Alma Matters

"Alma Matters" is a song by Morrissey, released as a single in July 1997. It was the first single to be taken from the Maladjusted album and was released one week before the album.

"Alma Matters"
Single by Morrissey
from the album Maladjusted
Released21 July 1997
GenreAlternative rock
LabelIsland (UK)
Songwriter(s)Morrissey, Alain Whyte
Producer(s)Steve Lillywhite
Morrissey singles chronology
"Alma Matters"
"Roy's Keen"
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]

The single reached number 16 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Morrissey's first top 20 hit since "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" in 1994. The song was also notable for seeing Morrissey reference the film A Taste of Honey for the first time since his early days in The Smiths in the line "it's my life to ruin my own way".

The song title is a pun on Alma mater.

Track listingsEdit

7" vinyl and cassette (UK)Edit

  1. "Alma Matters" (Morrissey/Alain Whyte)
  2. "Heir Apparent" (Morrissey/Whyte)

12" vinyl and CDEdit

  1. "Alma Matters"
  2. "Heir Apparent"
  3. "I Can Have Both" (Morrissey/Boz Boorer)
Country Record label Format Catalogue number
UK Island 7" vinyl IS667
UK Island 12" vinyl 12IS667
UK Island Compact disc CID667
UK Island Cassette CIS667


Jack Rabid of AllMusic called this single "ho-hum", saying it was "a poor choice to represent Maladjusted".[1] He also criticized guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte, asking when Morrissey was going to part company with them, and declared the B-sides "Heir Apparent" and "I Can Have Both" to be the better songs but still lacking in comparison to previous B-sides "Whatever Happens, I Love You" and "Nobody Loves Us".[1] Rabid concludes his review, writing "Morrissey is a major talent with a special voice atrophying in underwhelming material and backing. To quote Joy Division, 'When will it end?'"[1] Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club, however, listed the song as a highlight of Maladjusted.[2]

In a 2009 article Uncut described the song as 'Morrissey’s worst single'.[3]

Spin's list of '50 Best Morrissey Songs' from 2017 includes 'Alma Matters' as his #12 best solo song.[4]


  • Morrissey: voice
  • Martin "Boz" Boorer: guitar
  • Alain Whyte: guitar
  • Jonny Bridgwood: bass
  • Spencer James Cobrin: drums

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Rabid, Jack. "Alma Matters Review". AllMusic. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  2. ^ "Morrissey: Maladjusted". Music. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  3. ^ "Morrissey – Southpaw Grammar/ Maladjusted". April 27, 2009. Archived from the original on 2021-03-29.
  4. ^ Zaleski, Annie; Anderson, Jason (December 28, 2017). "50 Best Morrissey Songs".

External linksEdit