A Somber Birthday: Morrissey, Still Ill at 53
Today is Morrissey's 53rd reel around the fountain of life, and to celebrate the crowned prince of the coif's most recent year of survival, we've decided to take a closer look at some of the man's best tracks. But first, some biographical information to help you better understand the "pope of mope" and his path from English suburban youth to international icon of sad songs and big hair.
Moz, a Charming Man
Ah -- the beginning. The above number was most likely your introduction to the music of the Smiths, as it was the band's second single released on Rough Trade records and one of its most famous tracks. It features Morrissey's lyrical foray into homosexuality mated with what we humbly consider to be one of the best 12-stringed guitar licks ever written.
A Glam Ham
From Morrissey's 1992 album, Your Arsenal, we find "Glamorous Glue." This album was produced by late ex-David Bowie sideman Mick Ronson and features a trumped-up, late-'70s glam sound that nods a bit at the Moz's first concert experience, T. Rex in 1972.
It's only appropriate that we include our subject's ode to an unhappy birthday for a former lover in this birthday blog. We want to make sure that we extend the unhappy birthday greeting to Morrissey himself, as we feel he'd prefer it that way.
Also from the band's final release, Strangeways, Here We Come, is the underrated song "Death of a Disco Dancer." While the song is fantastic in its own right, we couldn't help but include it in our list with the recent passing of both Donna Summer and Robin Gibb. This song also features Morrissey's only instrumental performance on a Smith's record.
Finally, we find the man at work with a live version of the ever-danceable favorite "Still Ill." Never one to keep a commentary private, Moz's band members wear a rather blunt opinion about the newly married royal couple on their shirts as they begin this encore in Santiago, Chile. Armed with his still excellent voice and a British gangster look fit for a Guy Ritchie film, the man still tours heavily, though we aren't holding our breath for a Smiths reunion. This article should suffice for those now turning blue.
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