As his career continues to be shrouded in conjured controversy amid his political stance and outspoken opinions, it’s easy to forget the highly influential role Morrissey has played in the solidity of indie rock.
Playing a major role in the formation of Britpop by fronting iconic rock back The Smiths, Morrissey and his baritone voice combined with his literary daring lyrics have made him an undoubted British cultural icon. Below we’ve brought together a playlist of some of his favourite songs.
Morrissey’s transition from an anti-establishment, self-deprecating figure who actively avoided all cliched stereotypes of rock music to controversial celebrity aligned with the far-right politics and a certain vision of English national identity has been one that has ruffled more than a few feathers.
His outspoken opinions on animal rights, vegetarianism, the royal family and politics aside, Morrissey has impacted alternative music greatly and, to this day, his legacy can be found in different aspects of all new bands breaking through.
Four studio albums with The Smiths, 12 as a solo artist, a change in music direction and a major comeback in later life has seen Morrissey continually push his musical adventure and toured relentlessly around every release.
“Nothing is important, so people, realising that, should get on with their lives, go mad, take their clothes off,” he once said when discussing the concept of seizing the moment. “Jump in the canal, jump into one of those supermarket trolleys, race around the supermarket and steal Mars bars and kiss kittens,” he continued.
Never shy to openly discuss musical influences throughout his career, Morrissey created a list a few years ago which consists of the 13 singles that he holds dearly—a fascinating insight into different songs that had an impact on his artistic vision.
“When they bury me in a church and chuck earth on my grave, I’d like the words ‘Well, at least he tried’ engraved on my tombstone,” the singer once said and it’s hard to argue with that.
With the likes of New York Dolls, The Tams, The Crystals, Roxy Music and more, see the full list, below and find the full playlist below that.
Morrissey’s 13 favourite singles of all time:
- New York Dolls – ‘Jet Boy’
- Sparks – ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us’
- The Sundown Playboys – ‘Saturday Nite Special’
- Bob & Marcia – ‘Young, Gifted and Black’
- The Tams – ‘Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy’
- Buffy Sainte-Marie – ‘Soldier Blue’
- Al Martino – ‘Granada’
- Shocking Blue – ‘Mighty Joe’
- The Crystals – ‘All Grown Up’
- Paul Jones – ‘I’ve Been A Bad, Bad Boy’
- The Supremes – ‘I’m Livin’ In Shame’
- Roxy Music – ‘Do The Strand’
- Mr Bloe – ‘Groovin With Mr Bloe’