How successful is Morrissey?

Kewpie

Member
Moderator
Subscriber
I suppose it depends a lot on what you mean by 'indie'. Morrissey's mainstrem success has been pretty limited. With the exception of Quarry hardly any of his albums have sold over 100,000 copies and some less than 50,000 which is tiny in terms of mainstream success. There are lots of 'artists' who've been going for years who easily sell a million records like U2, Oasis, Red Hot Pepper, etc. I guess other more indie types of his generation might be considered to be bands like New Order who used to sell tons but now sell about as many as Moz.

Moz has been fantastically successful as a cultural phenomenon but pretty feeble as a mainstream musical force...

Morrissey maybe hasn't achieved so-called mainstream success in terms of CD sales, but no one can deny the longevity of his music.
Morrissey is continuously attracting new younger audience which is amazing.

Razorlight got 60,000 audidence last year's V Festival, but in next five years I doubt they'll still have those audience.
20 odd years later Morrissey still has 20,000 audience which proves he's very successful. :)
 
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Hellie

Lost
Its a generation thing.I know he`s got a lot of young friends on here but generally young people don`t know much of him as obviously he`s not as big now as say the late eighties.On a school reunion (class of 86) all the blokes were Moz fans whereas young people I know say "never heard of him"I don`t think Morrissey would ever like the same kind of success say as Take That as he has always been a bit indie.But how do you measure success?His records have charted as well as some other modern groups.People go on about ROTT not selling as much but it got to number one!!!Everyone has their day and maybe Morrissey`s WAS the late eighties but he still has us adoring fans and he packs him in at gigs still,can`t see Kaiser Chiefs or Razorlight doing that in twenty odd years as they all sound the same.In fact everyone sounds the same nowadays-Morrissey is different and distinct and his IQ is way above theirs.
 

Maurice E

Junior Member
Its a generation thing.I know he`s got a lot of young friends on here but generally young people don`t know much of him as obviously he`s not as big now as say the late eighties.On a school reunion (class of 86) all the blokes were Moz fans whereas young people I know say "never heard of him"I don`t think Morrissey would ever like the same kind of success say as Take That as he has always been a bit indie.But how do you measure success?His records have charted as well as some other modern groups.People go on about ROTT not selling as much but it got to number one!!!Everyone has their day and maybe Morrissey`s WAS the late eighties but he still has us adoring fans and he packs him in at gigs still,can`t see Kaiser Chiefs or Razorlight doing that in twenty odd years as they all sound the same.In fact everyone sounds the same nowadays-Morrissey is different and distinct and his IQ is way above theirs.

Morrissey's commercial heyday wasn't the late 80's, it was 2004! Quarry was the biggest selling album, First of the Gang was one of his biggest radio 'hits'.

In the late 80's all the blokes at school/sixth form colleges were certainly not Morrissey fans; I should know I was there! Most people hated Morrissey and the Smiths back then. Although his singles went top 10, they were out of the chart in 4 weeks.

Morrissey would actually love to have big success. He's obsessed with record sales and chart positions. Who can forget that leaked email to the record company about the Youngest Was the Most Loved!

Yes, Moz can pack out the gigs but only at smaller venues. His recent arena tours have had thousands of spare seats and his headline slot at V festival saw the smallest crowd ever for a headline act.

For what it's worth, I do think Moz is doing pretty well. His last studio album outsold Paul McCartney's and the Rolling Stones last ones. Unlike them, a large proportion of his fans are interested in his new stuff and not just there for nostalgia.

But his commercial success is pretty modest in the overall scheme of things. His impact on the cultural landscape has, however, been immense.
 

pagnani32

140.6 Bad Assness!
sooo few people know who he is around here. it's depressing.

WELL SAID! I don't know where you are at, but in America Morrissey really isn't all that popular:eek: Disturbing I know! Most people here really have no clue what true good music is, underlining MOST! All I ever hear on the radio is blasted teeny bop pop, or rap music. I won't bash it, but it's just not my thang to listen to that kind of music. OH and when they finally decided to play a "flash back" it's Duran Duran, The Cure, U2 or Depeche Mode ALL THE TIME. Not that those bands are bad but I'm just saying its never ever a Smiths song or Morrissey for that matter. I think I've heard YHKM on the radio once when it was first released, but no more songs from ROTT have been played. It's quite maddening to me, because you hear of all the posters and billboards being put up in other countries, but never here. I would love to be driving down the freeway and see his lovely face smiling back at me from a billboard, but alas it will never happen.
 

Please

Senior Member
He is probably the most influential figure in 'indie' type music. Changed the whole direction of music and others followed

Whether this eqauts to fame is another story. He just has;nt compromised himself enough to gain such a status. Very few interviews and even fewer publicity stunts.
 

JoyDiv007

Is It Really So Strange
It's rare to find a Morrissey fan here. My friends know who he is because of me. I don't care I'll always be a fan. Though I do find fans in the strangest places.
I was at the Home and Flower show here in Cleveland last weekend. Some guy makes lightswtich covers out of different pics. He had a Smiths one, turns out he's a huge fan. That was so weird.
 

M-in-Oz

Active Member
Not that this is in any way a measure of success....but I was thinking the other day 'I have never heard a Morrissey song in a supermarket'. While I do think he is successful and an icon etc, I don't think he is part of the mainstream (even in a nostaligic fashion).

Personally, this could be a good thing. He manages to combine integrity with a musical career that isn't dependent solely on his back catalogue.
 

vAndreav

on the flesh rampage
well, First Of the Gang did appear on the Laguna Beach show soundtrack! :eek: :p haha, i have no idea how that happened, no one i know here (atleast my age, at the high school) listen to the smiths/morrissey, except for a couple of my teachers
 

Midnight

A Hostage To Kindness
International Chart Positions For Ringleader

Australia: 55
Austria: 25
Belgium: 9
Canada: 41
Denmark: 3
Finland: 4
France: 36
Germany: 9
Greece: 1
Holland: 22
Ireland: 3
Israel: 1
Italy: 15
Malta: 1
Norway: 2
Portugal: 22
Spain: 40
Sweden: 1
Switzerland: 44

The worst of all countries listed - shameful! I'm not at all surprised though.

For the most part Morrissey is an unknown in mainstream Australia, thank goodness. This is a double edged sword for two reasons - a) it's nice being able to enjoy him without criticism from anyone, however, b) he stays as far away from us as possible.
 

Tomorrow

Banned
It depends how you define “successful” if you compare Morrissey’s album sales to that of Take That, Bloc Party and Kasabian for instance then you could argue he isn’t successful in this particular field of music. You have to look at the record label he is with and the small fact Morrissey isn’t plastered all over billboards, on television, he doesn’t often appear at festivals such as Glastonbury or Reading and Leeds, he doesn’t often to perform on shows such as the Friday Night Project and shows along those lines. He is quite limited in his commercialism in many ways; therefore he will never be a Green Day and become a trend like band for instance.

He is however successful in his means, he sales albums worldwide, his concerts sell out within half an hour, he is loved and cherished by what can only be described as worshippers (fans) and he was in one of the most influential bands of the twentieth century and inspired a whole new generation of musicians such as Gerard Way, Pete Wentz and Kele and bands such as Bloc Party, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy amongst others.

I would say he’s had a successful career as a musician, he might not be known by everyone, but why would you want that? I’m quite pleased that Morrissey doesn’t have a fan base that treats him as a trend like how people treat bands like Nirvana etc. I’m glad Morrissey has made a successful career on failing record labels and with very little commercialism to boot, how many artists are capable of achieving such heights. He might not achieve #1’s in the chart, but who cares? Charts are worthless these days when Crazy Frog manages to get to number one. Who cares if his albums don’t sell hundreds of millions? The most successful artists are artists who stay true to themselves and do not change to gain a large fan base, the fact that most new bands today are claiming to have been heavily influenced by Morrissey and The Smiths is much more rewarding than any Brit award or number one album can give you.
 

Ryan

Von der Hand, in den Mund
Moderator
Subscriber

Midnight

A Hostage To Kindness
I'm keen to know why.

I think the major reason is the particularly long flight, and some of us here have also surmised that the small fanbase/cost of touring doesn't justify him coming here very often (or more than twice in 18 years). Personally, as a long-time fan, it is disheartening that we're virtually ignored, but it's not as though we know anything different. It's been that way his entire career.

Either that or he just doesn't like us. Which is on the cards too I imagine. :p
 
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duchess_of_fork

New Member
WELL SAID! I don't know where you are at, but in America Morrissey really isn't all that popular:eek: Disturbing I know! Most people here really have no clue what true good music is, underlining MOST! All I ever hear on the radio is blasted teeny bop pop, or rap music. I won't bash it, but it's just not my thang to listen to that kind of music. OH and when they finally decided to play a "flash back" it's Duran Duran, The Cure, U2 or Depeche Mode ALL THE TIME. Not that those bands are bad but I'm just saying its never ever a Smiths song or Morrissey for that matter. I think I've heard YHKM on the radio once when it was first released, but no more songs from ROTT have been played. It's quite maddening to me, because you hear of all the posters and billboards being put up in other countries, but never here. I would love to be driving down the freeway and see his lovely face smiling back at me from a billboard, but alas it will never happen.

I'm from Canada, we're basically America Jr. I completely agree with you on the whole billboard thing. I think the nicest thing ever was when I landed in Belgrade, Serbia last summer...the first thing when we left the airport was a HUGE Morrissey billboard by the highway announcing his concert. I nearly cried. And then I wept after I found out I couldn't go.

America is too insensitive and affraid of honest feelings, which is why the mainstream/majority does not accept Morrissey. It is so sad!
 

mauve21

Long time participant
I was recently watching the Who put the M in DVD and my
friend remarked :- "Oh God, I didn't know he was so popular."
None of my Australian friends are Morrissey fans. They seem
to think he is quaint.
Never mind.
It's probably the cultural cringe thing that made me a Smiths, then
Morrissey fan in the first place.
:cool:
 

mauve21

Long time participant
I actually heard "Heaven knows I'm Miserable Now"
whilst having coffee in a courtyard in a cafe the other day.
Have to say I almost fell off my chair.
 

M-in-Oz

Active Member
I guess you also have to remember it has been a long career & has had its ebbs & flows. Around the time of Vauxhall there was heaps of publicity in Australia. Think it depends on the release and the amount of promotion it gets. I can't think of any Aust. based magazines he has given interviews to. What do you think of him being interviewed by someone like Andrew Denton? ( I thought he did a good job with Michael Stipe)
 

Midnight

A Hostage To Kindness
I think Andrew Denton is probably one of the few people who could pull off a successful interview with Morrissey. I have no faith in any other television presenters or journalists, off the top of my head.

They played Ask during the interval at Little Britain Live tonight. I was very pleased, even if no one else seemed to recognise it.
 

M-in-Oz

Active Member
Yeah I would like to see it...maybe if he does tour it might be a bit of promotion for him. Have you read the Little Britain book? It is littered with Smiths/Moz references, quite a good read!
 

nightandday

New Member
Kill Uncle is fantastic, i adore that album, but hey personal choice an' all that:p but i agree with all of your other choices.
I don't think that Kill Uncle is that bad as it's made out to be, but I don't think it's fantastic either, and I don't think it's a good start for a newbie.
 
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