Thus far any NME efforts in this series have harked back to the cassette era. This one however, is much more recent.
The NME and Morrissey have had an on-off relationship over the years. Simon Goddard sums up succinctly:-
His history with the NME is a tragicomedy unto itself. In the 1970s, they shunned his attempts to join their exclusive club as a freelance writer, barring him at the threshold of their letter page and the classified columns. Exacting the ultimate revenge, in the 1980s they lauded him as their pop saviour, the would-be critic having transformed himself into the object of their stupified desire. In the 1990s, as if suddenly humiliated by their sycophancy, they would try to destroy him. And in the 2000s they would beg him back on bended knee only to end their affair once and for all with an act of monumental dull-wittedness.
The bended-knee approach incorporated a Morrissey-curated free CD given away with the 19 June 2004 edition of the NME. The editor at the time, Conor McNicholas, penned these words:-
Morrissey hopes this compilation will say everything to you about your life, and maybe a little about his. Over the course of this CD Morrissey leads you by the hand from spiky punk to sun-kissed country grooves via bands he’s influenced and new acts he’s now consciously endorsing as the legacy of his talent and work. It’s a fascinating compilation and we’re very proud to present it. Now it’s all yours.
A wee bit over the top perhaps, but to be fair the 17 tracks are extremely diverse and as a free CD it is better than most. It was certainly unbeatable in terms of value. As with these sorts of compilations, there really should be something for everyone who reads TVV but at the same time, I’m prepared to accept there will inevitably be stuff that gets on your tits…..
mp3 : Morrissey – The Never Played Symphonies
mp3 : The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
mp3 : Gene – Fighting Fit
mp3 : Sparks – Barbecutie
mp3 : The Slits – Love Und Romance
mp3 : The Ordinary Boys – (Little) Bubble
mp3 : New York Dolls – Vietnamese Baby
mp3 : Franz Ferdinand – Jacqueline (live)
mp3 : Raymonde – No One Can Hold A Candle To You
mp3 : Ludus – Let Me Go Where My Pictures Go
mp3 : Sack – Colorado Springs
mp3 : Remma – Worry Young (Demo Version)
mp3 : Pony Club – Single
mp3 : Jobriath – Morning Star Ship
mp3 : Damien Dempsey – Factories
mp3 : The Libertines – Time For Heroes
mp3 : Sir John Betjeman – A Child Ill
Morrissey would himself record and release a copy of the Raymonde track later that year as a b-side:-
mp3 : Morrissey – No One Can Hold A Candle To You
I should also mention at this point that last Saturday saw Morrissey play the Hydro in Glasgow as part of his latest UK tour. For the first time ever, I made a conscious decision not to go along, choosing instead to spend my day at an alternative music shindig featuring, among others, Randolph’s Leap.
I do have the very slightest of regrets at missing Moz just in case it does turn out to be the final time he tours this part of the world and judging by the press reviews it was a belter of a gig….but against that, a couple of folk who were there and have been fans for years think that his best shows are long behind him and I didn’t miss out too much.
What I will say is that Randolph’s Leap were magnificent and provided further evidence as to why this, in my opinion, was the best album of 2014.