You really can't talk about retro music without talking about Morrissey, and his career both with The Smiths, as well as his solo work.
Steven Patrick Morrissey was born on May 22, 1959, and was primarily known as Morrissey. He rose to popularity in the 1980s as the lyricist and vocalist of the alternative rock band the Smiths. The band was quite successful in the UK but broke up in 1987, and then Morrissey began his solo career, making the top ten of the UK Singles Chart in the United Kingdom on ten separate occasions. He was widely regarded as an important innovator in what is now known as indie music.
Morrissey's lyrics have been described as "dramatic, bleak, and funny vignettes about doomed relationships, lonely nightclubs, the burden of the past and the prison of the home." (Tom Gatti, The Times) He is also known for his unique baritone vocal style, his quiff haircut, and his dynamic live performances.
My top three favorite songs from Morrissey/The Smiths could not be more different.
"The Last of the Famous International Playboys" was the third single released by Morrissey. It reached number six in the UK Singles Chart. It is a very upbeat and playful song that tells the a story of the notorious pair of vicious London gangsters known as the Kray twins (Ronnie and Reggie Kray), who held a tight rule on the East End of London during the 1960s. The title also alluded to the Nancy Sinatra film The Last of the Secret Agents; Sinatra was an icon, and later friend, of Morrissey's since his youth.
My second favorite song, from The Smiths, is "How Soon Is Now?" which was originally a B-side of the 1984 single "William, It Was Really Nothing." Although a club favourite, "How Soon Is Now?" did not chart as well as writers Morrissey and Marr had expected ... but it's haunting sound got it featured in two witchy movies/shows. It was on the soundtrack of The Craft, and it was the theme song of the T.V. show Charmed for all eight seasons.
My third favorite song, by Morrissey, is "Every Day is Like Sunday." It is the third track of Morrissey's debut solo album, Viva Hate, and the second single to be released by the artist. It made number nine in the UK Singles Chart and remains one of his best-known songs. Morrissey has been quoted as saying that there is 'something strangely depressing about a seaside town out-of-season'. The lyrics are inspired by Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach, about a group of people waiting for nuclear devastation in a beachside town in Australia.
Well I hope you've enjoyed another edition of Retro Friday! Happy listening ... and Cheers!
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