Vauxhall And I
On the eve of his much-anticipated new album, Morrissey’s record label Parlaphone has released a 20th anniversary definitive master of possibly his finest offering.
Many dismiss the former Smith as “miserable”, but the truth is he is also funny, romantic, gentle and scathing – and all these traits come to the fore in this 1994 number one album.
His fourth long player is brimming with flawless quality, especially the sweeping Hold On To Your Friends, which is one of my all-time Mozzer favourites.
The top ten single The More You Ignore Me sounds as fresh now as it did 20 years ago and Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself? is another highlight.
Scathing Morrissey comes out to play on Lazy Sunbathers and Spring-Heeld Jim, whereas only the imagination of the Manchester singer could come up with the haunting yet totally unsentimental Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning.
There’s self deprecation too with Used To Be A Sweet Boy, Now My Heart Is Full and I Am Hated For Loving.
And then there’s the romp-along ode to rejected romantics that is Billy Budd.
If you’re a Morrissey fan , it’s worth getting this for the better sound and a previousy unreleased 1995 live concert bonus CD.
If you’re not familiar with his early work, then this is a fantastic place to start.