Bona Drag - Was Meant to Be Studio Album


Junior Member
I was rereading Severed Alliance when I came upon a section that was talking about the album meant to follow Viva Hate. Bona Drag was originally meant to be a studio album with the following tracks (as best as I can tell):

1. November Spawned a Monster
2. Ouija Board
3. Striptease with a Difference
4. Picadilly

Now, if that was the case, how great would that record have been? Funny, when you look back at some of the odd Morrissey records that are classics: World of Morrissey - love this disc, but it is so random...bits from here and there
Bona Drag - same thing - bits and pieces

Anyone now anything else about why Bona Drag was abandoned from its original format?

Roma De Moz

Fat Children Took My Life
Just four tracks?

Roma De Moz

Fat Children Took My Life
From Wikipedia:

After releasing Viva Hate in March 1988 to lukewarm reviews, Morrissey modified his method of releasing music. Instead of choosing to produce an immediate follow-up album, he decided to release a string of independent singles in the hopes of achieving success in that market. Morrissey initially planned to release a second album after releasing a few holdover singles.

As such, he released "The Last of the Famous International Playboys", "Interesting Drug", and "Ouija Board, Ouija Board" over the course of 1989. The first two of these became top ten hits. However, by the end of 1989 it became apparent that he would not be able to put out an album of new material soon enough.

Morrissey decided to scrap the idea of a full-length LP and release a compilation of singles and B-sides instead. Thus, the Bona Drag project was born. "November Spawned a Monster" was released in May of 1990 to modest success; the album and the single "Piccadilly Palare" followed, both released on the same day that October.


Wasn't "Bona Drag" intended to be a full (non-compilation) studio album when work first started?
Yes, when Morrissey sat down with guitarist Stephen Street and said "let's make my sophomore solo album" it was intended to be all new material from the same sessions. But after recording a few songs "they" ran out of ideas and released a few of the songs they had recorded as singles ("November" etc.) A few years later the b-sides from later singles were added on and "Bona Drag" was released.

Roma De Moz

Fat Children Took My Life
no not just 4. What else came out that year? or was held over for Kill Uncle...
other possible candidates:

Yes I am Blind
He Know I'd Love to See Him

But I cannot find who wrote what on Kill Uncle. Maybe some of those songs are actually from the pre-Kill Uncle era...I simply cannot remember anymore

Morrissey recorded Bona Drag, including the independently released singles preceding it, with Stephen Street. That was in 1989. The Kill Uncle session's were recorded when Morrissey had already parted ways with Stephen Street, which is more then evident in the production and overall sound of the material .

Nothing would have been held over for Kill Uncle, and if it was, it was soon completely changed stylistically.


Junior Member
More Post Viva Hate Street recordings:

1. Last of the Famous
2. Lucky Lisp
3. Michael's Bones
4. Interesting Drug
5. Such a Little Thing
6. Ouija Board
7. Disappointed
8. Journalists Who Lie

NOT Street:
1. November - Langer
2. He Knows I'd Love - Rourke
3. Girl Least Likely To - Rourke
4. Get off the State - Rourke
5. Piccadilly Palare - Armstrong (Who is this??)
6. Yes I am Blind - Rourke

Amazing that Rourke was is the B Side guy during the Post Viva Hate/ Pre-Kill Uncle period


Taste the diffidence

It is so funny to hear that Viva Hate received luke warm reviews. It is a true classic and left off where Strangeways began. That is still in my top 3 Moz of the 3 classics by my estimation: Your Arsenal, Viva Hate, Vauxhall & I.

Agree completely.


Junior Member
The talk much about this on "jewel in the crown". Wasn't it so that Moz came to Street autumn 1988 and they started to work on some songs (interesting drug, playboys). moz came up with the idea of working with Rourke/Joyce again and Street agreed. Then they decided to have that Wolverhampton gig and the recording sessions turned out to be more like rehearsals. At one point Street asked Moz if he could join them and play some guitar on the gig but moz said no. That was the end. Moz worked with Craig Cannon for a while (few months) and he planned to release a single with Craigs songs but it didn't happen. A year later moz had released three singles with Streets songs. And some Rourke songs as well. Late 1989 he started to work with Langer/Winstanley and Armstrong. 1990 he released two more singles and then came Bona drag.
If they had skip that singles and made an album with all the songs we know from this period it may have looked like this:

1. Interesting Drug (Street)
2. East west (Gouldman)
3. Oh, Phoney! (Armstrong)
4. The bed took fire (Street)
5. Playboys (Street)
6. Such a little thing makes such a big difference (Street)
7. Striptease with a difference (Langer)
8. Lucky lisp (Street)
9. Michael's bones (Street)
10. Ouija board (Street)
11. Yes I am blind (Rourke)
12. November spawned a monster (Langer)
13. He knows i'd love to see him (Armstrong)
14. girl least likely to (Rourke)
15. Get off the stage (Rourke)
16. Piccadilly palare (Armstrong)
It's sixteen tracks so they could have skip some bad.


Yes, I am spleen
I wonder what the chances are of Moz doing something else like Bona Drag? Releasing so many singles that don't belong to an album surely couldn't be successful now considering the lack of airplay etc.
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