Bona Drag - original tracklisting?

H

Hatedforloving

Guest
Bona Drag is a great compilation album .... but my memory is that this was intended to be an album of new original songs but later changed to a comp as EMI didnt see it as being up to scratch. Does anyone know what the original proposed tracklisting was?
If not what tracklisting do you think was possible and how would have rated it?
This is my possible tracklisting...quite a good album and better than Kill Uncle!!!....7/10

November Spawned A Monster
Striptease with a Difference
Interesting Drug
Piccadilly Palare
Oh Phoney
Ouija Board, Ouija Board
The Last Of the Famous International Playboys
Born To Hang
Yes, I'm Blind
Get off the Stage
Please help the cause against Lonlieness
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Worth a look:

Mozipedia entry if bored:
Bona Drag, Morrissey’s first solo compilation album, released October 1990, highest UK chart position #9. Tracks: ‘PICCADILLY PALARE’, ‘INTERESTING DRUG’, ‘NOVEMBER SPAWNED A MONSTER’, ‘WILL NEVER MARRY’, ‘SUCH A LITTLE THING MAKES SUCH A BIG DIFFERENCE’, ‘THE LAST OF THE FAMOUS INTERNATIONAL PLAYBOYS’, ‘OUIJA BOARD, OUIJA BOARD’, ‘HAIRDRESSER ON FIRE’, ‘EVERYDAY IS LIKE SUNDAY’, ‘HE KNOWS I’D LOVE TO SEE HIM’, ‘YES, I AM BLIND’, ‘LUCKY LISP’, ‘SUEDEHEAD’, ‘DISAPPOINTED’.
The first 18 months of Morrissey’s solo career had been nothing short of triumphant: four consecutive top ten singles, a number one album and his rapturously received return to the stage in WOLVERHAMPTON. But by the summer of 1989, the honeymoon was over. Stephen STREET, Mike Joyce and Craig GANNON had all deserted him over separate financial disputes. Morrissey now faced the 1990s without a songwriting partner, band or producer. Street’s departure left Morrissey especially vulnerable, though in the short term the singer persevered, recording Street’s ‘Ouija Board, Ouija Board’ without him. The relative success of that session, prior to its critical mauling, offered some encouragement as to Morrissey’s immediate future. His best, if not only, available option was to simultaneously employ a multitude of co-writers and trusted session musicians, leaving the rest to ‘Ouija Board’ producers Clive LANGER and Alan Winstanley.
So commenced what Morrissey intended to be his second solo album. The assembled band comprised VIVA HATE drummer Andrew PARESI (back in the fold after briefly being replaced by Joyce), guitarist Kevin ARMSTRONG (who’d proven his worth on the ‘Ouija Board’ session and was now suggesting musical ideas), and ex-Smiths bassist Andy ROURKE, who unlike Joyce and Gannon had resolved his financial quarrel with Morrissey out of court and was now in the running as potential co-writer. Adding to the song pool, Langer was also invited to submit demos.
Recording commenced in the winter of 1989 at Hook End Manor where Morrissey had already taken to its historic charm during the brief ‘Ouija Board’ session. ‘The environment made him feel more confident,’ says Paresi. ‘Initially, all the signs were there that it was going to be great.’ With scant pre-planning, the album took shape as Morrissey showed little favouritism in choosing almost equal shares from the demos of Langer, Armstrong and Rourke. He’d also settled on a title, Bona Drag, a nod to the Julian and Sandy 60s radio sketches which likewise inspired two of its scheduled tracks, ‘Piccadilly Palare’ and ‘STRIPTEASE WITH A DIFFERENCE’. In palare slang, ‘bona drag’ literally means ‘good clothes’. (See also CARRY ON IV) WILLIAMS.)
It was only with the November release of ‘Ouija Board’ – his first solo single not to reach the UK top ten, panned by critics – that Morrissey’s confidence suffered a hammer blow. ‘The “Ouija Board” press wounded him terribly,’ confirms Armstrong. ‘That’s why Bona Drag was never finished. He was extremely depressed. He spent an inordinate amount of time locked away in his room.’ As progress ground to a halt while Morrissey consoled himself, his band made do with bowling trips to nearby Reading enlivened by Rourke’s supply of amyl nitrate. ‘We spent an album’s worth of time and money,’ says Winstanley, ‘but by the end of it we just didn’t have an album’s worth of material.’ Of the seven tracks completed, five were spread across the next two singles and their B-sides (‘November Spawned A Monster’ and ‘Piccadilly Palare’) while ‘Striptease’ and Armstrong’s ‘OH PHONEY’ were shelved indefinitely.
Instead, Bona Drag appeared later than planned as an interim compilation, rounding up Morrissey’s first seven solo singles and, more or less, one B-side apiece. ‘It was initially for the rest of the world,’ claimed Morrissey, ‘but EMI were determined to release it here.’ It proved to be a shrewd gambit, well received by most critics and an impressive testament to the musical scope and lyrical breadth of Morrissey’s first three years as a solo artist. In terms of songwriting, Bona Drag was an even stronger collection than Viva Hate (albeit duplicating ‘Suedehead’2 and ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday’), skilfully sequenced and even granting the unfairly derided ‘Ouija Board’ a fresh context worthy of reassessment. The album also helped rescue quality material such as ‘Hairdresser On Fire’ and ‘Will Never Marry’ from mere B-side status, allowing them a more prominent place in Morrissey’s discography.
Such was its cumulative impact, Bona Drag augured well for Morrissey as a 90s recording artist, a position he himself regarded as ‘one of the most challenging and interesting things that’s ever happened to British pop music’. As Bona Drag hit the shelves he was already ploughing ahead, recording his proper second album, KILL UNCLE: the early 90s were, indeed, about to be more ‘challenging’ than Morrissey could have dared imagine.
Regards,
FWD.
 

ThomasB

Member
7 songs were recorded for the Bona Drag LP.

1. November Spawned a Monster
2. He Knows I'd Love to See Him
3. Girl Least Likely To

4. Piccadilly Palare
5. Get Off the Stage

6. Oh Phoney
7. Striptease With a Difference

The Bed Took Fire was remixed to become At Amber (but was recorded earlier during the Famous Playboys).

Whether any of the earlier sessions would be included (ouija, playboys, viva hate (lifeguard, loneliness, etc)), who knows.

I listened to these songs as an EP, but the tracklisting often changes, can't find the perfect order.

Oops looks like FWD beat me to it. ^^
 
H

Hatedforloving

Guest
Interesting stuff....always thought that the album had been shelved by EMI for not being good enough..thanks for the background. Still with all the songs of that era listed above I think he could have put together a solid album...For me, a time I will always remember fondly ....no instant grats just the single on the radio and going out to buy the 12" on they of release and knowing that there would be quality b-sides...and he really never let me down in that regard.
 

Erik

#23
guess you’ll always be haunted for wanting ;)

Interesting stuff....always thought that the album had been shelved by EMI for not being good enough..thanks for the background. Still with all the songs of that era listed above I think he could have put together a solid album...For me, a time I will always remember fondly ....no instant grats just the single on the radio and going out to buy the 12" on they of release and knowing that there would be quality b-sides...and he really never let me down in that regard.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
7 songs were recorded for the Bona Drag LP.

1. November Spawned a Monster
2. He Knows I'd Love to See Him
3. Girl Least Likely To

4. Piccadilly Palare
5. Get Off the Stage

6. Oh Phoney
7. Striptease With a Difference

I think Morrissey was really rudderless at this time and this list of songs reflects that. There were far too many "themed" songs and not enough that were personal.

The two singles are both fine and He Knows was a good b-side, but the other tracks are pretty weak. None are really good enough to be on an album and Girl Least Likely To might have faced legal action had it been given a bigger release (due to it ripping off Only to Other People).
 

Erik

#23
@Famous when dead

Were these particular studio versions ever released?
For example: Oh Phoney - would this have been the “acoustic version” that was released on the Bona Drag deluxe edition? Or the version with drums?
CEA909DF-1452-4DDD-8169-3616F27AF000.gif
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I much preferred the full band leaked version of 'Oh Phoney' to the acoustic version that was eventually officially released. I wonder if that version will appear on the next batch of re-issues?
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
@Famous when dead

Were these particular studio versions ever released?
For example: Oh Phoney - would this have been the “acoustic version” that was released on the Bona Drag deluxe edition? Or the version with drums?
View attachment 56085
November The 2nd - 2010 edition EDILS
Will Never Marry - singles box set & orig EDILS B-side.
Striptease... - no, but all 3 versions leaked.
Oh Phoney - assuming the BD version is just a slightly shorter version (-5 seconds) of the reference CD version - then yes, it's out already. If the ref CD is different to BD version then no - it exists on reference CD (and is owned by a collector). That is based only on assumption as there were several from 1989 to choose from and Krix's sticker doesn't indicate anything useful like whether it's acoustic or not! So can't answer that for you. I hope that makes sense. Digging through this stuff isn't always clear and PJLM is great, but not always 100% clear either. With ambiguous stuff or 'there's several takes' - it is something that will probably never have proper clarity.
Regards,
FWD.

Edit: digging through the archive, Stephane asserts the BD Oh Phoney is the 'acoustic' version on the reference CD. The running time could be due to the original mix being 'remastered'. I believe there was a bit of 'doctoring' going on during the remaster's creation.
FWD.
 
Last edited:

sander

Member
7 songs were recorded for the Bona Drag LP.

1. November Spawned a Monster
2. He Knows I'd Love to See Him
3. Girl Least Likely To

4. Piccadilly Palare
5. Get Off the Stage

6. Oh Phoney
7. Striptease With a Difference

I think Morrissey was really rudderless at this time and this list of songs reflects that. There were far too many "themed" songs and not enough that were personal.

The two singles are both fine and He Knows was a good b-side, but the other tracks are pretty weak. None are really good enough to be on an album and Girl Least Likely To might have faced legal action had it been given a bigger release (due to it ripping off Only to Other People).

This is correct, only these seven songs were recorded in the original Bona Drag sessions before the project was aborted and became the compilation album we all know and love.
 

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