Boxers appeared in January 1995, some 10 months after the release of Vauxhall And I, but seven months prior to the issue of Southpaw Grammar. Thankfully, from this listeners’ perspective, it is a song that fits in more with the former than the latter.
The sleeve on the top is the UK release, and the cover star is an American fighter called Billy Conn of the 1930s and 40s, who at one-time was the Light-Heavyweight champion of the world (in an era when just one man held the title at a particular weight, unlike today with its myriad of ‘champs’ recognised by different governing bodies). Apart from appearing on a Morrissey record sleeve, Billy Conn has had several brushes with the performing arts, including appearances on TV and in movies. He was also name-checked in the famous film On The Waterfront
The sleeve underneath is the US version, and shows Morrissey outside an old London training gym. The two b-sides, along with the single itself, would all later find their way onto the compilation LP, World Of Morrissey.
Boxers is one of the stronger Morrissey songs from the era, as is Have-A-Go- Merchant, the b-side on the 7″ single. But the additional track on the 12″ and CD single suffers from really bad saxophone playing from Boz Boorer which has often led me to skip past it when it comes round on the i-pod.
mp3 : Morrissey – Boxers
mp3 : Morrissey – Have-A-Go Merchant
mp3 : Morrissey – Whatever Happens, I Love You
The single peaked at a disappointing, but atypical for the period, #23.
Oh and legend has it that the title of the 7″ b-side was inspired by what Morrissey thought was this tame cover version:-
mp3 : 10,000 Maniacs – Everyday Is Like Sunday