Viva Hate is the debut solo studio album by English singer Morrissey. It was released on 14 March 1988 by HMV, six months after the final studio album by the Smiths, Strangeways, Here We Come (1987).

Viva Hate
Studio album by
Released14 March 1988 (1988-03-14)
RecordedOctober–December 1987
StudioWool Hall Studios
GenreAlternative rock
LabelHMV (UK)
Sire/Reprise (US & Canada)
EMI (Australia & New Zealand) [1]
ProducerStephen Street
Morrissey chronology
Viva Hate
Bona Drag
1997 re-release cover
Singles from Viva Hate
  1. "Suedehead"
    Released: 15 February 1988
  2. "Everyday Is Like Sunday"
    Released: 30 May 1988

Vini Reilly, the leader of the English post-punk band the Durutti Column, played guitar on the album. Producer Stephen Street, who had contributed to multiple Smiths releases, served as the bassist.

Background edit

Viva Hate origins date to when Smiths co-producer Stephen Street sent Morrissey demos that could potentially be used for Smiths B-sides released after Johnny Marr's departure from the band. Morrissey liked the demos and decided to collaborate with Street for a debut solo album. Morrissey commented on his and Street's partnership in a 1988 interview, "Working with Stephen as a producer is quite different from writing with him, and even his personality has changed dramatically, within this sphere; he's more relaxed, and more exciting." Morrissey also contrasted the "aggressive" musicianship of Marr with Street's "gentle side," describing the latter as "something I find totally precious."[2]

Viva Hate was recorded between October and December 1987.[3] For the album, Street played bass and recruited drummer Andrew Paresi and Durutti Column guitarist Vini Reilly. Morrissey praised the "beauty" and "erotic" quality of Reilly's guitar work while also noting his sense of humor.

After the album was released, Reilly claimed every song on the album except "Suedehead" had been composed by Morrissey and Reilly.[4] Street has denied this.[5] In an interview in 2014 Vini Reilly said "I want to talk about Stephen Street about whom I've said wrong things in the past; this is not an excuse, this is fact, I have suffered from what they call 'displaced anger' and this is where you're very angry with yourself and you don't understand, you just shout at people you really care about."[6]

Release edit

Viva Hate was released on 14 March 1988 by record label HMV.

EMI Australia considered Viva Hate too harsh a title and renamed the album Education in Reverse for LP release in Australia and New Zealand,[7] the same title appearing as an etching on the vinyl.

The American release included the track "Hairdresser on Fire", which had been released in the UK as a B-side to "Suedehead", as track 9. This same track was released on a 7" single that was sold with the album in Japan.

The track "Margaret on the Guillotine", which described the death of then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher as a "wonderful dream", led to Morrissey briefly being questioned by the Special Branch.[8]

It was certified Gold by the RIAA on 16 November 1993.

In 1997, EMI, in celebration of their 100th anniversary, released a remastered special edition of this album in the UK. It features different cover art and a different booklet (it has a photograph of a billboard for the 1993 live album Beethoven Was Deaf and drops the lyrics) as well as eight bonus tracks – only one of which was contemporaneous with the album. "Hairdresser on Fire" does not appear on this version.

A newly remastered, special edition of Viva Hate, supervised by Stephen Street, was released on 2 April 2012. This edition controversially omits, along with the name of Vini Reilly, one of the original album's tracks, "The Ordinary Boys", and includes the session outtake "Treat Me Like a Human Being". Also, the extended fadeout of "Late Night, Maudlin Street" has been changed. Stephen Street has said that he felt these changes were a mistake but that the track selection was changed at Morrissey's insistence.[3] "Hairdresser on Fire", again, is also not included on this edition. Additionally, the typeface font on the front cover had been changed.

Critical reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [9]
Chicago Sun-Times    [10]
Los Angeles Times    [11]
Mojo     [12]
Q     [15]
Rolling Stone     [16]
The Village VoiceB[18]

Viva Hate was generally well received by music critics. Rolling Stone called the album "a tight, fairly disciplined affair", in comparison of its sound to that of the Smiths.[16] In its retrospective review, Pitchfork called the album "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".[14]

A negative review came from Spin, who wrote "without guitarist/composer Johnny Marr at his side, the mahatma of mope rock seems to have gone out for a nice depressing stroll without noticing that he didn't have a stitch to wear".[19]

Viva Hate was listed by Q as one of the top 50 albums of 1988.[20] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2005).[21]

Track listing edit

All lyrics are written by Morrissey; all music is composed by Stephen Street

Viva Hate track listing
1."Alsatian Cousin"3:13
2."Little Man, What Now?"1:48
3."Everyday Is Like Sunday"3:32
4."Bengali in Platforms"3:55
5."Angel, Angel Down We Go Together"1:40
6."Late Night, Maudlin Street"7:40
Side two
8."Break Up the Family"3:55
9."The Ordinary Boys"3:10
10."I Don't Mind If You Forget Me"3:17
12."Margaret on the Guillotine"3:42
Total length:42:16
US bonus track
9."Hairdresser on Fire"3:51
EMI centenary edition bonus tracks
13."Let the Right One Slip In"
14."Pashernate Love"
  • Morrissey
  • Whyte
  • Day
15."At Amber" 2:43
16."Disappointed" (live) 3:07
17."Girl Least Likely To"
18."I'd Love To"
19."Michael's Bones" 3:10
20."I've Changed My Plea to Guilty"
  • Morrissey
  • Mark E. Nevin
2012 remastered special edition bonus track
9."Treat Me Like a Human Being"2:27

Personnel edit

Credits are adapted from the Viva Hate liner notes.[22]

Charts edit

Chart performance for Viva Hate
Chart (1988) Peak
Australian Albums (Australian Music Report)[23] 21
Dutch Albums[24] 12
German Albums[25] 33
New Zealand Albums[26] 8
Norwegian Albums[27] 20
Swedish Albums[28] 27
UK Albums Chart[29] 1
US Billboard 200[30] 48

Certifications edit

Certifications for Viva Hate
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[31] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[32] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References edit

  1. ^ "Morrissey - Viva Hate at Discogs". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Songs of Love and Hate". Melody Maker: 32. 12–19 March 1988.
  3. ^ a b Kinney, Fergal (23 February 2012). "Stephen Street – exclusive interview". Louder Than War. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Morrissey: Vini Reilly Part 5". YouTube. Retrieved 22 January 2015. Reilly felt sad about it and would have wished a better treatment. He nevertheless expressed no regret and recognized Morrissey as a gifted artist and Street as a skilled technician; he admitted that it was his mistake to have accepted such an agreement in the first place. From his side, Street denied all of this. Tony Wilson's version would confirm Reilly's and reported also money-related issues, which makes this case even more unacceptable for him (See an interview of Tony Wilson with Prism Films: Prism Archives "The Smiths and Morrissey: Tony Wilson 05 (of 6)". YouTube. Retrieved 22 January 2015.)
  5. ^ Sinclair, Paul (29 March 2012). "Stephen Street talks 'Viva Hate' and trying to keep Morrissey happy". SuperDeluxeEdition. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  6. ^ Domínio indisponível
  7. ^ Autobiography (2013), p. 390. Penguin Classics.
  8. ^ Hann, Michael (18 October 2013). "Morrissey autobiography: 10 things we learned". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Viva Hate – Morrissey". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  10. ^ McLeese, Don (6 April 1988). "Morrissey rises to meet solo challenge". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  11. ^ Willman, Chris (27 March 1988). "Morrissey as Solo Artist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  12. ^ Harrison, Ian (May 2012). "Morrissey: Viva Hate". Mojo. No. 222. p. 101.
  13. ^ Jackson, Alan (19 March 1988). "Education in Reverse". NME. p. 30.
  14. ^ a b Ewing, Tom (28 March 2012). "Morrissey: Viva Hate". Pitchfork. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  15. ^ Heath, Chris (April 1988). "Wobbly". Q. No. 19. p. 82.
  16. ^ a b Coleman, Mark (19 May 1988). "Viva Hate". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  17. ^ Bonner, Michael (4 April 2012). "Morrissey – Viva Hate". Uncut. Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  18. ^ Christgau, Robert (28 June 1988). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  19. ^ Altman, Billy (June 1988). "Morrissey: Viva Hate". Spin. Vol. 4, no. 3. p. 72. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  20. ^ "50 Recommended Albums of the Year". Q. No. 28. January 1989.
  21. ^ Stokes, Paul (2006). "Morrissey: 'Viva Hate'". In Dimery, Robert (ed.). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Universe Publishing. p. 599. ISBN 978-0-7893-1371-3.
  22. ^ Morrissey (1988). Viva Hate (CD booklet). HMV.
  23. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 208. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. the Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid-1983 and 19 June 1988.
  24. ^ Steffen Hung. "Morrissey - Viva Hate -". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts - Offizielle Deutsche Charts". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  26. ^ Steffen Hung. " - Morrissey - Viva Hate". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  27. ^ Steffen Hung. " - Morrissey - Viva Hate". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  28. ^ Steffen Hung. " - The Smiths - Meat Is Murder". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  29. ^ "viva+hate | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  30. ^ "Morrissey – Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  31. ^ "British album certifications – Morrissey – Viva Hate". British Phonographic Industry.
  32. ^ "American album certifications – Morrissey – Viva Hate". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links edit