On this date in 1988, Morrissey released Viva Hate.
Viva Hate is the debut solo album by Moz and was released six months after the final album by The Smiths, Strangeways Here We Come.
Produced by Stephen Street, the album was certified Gold by the RIAA in November 1993. I’d say Viva Hate is one of the most prominent debut solo albums ever—apparently it’s included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Rolling Stone called the album “a tight, fairly disciplined affair”, in comparison of its sound to that of The Smiths. While Pitchfork wrote in its retrospective review: “one of Morrissey’s most interesting records, and certainly his riskiest; 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 video here, “Late Night, Maudlin Street”, taken from Summer Sonic (2002), one of my most fave songs in Viva Hate. I played this beautiful, sad, and self-pitying tune a lot during the early days I joined the cruise ship. It was my first job, alone, far away from home, I worked so long hours, it was ultra exhausting. “Late Night, Maudlin Street” helped me get through tough times.
Many Moz fans believe the song contains some lyrics that are autobiographical, about his adolescent age, when his life was full of loneliness and depression, he had to employ the use of prescription drugs.
The song title came from both Bill Naughton’s Late Night Watling Street and the fictional secondary school Maudlin Street Secondary Modern School from the English film Carry On Teacher.
Happy 33rd anniversary, Viva Hate!
Text: Wikipedia, Song Meanings + Facts.
Photo: The New York Times.