NME: "Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?! – Stephen Street" - Morrissey mentions (March 4, 2021)


In Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?!, we quiz a musician on their own career to see how much they can remember – and find out if the booze, loud music and/or tour sweeties has knocked the knowledge out of them. This week: legendary record producer Stephen Street

Relevant part:

Who is credited as singing backing vocals on The Smiths album ‘The Queen Is Dead’?

“Um – Ann Coates?”


“Which is Morrissey’s vocal put through a harmoniser.” (Laughs)

The pseudonym is a pun on the Manchester area Ancoats. You engineered The Smiths’ ‘Meat is Murder’ and ‘The Queen Is Dead’, before taking over as producer for their final record ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’, where there are stories that while Moz was in bed tucked up with a Sylvia Plath, Johnny Marr and the rest of the musicians would be covering Spinal Tap songs…

“That only happened during one session! (Laughs) Johnny was a night-owl so sometimes we’d work late. There was no messing around in the studio, but that was the one night we let our hair down – Andy [Rourke] knew all the basslines to Spinal Tap songs and would play them at the drop of a hat.”

You produced Morrissey’s 1988 debut solo record ‘Viva Hate’, then fell out over a royalty dispute. When did you last speak to him?

“I wrote to him 10 years ago and he was surprised to hear from me. When they first received my letter, his management asked: ‘Is this a legal letter and should we get our solicitors involved?’ (Laughs) But it was just a friendly letter asking how he was. We met in [London hotel] Claridge’s and I got involved in the reissue of ‘Viva Hate’. But he had it remastered again and took off the song ‘The Ordinary Boys’. When I disagreed with what he’d done, I was incommunicado again. There’s been the occasional little email, but I’ve not heard from him properly since.”

Would you produce another of his records if he asked?

“Yeah, I think so. It’s well-documented that he’s said some dubious things in recent years, but because of our long-term past relationship – The Smiths gave me my first big break – I feel a certain loyalty to him so if he asked, I would be interested.”


In 2019 you became a full-time member of the indie band Bradford, who formed in 1987. But on which Morrissey single does a cover of Bradford’s ‘Skin Storm’ appear as the B-side?

“Boy oh boy!. That’s after my involvement with him. Is it something from the album ‘Your Arsenal’?”

WRONG. It’s ‘Pregnant for the Last Time’.

“A great record. I’m not doing very well!” (Laughs)

Why did you decide to join Bradford now?

“Because there’s no pressure on us to tour in a transit van and do the things younger bands do. They were on my label back in the late 1980s, and when I heard what they were up to, I wanted to get involved. The main thing was I wanted [their] songs to see the light of day and the easiest way to achieve that was to join the team. I think we’ll remain a studio-based project.”

(see also: Question 9)


shoplifterromo also sends the link:

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I want Moz to duet with Angie Marr!

Imagine that

i want M to have a one night stand with angie marr then in 9 months time a little child with a big quiff will be born and johnboy will put on ringleader and listen to The Father Who Must Be Killed.
Rock n roll doesn’t kill braincells but listening to Morrissey’s delusional fans does.
I propose: Morrissey joining The Libertines as their singer. Or The Libertines becoming Morrissey's band. Stephen Street to conduct. Oh yes.
Now I can’t stop imagining Moz singing Time For Heroes. 🙌🏻🙌🏻
And what an album that could be. The missing link between VH and V&I. Crystal clear guitar based pop songs and Morrissey-esque ballads in minor, with some tasteful electronics thrown in for good measure. No world music, no plodding, pretentious compositions courtesy of Gustavo, no mean-spirited lyrics or boring politics. Just warmth, passion and melancholia.

A boy can dream, can’t he?

It's obviously up to Morrissey whether or not to come up with mean-spirited lyrics or political songs, but I am thinking that he may want to dedicate the album to his late mother and so the lyrics might be more personal and sad. And then I think that Whyte / Street would be better placed to provide a fitting musical backdrop.

Maybe our mistake is that we are hoping. Or maybe not. Wait and see.
I like the hot Latin sound!

It's choppy in places & he maybe needs to think more about how it fits with his bleak passion for stigmatized things - but it's not dull.

I suspect he'll go in a softer direction though - he's been through a crisis & the other side of that usually is tender & sorrowful.
Isn’t he co-writing with Bradford or
is he only involved in playing and producing?

In regards to Street being ‘interested’ in working with Morrissey again? Well, when Morrissey says jump! Stephen will ask, how high?


That should trigger a few on here.

:lbf: :lbf::lbf:

With all due respect, because I really like SStreet.

But as we all know:
"...I am now
A central part
Of your mind's landscape..."
applies not only to his lovers and fans, but also to everyone who's crossed Morrissey's path: musicians, journalists, producers...
Agreed, viva hate and bona drag are some of his best work, I think it would look good for Moz in regards to public perception if there was another street produced album, maybe it could be his final farewell album who knows
"I think it would look good for Moz in regards to perception". Why should an artist care about those things? Surely, it's about self expression, and not needing to "look good".
Each time he shows up, I think the same thing: they can't work together again.

S. Street thinks of albums by S. Street featuring Morrissey as the lyricist and guest singer.

Whilst Morrissey wants albums by Morrissey in which some musicians happen to play the melodies.

I don't think they are even able to record a single together nowadays.

It does not mean that I have a bad opinion of what they did together, but if you read the ideas of Street, sometimes it looks as if it was a miracle that he allowed Morrissey to sing and that he may have considered that it would have sounded better if he was the singer too.

The studio ain't big enough for the two of them!
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