Artist – Album: Morrissey – Viva Hate
Released: 14th March 1988
Sounds Like: The Substitute Smiths
Viva Hate was born from the ashes of The Smiths, released just six months after their farewell album Strangeways, Here We Come. In it Morrissey still seems to be hung up on his old band mates, doing the musical equivalent of stalking their every Facebook and Twitter move (had either of those existed 25 years ago). The finest moments on this album sound like they’ve been pinched right out of Johnny Marr’s back pocket. The guitars are jangly and coruscating, backed by elastic bass and competent drumming. Morrissey may well have a holey, torn passport photo of Marr stuck to his dartboard, but it appears that his rebound (Vini Reilly from The Durutti Column) was just his old partner’s sound-alike.
Of course, that’s not exactly a bad thing. I love The Smiths. I mean, honestly, a couple of songs here (I’m looking at you ‘Angel, Angel Down We Go Together’) wouldn’t really get a look in on one of the Mancunian groups albums, but the best efforts – the singles ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday’ and ‘Suedehead’, along with the likes of ‘Bengali in Platforms’ – are as good as anything he’s ever been involved in.
It may have arisen because of a break up but thankfully the main man didn’t waste away his time wallowing in his own sadness. Or, at least, any more than he usually does...
In other news, we won at the quiz last night. Shockingly, it went down to a tiebreaker against my previous work, a real battle of wits. The first question: what year was the typewriter invented? Nobody really knows, but we guess closest at 1860 (it’s 1829). Second question: What was Forrest Gump’s IQ? We go 70, they go 75. It’s 75. Damn. Third and final question: In what year was the first London Marathon? I feel like it’s been going for 100s of years but my teammate knows better. He puts 1980. Then, as they’re calling for us to give our answers, he changes it to 1981. They put 1980. It’s 1981. We won! And we each won a free bottle of champagne, so if anyone wants to share it with me, let me know!
Albumaday... rating: 7/10
1. Alsatian Cousin – 3:13
2. Little Man, What Now? – 1:48
3. Everyday Is Like Sunday – 3:32
4. Bengali in Platforms – 3:55
5. Angel, Angel Down We Go Together – 1:40
6. Late Night, Maudlin Street – 7:40
7. Suedehead – 3:56
8. Break Up the Family – 3:55
9. The Ordinary Boys – 3:10
10. I Don’t Mind If You Forget Me – 3:17
11. Dial-a-Cliché – 2:28
12. Margaret on the Guillotine – 3:42
Listen to ‘Suedehead’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AvuweztG4Q