Morrissey is one of few artists routinely recognised and referred to by critics and fans alike as a true “enigma”. The BBC has cited him as “one of the most influential figures in the history of British pop”, NME declared The Smiths the “most influential act ever” in a 2002 poll, even topping the Beatles. Rolling Stone named him one of the greatest singers of all time in a recent poll and noted that his “rejection of convention” in his vocal style and lyrics is the reason “why he redefined the sound of British rock for the past quarter-century”.
In 1998, he was presented with the Ivor Novello Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to British Music’.
The iconic frontman of The Smiths, Morrissey is widely credited as a seminal figure in British music, leading his former band to 15 studio, live and compilation albums in their short five years together, with Louder Than Bombs (1987), Meat Is Murder (1985), The Queen Is Dead (1986) and 5 other releases certified gold in the UK.
Since disbanding The Smiths, Morrissey has achieved even greater success as a solo artist launching a prolific career that has seen all 10 of his records enter the UK charts in the top ten, including three landing at #1.
He has courted controversy with his forthright opinions – endorsing vegetarianism and animal rights, condemning royalty and prominent politicians and questioning issues of British cultural and national identity. In a 2006 poll held by the BBC’s Culture Show, Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British cultural icon behind David Attenborough.
In 2013, Morrissey published his record breaking autobiography on Penguin Classics, immediately topping the best-seller list with literary reviewers hailing it a masterpiece in writing and prose. The book entered the UK book charts at number one with the biggest first-week sale from a musician’s memoir since official sales records began in 1998.
Perhaps his greatest achievement has come as an artist that has managed to inspire large audiences of fans all over the world. His lyrics, often romanticizing alienation, have touched people the world over, transcending far beyond the normal artist/fan relationship. None more so than in LA, otherwise known as MOZ Angeles. Morrissey’s fandom in LA, especially with the Latin community has grown over the years to something rarely seen with other artists.
In this year’s season premiere (featuring Los Angeles) on CNN’s top-rated show “Parts Unknown”, host Anthony Bourdain was forced to ask the question… “What’s with the Morrissey thing?”
For many, listening to Morrissey became a rite of passage into adulthood and his music has an emotional depth that grows with listeners throughout their life.
This October, Warner Records will release a special 5 LP Box set Deluxe version of what is perhaps The Smiths’ most iconic album, The Queen is Dead. The 1985 release is regarded by many critics as the band’s best and most complete studio record.
More importantly, this November will see the release of Morrissey’s much anticipated album of all new material. Low in High School will be Morrissey’s first studio album since 2014 and his debut for BMG, who will also be partnering with Morrissey on the launch of his new label, Etienne Records. Low in High School was recorded at La Fabrique Studios in France and in Rome at Ennio Morricone’s Forum Studios. The record is produced by Joe Chiccarelli (who has worked with The Strokes on Angles, Beck on A Collection of B Sides: Stray Blues and The White Stripes on Icky Thump to name a few).