MORRISSEY, Your Arsenal
The now rehabilitated Pope Of Mope, Morrissey – whose shockingly cavalier business plan for the past five years has been to reissue old albums and singles in new, lesser sleeves, promote the singles by becoming a recluse, and releasing a single that is off a different album completely, continues his quest to alter the body of work with a reissue of “Your Arsenal”. After butchering “Viva Hate”, “Bona Drag”, “Kill Uncle”, “Southpaw Grammar” and “Maladjusted” with vastly different (and inferior) tracklistings seemingly chosen at random from across his career and cover art from decades later, “Your Arsenal” thankfully has seemed to survive almost unscarred : the original album, his finest solo record, is 90% intact with only the more muscular American version of 'Tomorrow' replacing the original album version. No songs removed, replaced, or resequenced, no cover art changed, FOR ONCE. Sadly, the usual Morrissey approach avoids any extra songs – which, as this album also birthed 6 superlative extra songs including the wonderful 'Jack The Ripper', none of which are here. What's wrong with putting the albums out again in their original sleeves with extra songs on a second CD and a DVD of a live show from the period? There's a minor change - and sadly the b-sides are all bafflingly absent, but it is 95% the original record - and Morrissey's best.
Well, half-right, anyway. In terms of extra content, meanwhile, there is a concert DVD taken from the tour for the previous album. This show, a rough and ready VHS quality show from October 1991 is far superior to the then-issued “Live In Dallas” video, but still not particularly good. His band are tighter, the sound better, and and the setlist includes two songs from the forthcoming “Your Arsenal” sessions, but again, it's a virtual retread of “Live In Dallas” from four months earlier, albeit with several different songs. There's little sign of the demonstrable insanity in the crowd that is clearly evident, but every minute or someone some crazed fan, of which I was once one, runs on stage and gives him a hug or some other form of physical contact, so much so the show is interrupted – not the first show, or the last for such an event.
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