Morrissey Talks Swords "Disaster," Onstage Collapse and the "Market-Driven" Music Industry

Morrissey Talks <i>Swords</i> 'Disaster,' Onstage Collapse and the 'Market-Driven' Music Industry
Morrissey has been releasing music for 28 years, first as a member of the Smiths, then solo. Still, the perennially mopey songwriter appears to be no closer to exercising the demons that made him such a celebrated lyricist in the first place. In a year-end message posted earlier today (December 16) on the fansite True to You, the singer discussed the unfortunate state of the music industry, the illness that made him collapse in Swindon, England and his dissatisfaction with the recent B-sides compilation Swords.

"I am sorry that Swords was such a meek disaster," Morrissey wrote. "It was proposed and accepted as a budget-priced CD, yet emerged everywhere as the most expensive CD in the racks. It was poorly distributed and didn't stand a chance, and ranks as the lowest chart position I've ever encountered."

Swords appears to have increased the singer's cynicism towards the music industry, as he wrote that "the world of music is purely market-driven -€“ not even youth-driven anymore. Talent or merit or songs do not enter the equation for a split second; the campaign is the thing, the campaign is what is discussed amongst the public, the campaign is what impresses the press, and the songs are never a factor."

What's more, he complained that, "you see the death of culture all around you," revealing that he won't be returning to Universal Records for future releases.

Nevertheless, he remains proud of his other recent solo releases, writing "I remain steadfastly proud of Years of Refusal, which along with You Are the Quarry and Ringleader of the Tormentors are my life's peaks. These three will allow me to die in peace. I am no longer in the thrall of anything that preceded them; the past is not me."

Morrissey mentioned several of his favourite shows of the year, ranking Dublin as the highlight. He also dwelled on the disasters, writing that "Hope denied in Liverpool, and the physical limits were tipped in Swindon - these were life's unfortunate lows."

Of the flu scares that occurred while he was on tour, he complained, "Life has come to this? By tours' end I had no face worth rearranging."

As for his future musical plans, he admitted, "Record label interest is zero." Still, he insists that "the sun will creep back into the room one way or another. It always does."

Dramatic as always, he signed off "Small and bowed, I offer you my eternal thanks, and my hopes for a steady 2010, full of good grace and no darkness." There are plenty more classic Morrissey moments to be had in the full message, which can be read here.