Suedehead (as made famous by Morrissey)

“Suedehead” is the debut solo single by English singer Morrissey, released in February 1988.

The single charted higher than any of the singles released by his former band the Smiths, entering the UK Singles Chart at No. 6 and then peaking at No. 5 the week after.[3] “Suedehead” peaked at No. 2 in Ireland,[4] No. 8 in New Zealand,[5] and reached the Top 50 in Germany,[6] the Netherlands,[7] and Australia.[8] The lead track was featured on Morrissey’s debut album Viva Hate and the compilation album Bona Drag, the latter of which also featured the B-side “Hairdresser on Fire”. The artwork of the single features a photo taken by Geri Caulfield during a Smiths gig at the London Palladium.

The music video, directed by Tim Broad, features Morrissey walking through the streets of Fairmount, Indiana,[9] the boyhood city of actor James Dean, including shots of the school where Dean studied and the Park Cemetery, where he is buried. Other allusions to Dean in the video include a child (played by Sam Esty Rayner, Morrissey’s nephew, who went on to direct the video for “Kiss Me a Lot” in 2015) delivering to Morrissey a copy of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, Dean’s favourite book.[10]

At the beginning of his album Heartbreaker, Ryan Adams argues with David Rawlings about whether or not “Suedehead” is on Viva Hate.

NME gave the single ‘Single of the Week 2’ saying that “his vocals hit a pitch that turns your stomach with queasy delight. It makes you feel vulnerable and provokes emotions you’ve forgotten about.” In the 1988 NME Year in Review the song was described as “The best No. 1 ’88 never gave us”.[11]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, critic Ned Raggett described it as “a memorable number, with Street’s subtle orchestrations carrying the sweep of the song.”[2]

Morrissey – vocals
Stephen Street – bass guitar; guitar
Vini Reilly – guitar; keyboards
Andrew Paresi – drums; percussion

The Last of the Famous International Playboys (as made famous by Morrissey)

“The Last of the Famous International Playboys” was the third single released by Morrissey. It reached number 6 in the UK Singles Chart.[2] The song was not featured on one of Morrissey’s main studio albums, but can be found on the compilation album Bona Drag along with the B-side “Lucky Lisp”. The artwork for the single features Morrissey, aged 7, up a tree in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester—literally a boy at play. “The Last of the Famous International Playboys” is notable for featuring three of Morrissey’s former colleagues in The Smiths—Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce and one-time Smiths rhythm guitarist Craig Gannon—all of whom also appear on the B-side, “Lucky Lisp”.

The song mythologizes the notorious pair of vicious London gangsters known as the Kray twins (Ronnie and Reggie Kray), who held a tight rein on the East End of London during the 1960s.

NME gave the single a negative review, with Stuart Maconie saying the track was “‘Panic’ without the magnetism and the blinding self-confidence” and finished by saying “I would still chain myself to a disused railway line in Bacup for him, but the lad can do better”[3] However in a retrospective review, Ned Raggett of AllMusic was much more favorable writing “Morrissey’s performance is grand and passionate”.[1]

Morrissey – vocals
Craig Gannon – guitar
Neil Taylor – guitar
Andy Rourke – bass
Stephen Street – keyboards
Mike Joyce – drums

Everyday Is Like Sunday (as made famous by Morrissey)

“Everyday Is Like Sunday” 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.[1] “Everyday Is Like Sunday”, as well as the single’s B-sides “Disappointed” and “Will Never Marry”, feature on the compilation album Bona Drag.

The track has been covered by a number of other bands, including The Pretenders (on the Original Motion Picture soundtrack Boys on the Side), by 10,000 Maniacs (as a B-side to their single “Candy Everybody Wants”), the Armageddon Dildos (on their “Come Armageddon” maxi-single), Estonian 1990s pop group Mr. Lawrence and Mikel Erentxun (on his album Acrobatas). Colin Meloy of The Decemberists also covers the track on his solo album Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey. Dave Couse (former lead singer of A House) has performed this live with his later band The Impossible and alternative rock band Fate or Trouble who released the song as their debut single. A mostly instrumental version (containing only the title lyric) was used in NFL Network’s “When all you want is football” television ad campaign.[2] As well as inspiring several cover versions it has also inspired the cult Canadian film Everyday Is Like Sunday.

The lyrics are reportedly inspired by Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach,[3] about a group of people waiting for nuclear devastation in Melbourne, Australia.

Although Morrissey’s debut “Suedehead” had received a positive review from the English music magazine NME, the follow-up received a cooler reaction. Alluding to the controversy that had arisen over Morrissey’s “Bengali in Platforms”, reviewer Steven Wells warned the singer to not “attract a Sham Army style of following and end up like Jimmy Pursey” and to “Think on, lad.”

Praise for the single came in Q magazine in September 1992 when Chrissie Hynde (who would later record her own version of the song) said that the “lyric to Everyday Is Like Sunday is, to me, a masterful piece of prose” and Siobhan Fahey described it as her “all-time top song”.[5] Ned Raggett of AllMusic wrote, “Street’s orchestrations fit the melancholic surge of the music to a T, while Morrissey’s portrait of a “seaside town that they forgot to bomb” is evocative and given a bravura vocal.”[4]

“There’s no way the B-sides can achieve the same level as the main track, but each has their points,” continues Raggett. “‘Sister I’m a Poet'” is the most explicitly Smiths-like track, a quick band romp with a cryptic lyric. More of note is ‘Disappointed,’ which meshes a touch of ‘How Soon Is Now?’-style tremolo guitar with an aggressive, shuddering drum punch. The wickedly funny lyric at once celebrates his rock icon status and pokes more than a few holes in it. ‘Will Never Marry’ is mostly a Street showcase of gently descending guitar and gripping strings, but Morrissey’s lyric to an unknown letter writer is also worthy of note.[4]

Morrissey: vocals
Stephen Street: bass guitar
Vini Reilly: guitar, piano
Andrew Paresi: drums