Published Nov 24, 2015While many have reached out to Paris following the horrific attacks on the city earlier this month, Morrissey is claiming his efforts to pay tribute the French capital have been rebuffed by his old label, Universal Music.
News of Morrissey's purportedly thwarted move comes from fan site True to You, which reports that the artist had wanted to reissue his 2009 single "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" as a "loving tribute to the lives lost in the Paris atrocities." According to the post, Universal Music London CEO David Joseph wasn't onboard with the idea.
It's further alleged by True to You that Joseph opted instead to arrange "his own tribute to Paris utilizing his current crop of Universal artists." Universal Music UK has not responded to the claims.
Sadly, UMG-associated Mercury Records executive Thomas Ayad was one of the victims cut down in the attack during Eagles of Death Metal's November 13 performance at Le Bataclan. The attack left 89 dead and 99 critically injured.
"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" came off of Morrissey's 2009 LP, Years of Refusal. He left the label in 2010.
UPDATE (11/24 3:35 p.m. EST): A spokesperson for Universal Music has now issued a statement via Pitchfork, denying the claims that the label attempted to block a charitable reissue of Morrissey's "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" and calling such a suggestion "hurtful and wrong."
We have not received — let alone refused — any request from Morrissey himself related to "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris." While we have not been contacted directly by Morrissey, after seeing the comments on his website last week, we asked his representative to confirm his intentions and which charity he had in mind to support via the song's proceeds. We are yet to receive a reply.
Many people at Universal Music have been personally affected by the events in Paris. The implication that we have blocked a request from Morrissey in favour of another tribute "utilizing our current crop of Universal artists" is hurtful and wrong.
UPDATE (11/25, 11:30 a.m. EST): Via True to You, Morrissey has now issued a statement denying Universal's claims. The post reads:
Universal Music (London) have denied refusing to re-issue Morrissey's "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" in support of the victims of the recent Paris atrocities. Morrissey is in possession of a letter from John Reid at Russells (London) in which it is clearly stated that David Joseph of Universal Music (London) has no interest in re-issuing "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris," but has instead planned his own tribute to the Paris victims for December which will only involve current Universal bands. Universal Music has claimed to be "hurt" by the suggestion that such a letter exists. The letter can be freely made available to anyone who wishes to read it.