Of course this is one of those much-whispered legends that occasionally surfaces on the Morrissey market, there to be subject to all the earnest over-analysis that the mans very existence seems to insist upon. Nor should the fact that Viva Hate! remains the weakest of all his solo albums so far puncture that scenario - there are times when it seems hard enough to persuade Morrissey to release a real LP, let alone hope that his out-takes will come sneaking out. By that criteria, the very existence of this collection is a miracle. The strength of its contents is simply a bonus.
Things open with two reasonably different versions of "Please Help The Cause Against Loneliness," a number written for (and recorded by) Sandy Shaw, but never released by Morrissey himself; interestingly, the opening drum pattern sounds suspiciously like "You Cant Hurry Love," although its just a passing phase before the number swings into a fairly typical (but nevertheless contagious) late 80s Moz lament.
No less than three
stabs at "Dial-a-Cliché" allow us to trace the evolution
of the final album version, without really adding much to the performance
itself, but the version of "Hairdresser On Fire" is an eye-opening
revelation for anybody who has ever doubted Morrisseys ability to
parody himself, while singing a song whose lyrics he clearly hasnt
bothered to learn yet. A dramatic, and curiously curtailed revision of
"I Know Very Well How I Got My Name" is effective, while theres
also an enjoyable clip of studio chatter, as Morrissey tries to decide
whether the "come Armageddon" lyric in "Everyday Is Like
Sunday" actually works in the performance. Unfortunately, the song
itself doesnt appear here
a fate that befalls the remainder
of the sessions. Still, four songs, seven tracks and one more-or-less
unheard number is more than the most optimistic observer could have hoped
for, and the only regret is - why cant we get similar access to
one of his better albums? -
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