• Stephen Street discusses Morrissey/Viva Hate - new interview at superdeluxeedition.com

    Very good interview, Street is pretty forthright in his comments:

    Stephen Street talks "Viva Hate" and trying to keep Morrissey happy - superdeluxeedition

    March 29, 2012 by Paul Sinclair

    Morrissey’s debut solo album Viva Hate is reissued next week. Producer and co-writer Stephen Street talks to us about the record and gives his verdict on the reissue.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Stephen Street discusses Morrissey/Viva Hate - new interview started by GregCannon View original post
    Comments 78 Comments
    1. shayde's Avatar
      shayde -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAVIE View Post
      It doesn't make much sense, does it? Morrissey is always wanting to be at the top of the charts and yet he has never thought of rejoining the chap who got his solo career successful in the first place.
      Hmm...I really don't know how Stephen Street got Morrissey straight into the top 10 with his singles, whilst The Smiths battled with the charts through their whole career. But I guess The Smiths never always picked the right singles. I would never have released "Shakespeare's Sister" or "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" as singles. I would have thought that "I Want The One I Can't Have" would have been stronger around that time.
      It's also a massive crime that they never released "There's A Light" as a single either, but Marr and Morrissey must have thought different at the time.
      i think it was a combination of things, commercial and good music by street, great lyrics from morrissey and a big record company that saw hit material written all over it. like when you hear everyday is like sunday - its a hit right? i think emi lost enthusiasm for morrissey when they heard kill uncle and some of the subsequent material.

      i think stephen street though was very in tune with what was commercial - you can see that in how his fingerprints over the albums of blur and others aided them to greater success. so yes, if morrissey wanted to be in the charts - it was an error to dump street in order to save money. it was undoubtedly a money losing move.

      the recent comparison is probably guy chambers and robbie williams. robbie also got to the point where he felt he could do it by himself and didnt need guy... and we all know what happened from there...

      the smiths had commercial songs, but you're right - didn't seem to pick them as singles. remember they threw away their arguably most recognized song today - as a b side (how soon is now). this seems unbelievable looking back. didnt the record company want to release this and there is a light as singles?

      hey maybe guy chambers should write morrissey some tunes and get him back in the charts? or is this a bad idea?
    1. Maurice E's Avatar
      Maurice E -
      Quote Originally Posted by shayde View Post
      i think it was a combination of things, commercial and good music by street, great lyrics from morrissey and a big record company that saw hit material written all over it. like when you hear everyday is like sunday - its a hit right? i think emi lost enthusiasm for morrissey when they heard kill uncle and some of the subsequent material.

      i think stephen street though was very in tune with what was commercial - you can see that in how his fingerprints over the albums of blur and others aided them to greater success. so yes, if morrissey wanted to be in the charts - it was an error to dump street in order to save money. it was undoubtedly a money losing move.

      the recent comparison is probably guy chambers and robbie williams. robbie also got to the point where he felt he could do it by himself and didnt need guy... and we all know what happened from there...

      the smiths had commercial songs, but you're right - didn't seem to pick them as singles. remember they threw away their arguably most recognized song today - as a b side (how soon is now). this seems unbelievable looking back. didnt the record company want to release this and there is a light as singles?

      hey maybe guy chambers should write morrissey some tunes and get him back in the charts? or is this a bad idea?
      No the Guy Chambers thing (or any professional songwriter) is certainly not a bad idea. And I wouldn't say the main objective is getting him back in the charts - it's getting him to release brilliant songs again.
      How Soon Is Now was eventually released as a single. The reason the Smiths threw away brilliant songs on b-sides was because they virtually wrote nothing but brilliant songs.
      When Morrissey put brilliant 'solo' songs on b-sides they were often clearly in a different league to the a-side e.g. Roys Keen and Lost, Dagenham Dave and Nobody Loves Us.
    1. VivaGil's Avatar
      VivaGil -
      I think it would do them well to get a straight forward pop producer to bring a different school of thought in. I think if you bought street you might get familiar but maybe not fresh? It would be nice if street could work on the find though.the tone its just bad these days.
    1. FROSTY's Avatar
      FROSTY -
      Quote Originally Posted by 9 x fined View Post
      i'm not sure what all the crying is about regarding the missing tracks etc. It's not like anyone is going to buy this thing.
      ha ha!
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by smiler View Post
      Am surpised that Stephen Street seems happy to make the same mistakes again. Firstly it may not be the best re-issue but it is Morrissey's album he can do what he likes and he deserves his full due credit. It appears Street priced himself out of the co-writer picture in the past arguing over fees and credits, which is a shame as they made some good songs. Seems like Streets ego kicked in, but time has showed us (as Streets writing has dried up and Morrissey's success has gone on and on) that he was actually onto a good thing at that point and should not have been greedy as he has surely lost out in the long run. Astonishingly he continues to be disloyal, why does he feel the need to say these thing that grab the headlines? "Butchered"...... "Trying to keep Morrissey happy – as a lot of people have discovered over the years – is quite a difficult thing to do. You’re walking on eggshells a lot of the time. It was draining"....... "contrary"..... - why doesn't he shut up and at the very least be professional. You can have creative differences in the studio but in the end it is Morrissey's album and he has the final creative say. Why bitch about it all in the press when you are meant to be promoting the album? - just say "We discussed it but it is his album and he has the final say but it was great being involved with him again blah blah". Stephen Street has alot to thank Morrissey for - he built his reputation on Morrissey's talent but you have to scan these pages to find a single gracious word.

      Finally we can all criticise Morrissey for the way he handled himself personally, for his "contariness" and his tendancy to
      flounce, but what shouldn't be forgotton is that Morrissey was and perhaps still is, very fragile in terms of his mental health.
      He has had periods of very serious severe depression which will have made it very difficult to form and maintain "normal"
      relationships and to even function well on a day to day basis. He has been very candid about this. He is not a well man.
      The unhappiness, the aloneness, the isolation, it will grip you and shape you and direct your perception of the world and
      those around you (and inspire you). This is what Morrissey is (or was) like, he spied the world from under a little black cloud
      - his own personal black cloud and this is why we love him. What seems to have been forgotton is that you must accept the
      bad with the good - they are the same thing (because sometimes the black cloud illuminates). So don't be surpirsed if
      people found him difficult to get along with, mistrusting, awkward, singleminded or contary, I personally wouldn't have it any
      other way. Probably if you can remember those were actually some of the qualities that drew you to Morrissey in the first

      place (under another name) - because just like him you too were probably shy and sad once and those few who knew you
      would probably discribe you in similar terms - but then you grew up and you forgot how it feels and you got a job and a
      brand new trendy clutch bag and you made friends and compromised and started to look down your nose at the world and
      now you say things like "I am a Smiths fan but not a Morrissey fan" (like that makes sense) or you say "I love the songs but
      i really don't like the man" (like that makes sense) or you say "he has lost his way and he isn't the same" but the truth is
      that somewhere along the line you got happy, so you closed your eyes and your ears completely and you forgot how it feels

      to feel terrified and alone then you got comfy and stopped creating, much to the dismay of those around you and suddenly
      you woke up to find you'd lost all your compassion and now you can't tell the difference between shyness and aloofness and
      silence and snobbery anymore and you think people should just get a job and give themselves a shake - without realising it
      you have changed so much that even the word "sad" has a totally different meaning for you and you spend your days and

      nights bitching about the one that for some reason you can't shake out of your mind
      Excuse me smiler, but Morrissey built Viva Hate and Bona Drag on the song writing genius of Steven Street. With out Streety, one wonders if it's not back to bed at 386 Kings Road for good!
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
      You mean the relationship foundered over Morrissey being a tunnel-visioned, uncompromising twat, as it had with the Smiths. Blaming an absent manager is too easy. Morrissey could have easily co-ordinated the royalties issue himself if he'd had the inclination to do it; he just didn't want to give Street more money than he felt was necessary. He's a tight bastard reluctant to give anybody else money or artistic control, and it's really as simple as that.
      Well thought out Amy! The songs and voice have always been wonderful! However, Morrissey does not know how to treat people with mutual respect and mutual courtesy. This nasty side has changed slightly in current days. Yet, no record company or manager worth a hoot dare to touch it with a 10 foot pole.
      Your post on Morrisseys fantasies of Johnny Marr returning, up to Your Arsenal, maybe right. But, after realizing what an a. h. Morrissey can be, would you want to return if you were in that position? No! When Johhny Marr cut ties with old Mozzy, it was for good and will be forever more.
      The endless stream of people, managers, song writers, fans and friends who have had enough continues to this very day. Read just a few posts on just this thread. Now multiply by 25 plus years of this character. Anyone steps on his ever fragile ego is done. The slightest disagreement, real or percieved gets The Tower! "The man- girl acts a twat and it works a trick." So the behavior is reconditioned into her mind as a viable means to achieve. It's that simple. Give me my way. Not what's fair, reasonable or just. Steven Street, Joe Moss, Scott Piering, Ken Friedman, Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, Winstanley, Langer, Johnny Bridgewood, Spencer Cobrin, Deano Butterworth, Mickey Farell and of corse Johnny Marr. All gone and not to return. Save Steven Street, who tries to put the past to bed for good! Though it's a no- way on this re- re- re- issue, gotta say, " Thank you Streety for the effort and being able to see past a nasty personality of self- centered selfishness and immaturity.
    1. Oso Blanco's Avatar
      Oso Blanco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
      I think that's been Morrissey's self-diagnosis all along!
      Hehe ... that's what I thought!
    1. smiler's Avatar
      smiler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      Excuse me smiler, but Morrissey built Viva Hate and Bona Drag on the song writing genius of Steven Street. With out Streety, one wonders if it's not back to bed at 386 Kings Road for good!
      unlikely......your point being?.......
    1. shayde's Avatar
      shayde -
      interesting reading these posts - post of them are constructive criticism - even the ones discussing the issues around morrissey's character and personal relationships (which affect his career) - and mostly because i suspect fans would love to see him release music that matters again, rather than the recent sub-standard material. but if morrissey actually read this stuff he would see it all as another vendetta - out to get him. which is a bit sad.
    1. smiler's Avatar
      smiler -
      Quote Originally Posted by shayde View Post
      interesting reading these posts - post of them are constructive criticism - even the ones discussing the issues around morrissey's character and personal relationships (which affect his career) - and mostly because i suspect fans would love to see him release music that matters again, rather than the recent sub-standard material. but if morrissey actually read this stuff he would see it all as another vendetta - out to get him. which is a bit sad.
      mostly it is another vendetta - which really is sad
    1. Amy's Avatar
      Amy -
      Quote Originally Posted by smiler View Post
      mostly it is another vendetta - which really is sad
      No it isn't.
    1. smiler's Avatar
      smiler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
      No it isn't.
      yes it is yes it is
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      I think that for most logical fans, the point of this entire thread is to focus on how important Street was to the initial success of Viva Hate and Morrissey.

      The music that he forwarded to Moz was accepted with great enthusiasm, and the subsequent outcome is indisputable in terms of the quality and success.

      No one could predict the future, but Street has definitely shown his talent with other bands, and Morrissey's success post-Street has been up and down. I think we can all agree that the Street-Morrissey collaboration would have been nice to see grow beyond the Viva Hate-early years.

      I know how important a part of early Morrissey music was to me; this material still means a lot to me compared to the lackluster output lately.

      Hopefully, no one will slag me off for my honest opinion--no negativism is intended in my post.
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
      No it isn't.
      Hi Amy: your basically a good kid and you wouldn't even bother to write if you didn't love Morrissey. Let's all try to get behind Morrissey, ( ya, I know), in his new/ old Viva Hate release. You know, The Complete Smiths was kinda discounted, until old Mike Joyce played it on East Village Radio last year. It really was good and who was that singing?
      Morrissey isn't just trying. The guys out their busting his ass on a current tour, only partly completed and then off to Asia. Then Hawaii and probably more right Morrissey? Then those two completed albums, that one day will happen. Besides, even Steven Street can't crank out Sunday & Playboy and the like all the time. A testament to how special these songs are in the first place. Good luck to the new Viva Hate. Yes it may need some, but may serve to keep the Morrissey Music going on forever with new fans and friends. Hey, the more the merry!
      Thanks again for writting Amy, you too Crystal and the lot of you. Yes even the detractors, ...who unwittingly made me."
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      I think that for most logical fans, the point of this entire thread is to focus on how important Street was to the initial success of Viva Hate and Morrissey.

      The music that he forwarded to Moz was accepted with great enthusiasm, and the subsequent outcome is indisputable in terms of the quality and success.

      No one could predict the future, but Street has definitely shown his talent with other bands, and Morrissey's success post-Street has been up and down. I think we can all agree that the Street-Morrissey collaboration would have been nice to see grow beyond the Viva Hate-early years.

      I know how important a part of early Morrissey music was to me; this material still means a lot to me compared to the lackluster output lately.

      Hopefully, no one will slag me off for my honest opinion--no negativism is intended in my post.
      Good show mate! Good show!
    1. smiler's Avatar
      smiler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      I think that for most logical fans, the point of this entire thread is to focus on how important Street was to the initial success of Viva Hate and Morrissey.

      The music that he forwarded to Moz was accepted with great enthusiasm, and the subsequent outcome is indisputable in terms of the quality and success.

      No one could predict the future, but Street has definitely shown his talent with other bands, and Morrissey's success post-Street has been up and down. I think we can all agree that the Street-Morrissey collaboration would have been nice to see grow beyond the Viva Hate-early years.

      I know how important a part of early Morrissey music was to me; this material still means a lot to me compared to the lackluster output lately.

      Hopefully, no one will slag me off for my honest opinion--no negativism is intended in my post.
      As a producer maybe but can you tell me all about Street's other co-writing successes please? - because there isn't any. So one wonders what happened to all this talent that Morrissey missed out on? and personally i'd rather have Tony Visconti producing my album.
    1. King Leer's Avatar
      King Leer -
      It is a bit odd Street never tried his hand at composing with other artists, but that's probably because they had their own songs. None of the artists he's worked with since Moz-solo have needed songs provided to them.

      And to be fair, not one single collaborator of Morrissey's, past or present, has put out anything that could either be hailed as brilliant nor a commercial success. Whether Alain's credits with Madonna, Rihanna etc. constitute the latter I'll let others argue...

      EDIT: Johnny Marr's work on the Inception soundtrack could be considered a big success - apologies. But it's not as if it'd be recognizable as his work if you didn't know.

      Quote Originally Posted by smiler View Post
      As a producer maybe but can you tell me all about Street's other co-writing successes please? - because there isn't any. So one wonders what happened to all this talent that Morrissey missed out on? and personally i'd rather have Tony Visconti producing my album.
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      I could listen to Viva Hate on an old worn out cassette and still fall in love with it. Remastering is a crock.
      They have an adjective to describe people who think ALL remastering is a crock: cheap. Enjoy your fucking worn out cassette, buddy...