I'm really excited to hear that Morrissey has plans to jump back into the studio after this tour completes. I'm sure this has been speculated about in other threads, but do you think it will all be brand new material, or do you think the 5 or so new tracks that he's debuted over the course of his US tour will end up on there (like he's been testing the waters with them, or trying them on for size)? Personally I'd rather see an album of all new material come next year and perhaps a live album in the interim. I think the live album is an excellent idea because if he places all the "new" tracks on it then it would be unique from let's say Beethoven Is Deaf or Live At Earls Court which both feature only previously released material. A live album with the new material from the tour would brings fans who attended fond memories, give the fans who couldn't attend a crash course in what they missed, and give us excellent quality versions of the new tracks. And with five (has there been more than 5 new songs?) songs assembled one live album, it would make the release stand on it's own legs as almost an album in it's own right. He's made such variation over the course of the tour in terms of set list -- not dramatically so, but there has been a definite evolution to which songs he plays if you compare the start of the tour with now -- that it would be great to have a DVD or 2CD (maybe 3?) set of one performance each of every song he's played on the tour. It won't happen, but it's a nice thought!
On to Smiths stuff, I hope the recent magazine article about The Smiths box and album rereleases isn't bunk. Out of most bands out there I think The Smiths deserves remastered releases more than most... after all, breaking up in 1987, there's been LIGHTYEARS of technological advancements in recording quality... I know most fans don't want just a remaster, but unreleased material as well, but if ALL we got were remasters, I'd still be thrilled (unlike many fans... If I have to see one more quote of "Reissue! Repackage! Repackage!" I might scream, haha). But if what we read is true, there will be BOTH a box and 2CD remasters, so it begs the question, what sort of stuff will be on either? Will the box feature rarities/unreleased tracks (the more rare Smiths material like The Draze Train and of course, the Troy Tate Sessions... maybe even the "lost" tracks from the Peel and Jensen sessions) and leave the more prominant b-sides to the second disc attached to the albums? Perhaps they will "phase out" The World Won't Listen, Hatful Of Hollow (and Louder Than Bombs) by placing all THOSE tracks as material on the 4 main album's second discs. Who knows.. I'd be happy with a live concert strapped onto each of the remastered albums (ala the recent Joy Division remasters). There's surprisingly little OFFICIAL Smiths/Moz live concerts (especially from The Smiths era... I'm shocked that there hasn't been more "official" bootlegs released -- meaning released by a small record company, probably overseas, that is higher quality than your typical bootleg, both in packaging and sound. Once again i reference Joy Divsion with the live albums released like "Preston" and "Les Baines Douches" which obviously didn't come from their record company, but are still sold commerically). I'd even buy the box if it was ALL live... just to hear variations of classics, and as a way to live vicariously through The Smiths' legacy... especially for me, since I was roughly 4 or 5 when they disbanded. The knowledge that I will never get to see The Smiths live is a big regret of mine (as lame and fanboyish as that sounds). There's no other artist I can say that about, except maybe Johnny Cash (although it's not like he was touring when he brought his BEST material, 1993-2004), and maybe Pink Floyd (not even with Gilmour at the helm... although I think I was almost going to go back in 94 with my mom and dad, but I was only 10, so I didn't know better... so I suppose that only leaves cheesy laser light shows!). Sorry, I digress. The other possibility is that the box will house the 2 disc rereleases, perhaps with a bonus disc you can only get there (like the upcoming David Bowie box which contains his last 5 albums, all with secondary discs... but each of those albums [with their second discs] have already been released individually in Japan... the box has no exclusive material). I figure such a box could be a good thing... casual fans could buy any or all of the remastered albums individually, while the more hardcore fan could get them all in the box, hopefully at a discounted rate... or if there's exclusive bonuses, that would be a nice trade for a price cut. I hope Rhino is the one responsible for ANY re-releases (they do handle Warner's stuff right?), because their releases are generally moderately priced (like the Joy Divsion Heart & Soul box, or New Order's Retro, which each only cost me about 50 bucks each... I'll be hurt and angry if The Smiths box comes out at anything over 100 dollars -- unless it's something ridiculously good like 10 discs with a wealth of unreleased tracks and alternate, demo, radio session and live versions).
Either way, I'm sure I'll love whatever comes out... Alas, here in America we've been looked over when it comes to alot of Moz material (for instance not having the two Morrissey Singles Boxes available here... over in the UK I'm sure you can still buy individual Morrissey/Smiths singles fairly easily, but here I NEVER see singles from either... save the ones from Quarry and Ringleader). They need more SMART, concise compilations here... I just do not understand things like World Of Morrissey or My Early Burglary Years, mainly because of the mix on both of commonly available album tracks mixed with rare b-sides or singles not released here in America. I'd rather just see a set of B-Sides OR a Greatest Hits (unlike The Best Of! in the US... it IS a good compilation in the sense that it was one of the first things I bought and so it was a good primer, but once again, a mix of album tracks, singles and b-sides). Mixing those types of tracks works on a multidisc anthology, but not as well on a single disc. I think I heard somewhere that they didn't put as many of Moz' early solo singles on The Best Of! because they didn't want to keep people frombuying Bona Drag. At least in the UK they had the far superior Suedehead - The Best Of album which pretty much stuck purely to singles (every single one up to about the Maladjusted era). Perhaps they can rerelease that worldwide with a second disc featuring the singles from Maladjusted, Quarry and Ringleader). So, yeah... in America our usual options are either A- be satisfied with just the albums (because that's all that's available here), B- buy expensive imported singles, etc., to enhance our collections, or C- download (which i'm neither supporting or damning, in case there are opinionated people about that sort of thing here). There's tons of stuff that aren't availble in the US that would be awesome... even DVD's: I'd love to see a DVD version of Live In Dallas or maybe a 2 Pack of Hulmerist/Malady Lingers On... or just get rid of those as well as Oye Esteban and bring out a DVD anthology with EVERYTHING that is contained on both plus the newer videos.
OK, that's the end of another rant. We've talked the upcoming album, how great it would be to have a new live cd (or DVD -- I'm shocked that there's no news of the Palladium or Hammerstein shows being filmed/recorded... usually when artists do multiple shows at a venue they have a recording in mind. I actually thought that was what his press conference back that beginning of the month was about). We've talked about The Smiths re-releases/box, and we've talked about what would be great for a US release (at least I think so!)