10 of the best Morrissey songs, How many do you know?

Morrissey in 2006
CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20055304

Morrissey is a name synonymous with British alternative rock. Rising to prominence in the 1980s, he carved a unique path as the frontman and lyricist for the iconic band The Smiths. His baritone voice and introspective, often sardonic lyrics resonated with a generation, exploring themes of alienation, emotional struggles, and social commentary.

Following the Smiths’ disbandment, Morrissey embarked on a highly successful solo career. While retaining elements of his former band’s sound, he also embraced new influences. Though known for his passionate performances, he’s also garnered attention for his outspoken views. Regardless, Morrissey remains a significant figure in music, influencing countless artists and retaining a devoted fanbase.

It’s now 2024 & Morrissey has just recently played a couple of shows in the US to celebrate 20 years since the release of 2004’s “You Are the Quarry”. The rest of the year is looking like he might be taking it easy as there are no confirmed plans as of yet.

The songs for those who just want to know or to jump to Suedehead, Everyday Is Like Sunday, The Last of the Famous International Playboys, You’re the One for Me, Fatty, Tomorrow, Irish Blood, English Heart, First of the Gang to Die, I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris, Back on the Chain Gang, It’s Over .

Suedehead (1988)

Morrissey - Suedehead
This was the first song Morrissey put out as the 1st single from the the debut album Viva Hate after the Smiths disbanded. Suedehead was a great start to Morrissey’s debut release with the song charting higher than any single released by his former band The Smiths. As for what a Suedehead even is? Suedeheads were a subculture associated with punk fashion but seen as less aggressive than skinheads.

Everyday Is Like Sunday (1988)

Morrissey - Everyday Is Like Sunday
“Everyday Is Like Sunday” is considered a classic of Morrissey’s solo career and is one of his most recognisable & best-known songs & one which is frequently covered by other artists. The song paints the picture of the gloominess of seaside towns where nothing ever changes & every day is like Sunday & makes the suggestion that they forgot to bomb them. The song was the 2nd single released from the album Viva Hate.

The Last of the Famous International Playboys (1989)

Morrissey - The Last Of The Famous International Playboys
The 3rd single released by Morrissey but it didn’t feature on any main studio albums. The song featured 3 former Smiths members. The song focuses on the 60s gangsters from London known as the Kray twins (Ronnie and Reggie Kray) & the media glamorisation & influence that has on others. Well that’s how I interpret it. The song can be found on the album Bona Drag which was a compilation album featuring all his hits at the time.

You’re the One for Me, Fatty (1992)

Morrissey - You're The One For Me, Fatty
This is a somewhat amusing to this day love song which in the video fatty is portrayed as an overweight woman. The song didn’t chart all that highly in comparison to the previous songs on this list but it is an established fan favourite & one which is hard to overlook. The song featured on the album Your Arsenal which is critically acclaimed & one of the best albums of his career.

Tomorrow (1992)

Morrissey - Tomorrow
This song is from same album as the previous one Your Arsenal & is one of my all time favourite Morrissey songs. The song topped the Billboard Modern Rock charts in the US at the time, feeding his already rising popularity there.

Irish Blood, English Heart (2004)

Morrissey - Irish Blood, English Heart
One of Morrissey’s more politically charged songs. In the song Mossy sings “I’ve been dreaming of a time when, The English are sick to death of Labour, and Tories” which given the current issues with Brexit that dream may have come to fruition as I don’t know anybody who isn’t sick to death of it at the moment. The song is from the album You Are the Quarry. Mossy’s highest charting album in the US.

First of the Gang to Die (2004)

Morrissey - First of the gang to die
The song was a critical and commercial success. It reached number six on the UK Singles Chart, marking Morrissey’s first time having two top ten hits in a row since 1989. There’s no video for you to enjoy with this one but you can enjoy the song. From the album You Are the Quarry.

I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris (2009)

Morrissey - I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
This was the 1st single from the 2009 album Years Of Refusal. The song explores themes of loneliness, a familiar topic for Morrissey in many of his songs. Morrissey reportedly joked that he wrote the song as a possible entry for the Eurovision song contest. The song was 1st performed during touring almost 2 years before seeing an album release.

Back on the Chain Gang (2017)

Morrissey - Back on the Chain Gang (Official Video)
This is a cover of the classic 1982 song by The Pretenders which is on the deluxe edition of the 2017 album Low in High School.

It’s Over (2019)

Morrissey – It's Over (Official Audio)
This cover of Roy Orbison’s 1964 number 1 hit “It’s Over” is fantastic. Having asked a couple of people who were alive during the original whether they’d like to hear a cover version, the 1st question was who by? followed by a grimace & a squirm when informed who was singing it. Well they were proved wrong!

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