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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reelfountain

Well-Known Member
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.
We're all flawed, of course. The only people who think they aren't are Millenials, and thankfully I'm not one of them. But to bring to light a difficult observation can evidently be seen as racist to some people - hence all the hullabuloo about Moz's songs about race. I prefer to see Asian Rut as anti racist. Other singers wouldn't even broach the subject.
 
U

URBANUS

Guest
We're all flawed, of course. The only people who think they aren't are Millenials, and thankfully I'm not one of them. But to bring to light a difficult observation can evidently be seen as racist to some people - hence all the hullabuloo about Moz's songs about race. I prefer to see Asian Rut as anti racist. Other singers wouldn't even broach the subject.
Yes you PREFER to and maybe by doing so miss the whole point that he called the chinese subspecies. You know it might be so that Morrissey is better educated that most people in Britain and USA who call people from the middle east asian. An asian is of course people from Japan and China and so on and not arabs but the english speaking people always got that part wrong.

Shame!

Middle east and the far east and asians are the far east ones. The eyes need to be shaped like rugby balls they play with in american football.

SIMPLES!
 

reelfountain

Well-Known Member
Yes you PREFER to and maybe by doing so miss the whole point that he called the chinese subspecies. You know it might be so that Morrissey is better educated that most people in Britain and USA who call people from the middle east asian. An asian is of course people from Japan and China and so on and not arabs but the english speaking people always got that part wrong.

Shame!

Middle east and the far east and asians are the far east ones. The eyes need to be shaped like rugby balls they play with in american football.

SIMPLES!
Hang on, a nation that treats animals the way the Chinese do is a subspecies. What's the big deal with that?
 
T

Truth

Guest
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?

Why do we have to talk about nursery rhymes and hypothetical situations? Your role reversal doesn't work because you're restating the sentiment and ignoring the historical context.
I've never said Morrissey was racist. He's xenophobic.
Your response is the best though because you're actually thinking about the lyrics and coming up with an interpretation. I respect that. I can't say my interpretation is better or that you're wrong. Restating things is a bit of a problem. It's hard enough to discuss the work itself. Once we're discussing a hypothetical remake it's not ever going to result in a serious criticism, but we're not trying to publish a paper here.
Can we agree to disagree and move on? I'd rather talk about the ones I like.

Morrissey definitely shows his influences but Viva Hate is a weird record that doesn't really sound like anything else I've heard. Someone said they think "Late Night, Maudlin Street" is boring. It's not the most driving tune but I think it might have his best lyrics. Someone said that "Bengali" has "layers" and while I think that one is pretty plain, LNMS definitely has layers. The way he tells us about this person's life through a series of scenes is worth study. It really is like a series of memories or sketches of scenes that feel grounded and real. If it was a painting we'd never see the whole thing, just a series of details that give you a feeling and a sense of what we're not seeing. It's not that it's vague. It's more that it's like he's reading single lines from a novel.
What I wanted to say though is that it's unique. There are some strange tunes on that record and I like that.
Little Man, What Now is another strange song, musically and lyrically. It's also got those details taken out of context.
"But I remembered you
From Friday nights 1969
ATV - you murdered every line"
It's a quick song that I don't think was intended for Top Of The Pops or anything but in a way it reminds me of those weird songs David Bowie did in the early 70's. Even the ones that Morrissey wasn't that ambitious about were really special songs.
And I used to listen to Viva Hate a lot when it was new. I still feel a connection to it. It was a really important record to me. A little later when he put out Bona Drag I didn't realize it was a compilation and just thought it was strange to put the hits on two albums in a row but I didn't mind. That one was pretty good, too.
In that interview he says it's not the followup to Strangeways and that it's a strange record and those are both true. You can't really compare the two records but it's not a step down. It was pretty brave of him to make such a weird record. Lots of people would have found a Johnny Marr type who looks pretty close from the 15th row and tried to make another Smiths record but he really went in on his introspective side.
 

reelfountain

Well-Known Member
Why do we have to talk about nursery rhymes and hypothetical situations? Your role reversal doesn't work because you're restating the sentiment and ignoring the historical context.
I've never said Morrissey was racist. He's xenophobic.
Your response is the best though because you're actually thinking about the lyrics and coming up with an interpretation. I respect that. I can't say my interpretation is better or that you're wrong. Restating things is a bit of a problem. It's hard enough to discuss the work itself. Once we're discussing a hypothetical remake it's not ever going to result in a serious criticism, but we're not trying to publish a paper here.
Can we agree to disagree and move on? I'd rather talk about the ones I like.

Morrissey definitely shows his influences but Viva Hate is a weird record that doesn't really sound like anything else I've heard. Someone said they think "Late Night, Maudlin Street" is boring. It's not the most driving tune but I think it might have his best lyrics. Someone said that "Bengali" has "layers" and while I think that one is pretty plain, LNMS definitely has layers. The way he tells us about this person's life through a series of scenes is worth study. It really is like a series of memories or sketches of scenes that feel grounded and real. If it was a painting we'd never see the whole thing, just a series of details that give you a feeling and a sense of what we're not seeing. It's not that it's vague. It's more that it's like he's reading single lines from a novel.
What I wanted to say though is that it's unique. There are some strange tunes on that record and I like that.
Little Man, What Now is another strange song, musically and lyrically. It's also got those details taken out of context.
"But I remembered you
From Friday nights 1969
ATV - you murdered every line"
It's a quick song that I don't think was intended for Top Of The Pops or anything but in a way it reminds me of those weird songs David Bowie did in the early 70's. Even the ones that Morrissey wasn't that ambitious about were really special songs.
And I used to listen to Viva Hate a lot when it was new. I still feel a connection to it. It was a really important record to me. A little later when he put out Bona Drag I didn't realize it was a compilation and just thought it was strange to put the hits on two albums in a row but I didn't mind. That one was pretty good, too.
In that interview he says it's not the followup to Strangeways and that it's a strange record and those are both true. You can't really compare the two records but it's not a step down. It was pretty brave of him to make such a weird record. Lots of people would have found a Johnny Marr type who looks pretty close from the 15th row and tried to make another Smiths record but he really went in on his introspective side.
I think its strangeness comes from Morrissey being lost and unsettled at the time, but it's good he threw caution to the wind, threw his ideas down and released it. He wanted to quickly prove himself. I remember him saying some time afterwards that he wished Viva Hate could be forgotten and buried at the back of the garden. I'm glad it isn't. I remember at the time finding this album a little uneven, whereas now it seems to make more sense. Maudlin Street seems very open and off the cuff, more so than any Smiths stuff. It's like he's reciting straight from his teenage diary.
 
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Flibberty

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.

I think that's the point though isn't it.

And these songs are really all just about Morrissey's eternal theme of the outsider.
 

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