Morrissey's 'Viva Hate' Turns 30: How His Solo Debut Predicted His Post-Smiths Career - Billboard

Morrissey's 'Viva Hate' Turns 30: How His Solo Debut Predicted His Post-Smiths Career - Billboard
by Kenneth Partridge 14th March, 2018.

Excerpt:

"In his days as the headstrong, enigmatic lead singer of The Smiths, the most important U.K. guitar band of the ‘80s, Morrissey wasn't itching to go solo. Why would he? The band was defined by his peculiar psychology—narcissism tempered by self-effacement topped with a wicked sense of humor—and driven by a genius guitarist, Johnny Marr, with no desire for the spotlight. It was a nice arrangement.

When Marr left The Smiths in 1987, ending the group’s run after four brilliant albums, Morrissey felt bewildered and betrayed. “The split is our final loss of innocence,” Moz writes in Autobiography, the 2013 memoir that reveals little about what actually what actually broke up indie’s Leiber and Stoller. To make matter worse, Morrissey soon learned he was contractually obligated to give EMI another album. Such was the impetus for his debut solo, Viva Hate, released 30 years ago today (March 14, 1988)."


I was thinking about this earlier and... along comes an article!
An album most of us hold dear for innumerable reasons.
Happy birthday Viva Hate.
(Happy 24th birthday Vauxhall And I too - no article, but not forgotten).
Regards,
FWD.


Shoplifterromo also sends the link:

Viva Morrissey: Our June 1988 Cover Story - SPIN
Morrissey appeared on the June 1988 cover of SPIN. In honor of the 30th anniversary of his debut solo album Viva Hate, we've digitized the feature here.


Post in the MORRISSEY Facebook group:


 
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vanetta

New Member
It's just wrong that he was the only one contractually obligated to make another album, don't you think? That doesn't seem like something that would be overlooked. Thank goodness for the error.
 

Alex Spragens

aldamasta
Bengali in Platforms is without doubt the most beautiful song on Viva Hate. Music, lyrics, production, everything. Those who perceive its message as somehow offensive are mistaken - it's actually quite empathetic to the immigrant experience of alienation.
Thank you! I have always thought the hate over it was unwarranted, both musically and in light of xenophonic comments. It has certainly helped me through some times when I felt that life was hard even though I "belong" here... Viva Hate!
 
T

Truth

Guest
Can we just forget Bengali In Platforms? I know I did when I wrote that I still like every song. Everything that can be said about it has been. I don't mean to be an "SJW" but don't tell me that it's "empathetic to the immigrant experience." If Morrissey didn't have a record of making comments about the "floodgates" of immigration maybe you could make that case.
I wish you would just say that you don't care or that he has a right to his opinion. He does.
"Shelve your Western plans" means quite clearly that if you're thinking of coming here (England) you're making a mistake. Why? Well, because "life is hard enough when you belong here" and if you're "Bengali" then you do not.
Nothing could be more plain.
 

evennow

Writers on the storm
Here was the Tracklisting:
1. Alsatian Cousin, 2. Little Man What Now?, 3. Everyday Is Like Sunday, 4. Bengali In Platforms
5. Angel Angel Down We Go Together, 6. Late Night Maudlin Street [SIDE B] 7. Suedehead, 8. Break Up The Family, 9. Hairdresser on Fire, 10. The Ordinary Boys, 11. I Don't Mind If You Forget Me, 12. Dial-A-Cliche, 13. Margaret On the Guillotine.

This to me was the strength of his music back then. Album tracks that were strong and carried me through the entire record beyond the hits/singles like Everyday, Suedehead and Hairdresser. I really came into The Smiths at the Strangeways period and when Viva Hate came out it seemed a continuation of what I loved about Strangeways.

Reaching back to explore the past and looking forward to what he would be bringing next was the best time in my life musically. So much great music to come that could not have been imagined, but anticipated and welcomed.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Can we just forget Bengali In Platforms? I know I did when I wrote that I still like every song. Everything that can be said about it has been. I don't mean to be an "SJW" but don't tell me that it's "empathetic to the immigrant experience." If Morrissey didn't have a record of making comments about the "floodgates" of immigration maybe you could make that case.
I wish you would just say that you don't care or that he has a right to his opinion. He does.
"Shelve your Western plans" means quite clearly that if you're thinking of coming here (England) you're making a mistake. Why? Well, because "life is hard enough when you belong here" and if you're "Bengali" then you do not.
Nothing could be more plain.

What total bollocks. It's a song lyric - lyrics, as a form of poetic expression, are never plain. Is 'Hickory, dickory, dock, the mouse ran up the clock' plain to you?
I have always heard the song as a brief portrait - and a fairly sympathetic one - of a kid who is trying very hard to fit in. My guess is that is something that Moz understood very well as a kid and empathises with in the song. I have never heard it as anything to do with immigration. The 'belong here' I think is full of irony. Did Moz feel that he 'belonged' in Manchester? Pretty much everything he has said and done in his life suggests that he felt about at home in Manchester as a fish in the desert. That's as plain to me as the nose on your face.
 

Malade

New Member
"Carry On Teacher" was given another showing recently on TV, featuring Ted Ray as the headmaster of the highly dysfunctional Maudlin Street.



Still a great album (and a great film).
 
T

Truth

Guest
What total bollocks. It's a song lyric - lyrics, as a form of poetic expression, are never plain. Is 'Hickory, dickory, dock, the mouse ran up the clock' plain to you?
I have always heard the song as a brief portrait - and a fairly sympathetic one - of a kid who is trying very hard to fit in. My guess is that is something that Moz understood very well as a kid and empathises with in the song. I have never heard it as anything to do with immigration. The 'belong here' I think is full of irony. Did Moz feel that he 'belonged' in Manchester? Pretty much everything he has said and done in his life suggests that he felt about at home in Manchester as a fish in the desert. That's as plain to me as the nose on your face.

Lyrics are never plain?
That's ridiculous. And even more so when you go on to explain that it does make perfect sense, it's just full of irony! Okay, so then it is plain, it just means the opposite of what it says. Got it! Thank you for clearing that up.

Maybe in 1988 that little bit of nonsense would have been able to pass as a legitimate interpretation but unfortunately for you he's made many comments since which, unless they are all full of irony, would support the obvious and clear meaning of those lyrics. You're full of something other than irony. Of course he says "life is hard" for him, but "hard enough" meaning there are degrees, and the difference is that it's harder if you don't belong.
Say something like "it wasn't easy for him either" which avoids the point and might gain some sympathy from the Mozbots and logically challenged. (redundant I know) But don't say that words suddenly have no meaning or mean the opposite just because they're in a song.
 
T

Truth

Guest
Great song. One of his best and one of my favorites by anyone. Focus on the positive.
 

marred

Member
Thirty years ago I was happy to be Educated In Reverse. I think I've probably unlearned everything there is to not know. Job done.
 
Great song. One of his best and one of my favorites by anyone. Focus on the positive.

I must admit I have always found this song really really dull. I almost always skip this track when listening to this record as I find it incredibly boring. Similarly, I do the same with Paint A Vulger Picture on SHWC. Never liked either of them.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Lyrics are never plain?
That's ridiculous. And even more so when you go on to explain that it does make perfect sense, it's just full of irony! Okay, so then it is plain, it just means the opposite of what it says. Got it! Thank you for clearing that up.

Maybe in 1988 that little bit of nonsense would have been able to pass as a legitimate interpretation but unfortunately for you he's made many comments since which, unless they are all full of irony, would support the obvious and clear meaning of those lyrics. You're full of something other than irony. Of course he says "life is hard" for him, but "hard enough" meaning there are degrees, and the difference is that it's harder if you don't belong.
Say something like "it wasn't easy for him either" which avoids the point and might gain some sympathy from the Mozbots and logically challenged. (redundant I know) But don't say that words suddenly have no meaning or mean the opposite just because they're in a song.

You are obviously a buffoon - do you really need someone to explain to you the difference between poetry and prose? And the concept of irony is clearly way over your head. The essential nature of lyrics and poetry is that they have layers of meaning - no mater how, on the surface, plain and simple they might appear. Any child reciting a nursery rhyme could tell you that. You hear what you hear in the lyrics, and let others hear what they hear - but it doesn't make your understanding of the lyrics any more 'true' or accurate than anyone else's. Why would anyone want to forget such a wonderful song?
 
U

URBANUS

Guest
I disagree. Vauxhall I think is a better album. But Viva is hands down my favourite Moz album. The first cut is always the deepest...
I can't even compare Viva Hate with the other solo albums because I feel Viva Hate is a unique album inbetween The Smiths and what happened later during his solo career. His entire transition from the The Smiths to becoming a solo artist can be heard on Viva Hate.
 

reelfountain

Well-Known Member
Can we just forget Bengali In Platforms? I know I did when I wrote that I still like every song. Everything that can be said about it has been. I don't mean to be an "SJW" but don't tell me that it's "empathetic to the immigrant experience." If Morrissey didn't have a record of making comments about the "floodgates" of immigration maybe you could make that case.
I wish you would just say that you don't care or that he has a right to his opinion. He does.
"Shelve your Western plans" means quite clearly that if you're thinking of coming here (England) you're making a mistake. Why? Well, because "life is hard enough when you belong here" and if you're "Bengali" then you do not.
Nothing could be more plain.
Let's just say I was thinking of emigrating to India. An Indian singer advises me to shelve my Eastern plans as I may not enjoy it there. In fact I may feel alienated and who knows, long for my home country again. Would that make the said Indian crooner a racist?
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
Let's just say I was thinking of emigrating to India. An Indian singer advises me to shelve my Eastern plans as I may not enjoy it there. In fact I may feel alienated and who knows, long for my home country again. Would that make the said Indian crooner a racist?
No. And you have a point there. But there are some lines which seem a bit mocking or even sarcastic to me: 'He does not want to depress you... He only wants to impress you...He only wants to embrace your culture/and be your friend forever.' I'll admit, I'm on the fence with this one because I can see both arguments. But it does leave me with a slightly uneasy feeling.
 

reelfountain

Well-Known Member
No. And you have a point there. But there are some lines which seem a bit mocking or even sarcastic to me: 'He does not want to depress you... He only wants to impress you...He only wants to embrace your culture/and be your friend forever.' I'll admit, I'm on the fence with this one because I can see both arguments. But it does leave me with a slightly uneasy feeling.
The problem is this. For years us in the West have been brainwashed to see racism everywhere. It's a divide and rule tactic - to disunite and get us all bickering and worked up amongst ourselves. It's become an obsession. People from the East must be laughing at us.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
The problem is this. For years us in the West have been brainwashed to see racism everywhere. It's a divide and rule tactic - to disunite and get us all bickering and worked up amongst ourselves. It's become an obsession. People from the East must be laughing at us.
I agree with you, to a certain extent. But like I say, I do hear mocking tones which are something different from simply saying, don't come because you'll have a really hard time. But then I'm never sure what to make of November Spawned either. They both make me feel uncomfortable but I find I can't pin them down. On the other hand, I think National Front Disco is a really clever song.
 

reelfountain

Well-Known Member
I agree with you, to a certain extent. But like I say, I do hear mocking tones which are something different from simply saying, don't come because you'll have a really hard time. But then I'm never sure what to make of November Spawned either. They both make me feel uncomfortable but I find I can't pin them down. On the other hand, I think National Front Disco is a really clever song.
Asian Rut is another clever one. Blatantly anti racist if anything.
 
U

URBANUS

Guest
Asian Rut is another clever one. Blatantly anti racist if anything.
I think you make the mistake of assuming it is anti anything. It is more an observation if anything and Moz never chose to take sides with anything or anyone except if animals are involved.

Like me Morrissey observes life and people without judging. His fan base should learn to do the same and not regard themselves as perfect people.
 

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