“My childhood is streets upon streets upon streets upon streets.”
As fans, we approach musical autobiographies with trepidation, fearing that, stripped of melody and rhythm, our lyrical heroes will reveal themselves in lumpen prose to be unremarkable artists and shallow thinkers. But from the opening lines of Morrissey’s autobiography, as he evokes the grim backdrop of “Victorian knife-plunging Manchester” with relish, you know you are in good hands. “Manchester is the old fire wheezing its last, where we all worry ourselves soulless, forbidden to be romantic.”
With typical pretension, Morrissey’s first book has been published as a Penguin Classic. It justifies such presentation with a beautifully measured prose style that combines a lilting, poetic turn of phrase and acute quality of observation, revelling in a kind of morbid glee at life’s injustice with arch, understated humour, a laughter that is a shadow away from depression or anger.
As such, it is recognisably the voice of the most distinctive British pop lyricist of his era. It is certainly the best written musical autobiography since Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, and like that book it evokes a sense of what it must be like to dwell within such an extraordinary mind.
For the full review go to the Telegraph.co.uk
It has been said ‘Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.’
Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades. Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others.
An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv.
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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