By Philip Son
Daily Arts Writer
"Others sang your lfe, but now's
your chance to shine and have the
pleasure of saying what you mean.
The rare pleasure of meaning what
u - "Sing Your Life," 1991
As a preeminent influence on the
current music scene (notably in the
United Kingdom), The Smiths was
one of the greatest bands in the
1980s, if not ever. The group's songs
were marked by the lyrical genius of
vocalist Morrissey and the musical
virtuosity of guitarist Johnny Marr.
Bassist Andy Rourke and drummer
Mike Joyce provided a potent rhythm
ection that sturdied up such songs as
his Charming Man" and "The
Queen is Dead."
From 1982 to 1987, the band
released four studio albums and 19
singles, a time period that fellow
Manchester band The Stone Roses
needed to release its second album.
After Marr left the band, Morrissey
embarked on a solo career that has
gone through many ups and downs.
is output as a solo artist has sur-
passed that of The Smiths' catalog
and his cult following of loyal fans,
although weakened, has remained.
August 8 marks the released of
Morrissey's latest release,
"Maladjusted," and it's probably his
most important album to date.
"There's too many people planning
- "The Teachers are Afraid of
the Pupils," 1995
The past year has been particularly
troubling for Morrissey. The key
event was a court case brought on by
The Smiths' drummer Mike Joyce,
who sued the songwriting duo of
Morrissey and Marr to recoup for
unpaid royalties. Successfully arguing
that he should have received 25 'per-
cent rather than 10 percent of the
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band's royalties on
record sales and mer-
ended up receiving
upwards of one mil-
lion pounds. Not
only was Joyce's vic-
tory a financial and
emotional blow to
Morrissey, but the
High Court judge
Morrissey as "devi-
ous, truculent, and
court case delayed
the recording of
"Maladjusted," but a
proposed U.S. tour The "Mozzer'
for the new album after a five-yea
hiatus has created a stir among fant
The court case and Morrissey's ag
have also added fuel to the fire i
rumors concerning the retirement o
"All of the rumors keeping m
grounded, I never said that they wer
- "Speedway," 199
Having just turned 38 years old o
May 28, the "Mozzer" is reportedl
considering retirement if the nev
album does well. After 1994's criti
rally acclaimed "Vauxhall and I;
Morrissey followed up wit
"Southpaw Grammar" in 1995.Y
brash and brave outing that straye
from his usual three-minute pop sin
gles, "Southpaw Grammar" was
commercial disaster. A European tot
co-headlining with David Bowie sud
denly ended as Morrissey bailed oi
due to an unnamed illness. Morrisse
is reported to be very keen on the suc
cess of "Maladjusted." Apparently, h
wants to retire at a time that will leav
him standing at the top of his game.
The notion of a world tour appea
to every U.S. fan. He last toured th
U.S. in 1992 and the sudden cancelle
;..t. : .
+ -i ,
' strikes a charming pose for his fans.
ar tion of two shows in 1994 in Los
s. Angeles and New York's Carnegie
e Hall left fans confused and upset. If
n Morrissey does indeed retire after this
f album, this upcoming tour may be the
last chance for fans to get a chance to
e see him on stage ever again.
e Recent reviews of advance copies
of "Maladjusted" have been superb.
4 Co-songwriters Alain Whyte and Boz
n Boorer apparently have supplied
y Morrissey with Smiths-esque tunes
w that can put him on top again. The
i- CEO of AP magazine describes the
," album as "as close to a Smiths
h reunion as one can get." The first sin-
A gle, "Maladjusted," will be released
d in July and the album is to follow on
- August 8.
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