Much to the chagrin of many, Morrissey's continued relevance is apparent. As singer and lyricist for The Smiths for a brief six year window in the 80's, he and musical cohort Johnny Marr crafted some of the era's most enduring and endearing music, a rare combination of musicality and lyricism hard-wired to grab the hearts of the youthful and despondent and, really, anyone who considered themselves unloveable. Is that all a bunch of hyperbole? Maybe, but my own heart is one of many that remains in the band's clutches.
More than a quarter of a century since the breakup of The Smiths-- which means he's been a solo artist now roughly five times longer than he was a frontman-- the band and the man continue to inspire. He's polarizing as ever and almost everyone seems to have an opinion of some kind-- on his politics, at least, if not the music itself. If you didn't get it a long time ago, you probably never will. From Pretty in Pink to your own adolescent crises to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, his voice has been a mainstay on the soundtracks (both actual and imaginary) of sensitive youth.
Morrissey sings his life tonight at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, freshly removed from some health battles and a sold-out Staples Center show in Los Angeles last week. Let's celebrate...
"There is a Light That Never Goes Out" - The Smiths, 1986
"Suedehead" - Morrissey, 1988
"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" (Live in Davis, CA) - Morrissey, 3/5/13
And now my heart is full.
And just for kicks, here's what is possibly the greatest Morrissey homage ever penned, courtesy of Sparks from their 2009 release, Exotic Creatures of the Deep: "Lighten Up, Morrissey."