posted by davidt on Friday February 20 2004, @09:00AM
Josh sends the bio / press release (Word format) he received for distribution:
"This is the best album I've ever done."
- Morrissey, on You Are The Quarry
You Are the Quarry, the first new solo material in seven years from Morrissey, is to be released May 17th in the UK and May 18th in the US on Sanctuary's revamped imprint, Attack. Recorded in Los Angeles and London, Quarry is an album of extraordinary original songs using keyboards interwoven with crunchy guitars that work to create a lush, musical backdrop.
"There are no links to the past. This is a much brighter sounding album, than much of my previous work. We've turned the page with Quarry. It's a dynamic album and I couldn't be any happier."
"America is Not the World," "I Have Forgiven Jesus" and "The World is Full of Crashing Bores" illustrate that Morrissey's genius and wit haven't waned a bit. On "America", Morrissey personally pleads with the U.S. of A to hold on to its humility and to cease its heavy-handedness but, make no mistake, "America" is not an anti-American song. "I love you/I love you/America/ but you are not the world," Morrissey sings in a melancholy voice while a thunderous guitar strums and a drum beats heavily in the background. "I'm Not Sorry" shows that Morrissey has no regrets. "I'm not sorry for the things I've done" he sings to the sound of a droning guitar and the beat-beat-beat of a drum loop as Morrissey warns "There's a Wildman in my head." Morrissey lets his detractors know that harsh words have helped his career in "You Know I Couldn't Last," "the critics can't break you/they unwittingly make you."
"The song is my response to the negative press I have endured over the years," Morrissey says.
Instead of firing back at his detractors, however, Morrissey takes the criticism in stride. In fact, "Last" sounds more like a thank you note to the nay-sayers what with the song's powerful drum beat and hummable chorus making it an irresistible foot tapping piece of pop poetry.
From mandolin to flute to harp to moog keyboard, Quarry's richly textured musical layers see Morrissey exploring new musical territory. The album crosses many genres, incorporating subtle elements of dance, jazz, world and rock. Morrissey said the combination will definitely appeal to his core fanbase and will also reel an audience that may not be familiar with his earlier solo work.
Quarry was produced by Jerry Finn, one of the most in-demand producers working today, who was behind massive selling hit albums by pop-punk rockers such as Blink-182, AFI and Green Day. It may seem strange that a producer who is best known for breathing new life into the punk rock movement would be twisting the knobs for an artist like Morrissey. But to hear Morrissey tell it, theirs is the perfect marriage.
"I wanted a louder sound for this record," said Morrissey. "I was introduced to Jerry by a mutual friend. He made me feel very confident. He's not easily pleased and he's not prepared to be overwrought. He knows exactly what he wants to do. He was able to help me create the sound for this album that I had already been hearing in my head."
Finn said he set out to create an organic "creamy" album with Morrissey and the outcome is much better than even he anticipated. "This is one of the best records I've produced," said Finn. "It's just purely organic and it sounds incredible."
Finn recruited acclaimed keyboard player Roger Manning, a founding member of the seminal pop band Jellyfish who has also worked with Blink-182, Air and Beck, to the fold. Manning's contribution to Quarry is nothing short of spectacular. His keyboard and synthesizer work gives the album a somewhat vintage feel but still manages to sound current and blissful behind Morrissey's dynamic vocal arrangements. Morrissey is backed up on Quarry by his longtime band: guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte, bass player Gary Day and Dean Butterworth on drums. You Are The Quarry marks the first time in Morrissey's solo career that he recorded his vocals with the band in a studio, Finn says. On his previous albums, Morrissey would record his vocals first and the band would record the music later.
"Having everyone in the studio at the same time made the creative process much easier," Finn said. "Instead of trying to create the music around Morrissey's vocals, which is how it used to be done, we were able to create a much more listenable album because everyone was in the same room at the same time and it made the album much tighter. I think Quarry is Morrissey's best work because of how it was recorded."
There's no denying Morrissey's impact on pop music. As lead singer for The Smiths, arguably the best alternative act of the 80s, Morrissey blazed a trail for dozens of modern day alternative rock acts including The Strokes, The Rapture and The Shins amongst others.
Morrissey has sold millions of records worldwide both as a solo artist and during his time with The Smiths. His concerts sell-out in minutes and in 2003, despite the fact that Morrissey hasn't released an album of new material since 1997; he played two sold out nights in Anaheim to three thousand ravenous fans. .
"My audience believed through the years that I've never received the recognition I deserved on my records," Morrissey said. "I have an incredibly loyal following and they have made it their mission to support me when ever I play a concert. I'm grateful for that."
Prior to signing with the Sanctuary family, Morrissey said he met with the label's chief executive officer Merck Mercuriadis in New York and expressed interest in reviving the Attack label. "They had a drawer full of labels that they bought and Attack was part of the Trojan family," Morrissey said. "I've been a fan of the Attack label for quite some time. I have a Gregory Isaacs seven inch on my refrigerator. Well, I told Sanctuary that I wanted to re-launch the label and have Quarry released on Attack and they agreed."
Attack was launched in 1969 and became the breeding ground for dub and reggae artists including Gregory Isaacs, Family Circle and The Monkey, many of whom at the time had no place to showcase their talents. The label became part of the legendary Trojan Records in the 1970s. Trojan itself is wholly-owned by Sanctuary.
Morrissey will also sign new talent to the Attack label. Morrissey said he's already found three bands to work with and has written a song that was recorded by legendary chanteuse Nancy Sinatra, who will release an album on the label in the near future.
"This is the album that I've wanted to make for quite a while. I believe You Are The Quarry has something for everyone." Morrissey said. "I didn't want to do the same thing over again. That's so boring."