This month in 1987, Morrissey was in Somerset, England, at the Wool Hall studio to record his seminal studio album, his solo debut: Viva Hate.
It was released in March 1988 by HMV, six months after the final recording by The Smiths, Strangeways, Here We Come.
Viva Hate had commercial success; it was certified gold by RIAA (sold more than 500,000 copies) in November 1993, indicating that Moz’s appeal wasn’t just tied to The Smiths. It reached number one on the UK album chart.
Rolling Stone called Viva Hate “a tight, fairly disciplined affair”, in comparison of its sound to that of The Smiths. While Pitchfork tagged it as “one of Morrissey’s most interesting records, and certainly his riskiest,” and that its “strange mix of pomp and minimal languor makes Viva Hate the only Morrissey LP you’d consider listening to just for its music.”
Viva Hate was listed by 𝘘 as one of the top 50 albums of 1988. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
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Featured image by Brian Rasic.