Sunday, December 31, 2023

#79 Morrissey (+ The Smiths bonus)

Here's Morrissey at #79 in the 1991 MusiCards checklist. It's certainly one of the more visually distinctive cards in the set, though feels rather cramped. The same photo is reprised on his card in the UK edition.

I didn't pull this card from the handful of packs I opened as a kid, but it probably would have been regarded as a pretty sweet hit if I had. I really got into Morrissey and The Smiths back around 1992. In fact, thinking about it now, I believe Best of the Smiths vol. 1 and 2 on CD were my first ever online purchases, ordering off a text-only CD store site during the early days of the web. 

Morrissey - "Suedehead"

Sadly, like many other fans, my opinion of Morrissey has taken a tumble over the years, what with his tendency to cancel more concerts than he performs, and, yep.. the frequent eye-roll inducing statements he spouts off these days, often coming off as a crotchety old racist. But I prefer to remember the good times, back when he wrote cool songs about being a shy, unlovable nobody that I could relate to.

Morrissey - "Tomorrow"

Longboxes of Bona Drag and Your Arsenal were among my other early CD purchases, and both albums got a ton of play by teenage Gavin. I even had a Your Arsenal t-shirt in my rotation during high school. 

I was resistant to 1994's Vauxhall & I when it first came out-- the single is the worst song on it-- but years after the fact it became another favorite album of mine. I'm sure one could argue he's done some other good stuff here and there since ("First of the Gang to Die" is a snappy tune from 2004), though I don't pay that much attention to his modern output.


Here's a custom for The Smiths as a quartet from the mid 80s. They're one of the few notable bands from their era to never give in to the "reunion" (payday) pressure even though they were all still around until just mid 2023 when bassist Andy Rourke passed away. But yeah, I guess Johnny Marr is happy doing his own thing. He's put out some good stuff in recent years though doesn't seem to get a whole lot of attention.

The Smiths - "Panic"

I still do enjoy pretty much the entirety of the Smiths' recorded output, even tracking down all the rare b-sides and such back in my days trading live & rare recordings. I honestly hadn't realized "Panic" was about Chernobyl until reading the back of Morrissey's MusiCard. So there you go.. Informative! LOL

The Smiths - "How Soon Is Now?"

"How Soon is Now?" was the first song of theirs I remember really noticing, with its unique droning standing out when it'd come on the radio. I soon then copied a cassette of Meat Is Murder that I borrowed from my cousin. I remember often listening to that tape on my walkman, a must-have album for any long trip. I eventually got their discography on CD and loved them all in their own way. I don't listen to the band nearly as much these days (and have never gone vegetarian; sorry, Morrissey), but still give them a spin on occasion.

How about you? Any readers go through a Smiths/Morrissey phase? Favorite songs?

Thanks as always for reading and Happy New Year!


  1. I think I discovered the Smiths when a local station broadcast a British countdown show each week around 1984. In college I picked up the Louder Than Bombs cassette, which is mostly B sides and songs not previously released in the U.S. Songs from that LP are still my favorite Smiths singles.

  2. Have a few of The Smiths cd's... but haven't listened to any of them in some time. I have a few singles on my Spotify playlist, but honestly they peaked for me during high school (late 80's). Didn't realize Morrissey has turned into a racist (or at least comes off like one). That's sad to hear. I guess it's like athletes where sometimes it's better to separate the artist from the person.

  3. I wouldn't say I went through a Smiths phase, although they certainly were big at my college radio station. "Ask" is probably my favorite of theirs.

    One time my wife and I ate at a nice pizza place in Singapore and the whole time we were there the music system was playing "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" on repeat. I suppose that's an appropriate song to have on endless repeat. But the restaurant is no longer in business, so one way or another the light went out.

  4. I was never into the Smiths myself, but I remember being around a lot of teenage girls during the late 80's (I was still in the single digits myself) who were really into them and The Cure. Looking back, it's almost stereotypical how into them they were.