's limited edition UK-only Smiths’ Record Store Day 7" vinyl of "The Queen is Dead (demo)" "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side" "Rubber Ring (Alt. Studio Vers)" there was an anti-Donald Trump message etched into the record's run-out groove]. Meanwhile in the recent Q+A when quizzed on what's the worst pain he's ever experienced in life, he shot back, "Being a teenager in Seventies Manchester." And on the question of what he sees as his own worst personal habit, he answered, "I side with anyone who takes the most cynical view." Read full article here.

A longtime fan of Morrissey and particularly The Smiths, I luckily got to see the band perform live in concert during their few rare Stateside visits back in the 80's. And in the years since the thing that always amazes me is how, to this very day, I regularly run into all types of music fans (hip-hop, funk, punk, jazz, whatever) who surprise me by professing a shared love of Morrissey and The Smiths. And I totally understand that appreciation. For me, unlike some other groups that I once loved back in the 80's, I have never tired of the music of the Smiths. On the contrary when I do go back and re-listen years later to either early solo Morrissey or particularly to The Smiths (Hatful Of Hollow is one of my desert island picks), I find myself enjoying the music even more. In revisiting Morrissey's layered lyrics many years later, I can appreciate all the nuances, in particular his dark humor, all the more. Although technically Brit-pop or indie-rock as they've typically been labelled, The Smiths and Morrissey are really "outsider" music that, oddly, so many can readily relate to.

Morrissey's true gift as a writer / lyricist is his uncanny ability to somehow connect on a universal level with the disenfranchised and marginalized. As front-person of The Smiths he cemented his unique artistic persona through his insightful dark wit, thought provoking poetry-like lyrics, his appreciation of such artists as Oscar Wilde, his vocal delivery prone to drift into falsetto, his sexually ambiguous persona and professed celibate practices, and unbridled outspokenness. Add to that, the band's always engaging & unusual singles/albums cover art which were unlike anything else at the time or since. And that to me is what distinguishes Morrissey as such a unique figure in popular music : akin to such other timeless talents as Prince or Bowie.

Consequently I am looking forward to seeing his biopic. Coming to the big screen this summer with a world premiere July 2nd at the Edinburgh Film Festival will be the unauthorized Morrissey biopic England Is Mine. Directed by Mark Gill with Jack Lowden playing Morrissey (see interview clip with actor below), the low-budget film traces the artist's early gloomy (pre-Smiths) years of growing up working class in the seventies in Salford in Greater Manchester. Reportedly England Is Mine, whose title is culled from a lyric in The Smiths’ 1984 track "Still Ill," ends when Morrissey first crosses paths with Johnny Marr (played by Laurie Kynaston).

In tribute to the unique talent of Morrissey solo and with The Smiths, below is are some music videos (solo + Smiths) and some select interview clips with the man. Also below is an album discography broken into his solo albums and Smiths ones including compilations and live albums. Note that while The Smiths' second album, 1984's Hatful of Hollow that followed the band's debut by a short few months, was technically a compilation/collection of singles and B-sides plus BBC Radio 1 studio recordings, it was considered by many music fans as a regular album much like the band's self-titled debut that preceded it in 1984 by just a few short months. In the years since their initial releases many of the albums (especially The Smiths) have been reissued and remastered on vinyl or CD such as 1990's Bona Drag which was reissued on vinyl last year. With the frequent reissue of these solo and Smiths albums (many via Rhino), luckily for us fans most of the releases remain readily available in physical versions.

The Smiths Album Discography (studio, live, & compilations)

1984 The Smiths (also avail on LP/vinyl) (Rough Trade)

1984 Hatful Of Hollow (compilation) (on LP/vinyl) (Rough Trade)

1985 Meat Is Murder (also on LP/vinyl) (Rough Trade)

1986 The Queen Is Dead (also avail on LP/vinyl) (Rough Trade)

1987 Strangeways Here We Come (compilation) (also avail on LP/vinyl) (Rough Trade)

1987 The World Won't Listen (compilation) (also avail on LP/vinyl) (Rough Trade)

1987 Louder Than Bombs (compilation) (also on LP/vinyl) (Rough Trade/Sire)

1988 Rank (live) (also avail on LP/vinyl) (Rough Trade/Sire)

1992 Best…I (compilation) (Sire/WEA)

1992 Best…II (compilation) (Sire/WEA)

1995 Singles (compilation) (Reprise/WEA)

2001 The Very Best of The Smiths (compilation) (WEA)

2008 The Sound of The Smiths (compilation) (WEA/Rhino)

2008 The Smiths: Singles Box (twelve 7" singles comp. set) (WEA)

2011 The Smiths: Complete (multi-format compilation set) (Rhino)

Morrissey Album (studio, live & compilation) Discography

1988 Viva Hate (HMV/Sire)

1990 Bona Drag (Warner) 20th Anniversary Edition  (Sire)

1991 Kill Uncle (HMV/Sire)

1992 Your Arsenal (also avail on LP/vinyl) (HMV/Sire)

1992 Beethoven Was Deaf (Live Album) (HMV/Sire)

1994 Vauxhall and I (also on LP/vinyl) (Parlaphone/Sire)

1995 Southpaw Grammar (RCA/Sire)

1997 Maladjusted (Island/Mercury)

2001 The Best of Morrissey (Rhino)

2004 You Are the Quarry (Sanctuary/Attack)

2005 Live at Earls Court (live album) (Sanctuary)

2006 Ringleader of the Tormentors (Sanctuary)

2008 Greatest Hits (Decca)

2009 Years of Refusal (also avail on LP/vinyl)  (Decca/Polydor)

2011 The Very Best of Morrissey CD/DVD (avail on LP/vinyl) (EMI)

2014 World Peace Is None of Your Business (Harvest/Capitol)

The Smiths "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now"

Morrissey "Suedehead"
The Smiths "How Soon Is Now"
Morrissey "Everyday Is Like Sunday"
The Smiths "This Charming Man"
Morrissey 1984 interview
Morrissey 2006 interview
The Smiths from BBC 2011 Rough Trade documentary

Scottish Actor Jack Lowden (who plays Morrissey) Talks About "England Is Mine" (2017)

Relevant Tags

The Smiths (41), Morrissey (45)