Please Close The Door Behind Me - Morrissey statement at TTY

It's a long one!

PLEASE CLOSE THE DOOR BEHIND ME - true-to-you.net
20 August 2014

Morrissey statement

In response to 77 million questions I can only say this much on the subject of the Harvest drama. It is quite true that Harvest initially appeared like a saintly beacon of light, and they instantly packed us off to France where we recorded World peace is none of your business. The universe was back in balance, and we all considered this to be the very best Morrissey recording ever, and even the boo-hoo-suck-it-off elements of the press appeared to want to agree. At last I am born.

It all seemed too good to be true. It was. I believed that the rich soil of the album had several strong hit singles. Frayed tempers began when Harvest arranged the 'spoken word' films, none of which gave any clue as to what World peace is none of your business intended to be, or is. The films were OK, but they went nowhere and stayed there.

With every nerve alert, we pushed the label for a proper video for Istanbul to precede the album, not least of all because a single ahead of the album release might inch the album to a higher chart position. The label backed off, even though Istanbul received 55 radio plays in just seven days on a major US station. Instead, the label requested a fifth spoken-word film, which naturally had me fumbling around for an axe: no independent thought required. The UK label, meanwhile, created a quite fantastic television advertisement to transmit during the week ahead of the album release. I could taste excitement once again. The TV ad never appeared and my hackles bristled as my bristles heckled. The label responded with frosty aloofness, and I suddenly realized that we were not, after all, of the same species. I ploughed into them insisting upon "proper band videos, where the band play and I sing" - an evidently confusing concept that required seven weeks of explanation, detailed graphs and several drawn up maps.

The label suggested I come to Los Angeles and read passages from Autobiography in front of selected audiences. As frightening as that idea was, I hung on, desperate to believe that Harvest were not as cheap as they now looked. I hope to finish this statement whilst I'm still clean-shaven, so I will jump to the final curtain: during the weeks of the album release, the label were minus one single structural idea, and it appeared evident that each member of the team was acting in separate rooms without doors or windows. Mutual mistrust exploded between Harvest and I, and with fashionable pessimism, the label boss yawned and ordered the surface smartness of dropping World peace is none of your business three weeks after its release. There, now! This would not have happened to the Teletubbies.

Sorrily botched the project may now be, but it's worth it to get Morrissey out of our Inbox. Yes, I can be intensely persistent, and I certainly have an over-active fantasy-life, but the Harvest experience tells us that despite the blinding flash of teeth and smiles, it doesn't take much for the coin to flip and suddenly we're all compromised and shattered. All you need to do is disagree with the vanity of the label boss and your beheading will be slotted in between bottles of the most average champagne on the market. Just one weak-chinned drone can assert the fist of injustice and all of our efforts are flushed away. And thus ... they were.

I might be wrong, but I think World peace is none of your business will instantly disappear from iTunes and record stores and every download-upload-offload outlet on the planet, because Harvest technically have no right to sell it.

Most of the Harvest team are very nice, and I sincerely thank them for trying and caring so much - even if their promotional duties were fully undertaken by the Morrissey audience themselves, whose You Tube videos for World peace is none of your business fully provide the art that the label could not muster. The listeners instantly understood how entertainment could also be art. Staggeringly, I still believe that there's a label out there with my name on it, and one that will issue World peace is none of your business, and afford it the respect it deserves.

Thanks for reading this (rashly assuming that you have), and thanks once again to the Harvesters who tried.

We are boot-camp ready for Lisbon in October, so with the will of many gods, hopefully at least 38 of you will turn up.

MORRISSEY
20 August 2014



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Comments

Chickpea

pithy yet degenerate
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

Would a official video make much difference for a album? Do people watch MTV or TV anymore? Fans made videos anyway. Don't people mostly watch music videos off youtube now anyway?
You answered your question yourself. :) Yes, people do mostly watch videos on YouTube nowadays, and it's really easy to share those videos on social media and blogs. That's where the medium becomes a really valuable promotional tool.
 
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Eric Hartman

Guest
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

Oke bye :thumb:
Go please, to the Stevie Nicks forum.
We don't miss you when you go.
I'll stay around just for you. Because you are that "special care" person. Were your parents cousins?
 

Miss Mozzarella

New Member
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

Would a official video make much difference for a album? Do people watch MTV or TV anymore? Fans made videos anyway. Don't people mostly watch music videos off youtube now anyway? Maybe he could have got fans to make an official video? A competition? That would be cool. Lack of promotion is a problem (or lack of advertising to be more precise) - especially when i think the album this time was strong (I don't think the previous few albums were). It's sad when he produces the goods after creative criticism - and then it isn't promoted. Morrissey is right - he produced a strong set of songs. It's a shame. But I think the disintegration of the relationship in public with the label will make it almost impossible to get another deal - he's probably pushed the 'unmanageable' trait too far and no major will take the risk again. He isn't young and another 5 years in the wilderness won't be good. The options get narrower - a indie label, his own label and distribution deal, the Morrissey/Marr album or write books. I can't help but feel this is likely his last solo venture in this vein. Sad, but if he has come to a close as a solo artist - it's certainly a strong swan-song - and he proved many critics (including myself) wrong.
According to this Wiki excerpt, Moz/The Smiths hated the video for How Soon is Now? It's one of my faves and I read the girl in it became so popular, she sort of had to go into hiding or something. I do not know what this Wiki excerpt means by "unauthorised" but I had read that some art school students made it. If true, I would try to duplicate that success and as you suggested, have fans make videos.

Sire Records made an unauthorised music video to promote the song. It intercut clips of the band playing live (including a shot of Johnny Marr showing Morrissey how to play the guitar), an industrial part of a city, and a girl dancing.[23] The band were not pleased by the result. Morrissey told Creem in 1985, "We saw the video and we said to Sire, 'You can't possibly release this... this degrading video.' And they said, 'Well, maybe you shouldn't really be on our label.' It was quite disastrous".[22] Nonetheless, the video has been credited with helping make the song their most famous in the United States, along with heavy exposure on college radio.[24]



ETA: More info about the video and the girl http://www.cemetrygates.com/faq/faqmusic.htm

Who is the girl in the "How Soon Is Now?" video?
We don't know exactly who she is yet, but we've gotten some interesting info from fans.
First, the video was made by student filmmakers in England who were commissioned by Sire. The girl was a friend of the filmmakers and was either a model or an acting student. Second, she is a friend of a friend of a Smiths fan! At the time the video was shot, 1985, she was working at a modelling agency in New York. Through the agency she got the opportunity to appear in the video. She didn't know who The Smiths were at the time and wasn't and probably isn't a fan of the band. However she apparently did listen to some cool music and was open minded. She has a child now and is living in Alabama. Perhaps we'll just leave it at that so we don't unleash a mob of Smiths fans to her door.
But, if you're reading this, e-mail us!
 
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ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

Boy, your fawning is nauseating.
Fan, you just go on removing removing removing. You are like rust and it will probably take a wire brush to remove your corrosive fingerprints from Moz Solo.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

According to this Wiki excerpt, Moz/The Smiths hated the video for How Soon is Now? It's one of my faves and I read the girl in it became so popular, she sort of had to go into hiding or something. I do not know what this Wiki excerpt means by "unauthorised" but I had read that some art school students made it. If true, I would try to duplicate that success and as you suggested, have fans make videos.
I think it was "unauthorized" in the sense that Sire records made the video without the band's knowledge or consent. I remember reading a Smiths-era interview where Morrissey's response to seeing the HSIN video was that it's horrible and could not be released. Sire's response was that it's already out. The Smiths original stance was that they would never make a music video. The irony, now Morrissey is upset because the record company did not make any videos...
 
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Miss Mozzarella

New Member
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

I think it was "unauthorized" in the sense that Sire records made the video without the bands knowledge or consent. I remember reading a Smiths-era interview where Morrissey's response to seeing the HSIN video was that it horrible and could not be released. Sire's response was that it's already out. The Smiths original stance was that they would never make a music video. The irony, now Morrissey is upset because the record company did not make any videos...
Thank you, I now remember that. And yes, the irony......
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

What with the spoken word promo videos, and their promotional request for Moz to appear live reading extracts from 'Autobiography', I think it must be fairly clear that Harvest had no real faith or interest in the musical content of 'World Peace', which must be fairly galling for Morrissey.
 

Chip

Member
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

Just throwing this out for thought--I don't think Harvest necessary felt like they were not promoting the album. There are a lot of corporations, brands, universities, etc. that have spent years and millions paying for people to develop some of the most idiotic marketing strategies that predictably flopped.

I could very easily imagine that someone or some company got paid a great deal of money to think up this approach. Is it really that hard to imagine some wannabe Don Drapper going "Imagine that if instead of doing a traditional promotional campaign with videos and singles, we do wheat paste posters, spoken word videos, and a book reading" and than some hapless record exec responding "Oh that's so edgy all the cool kids will love it!"

Of course, Moz being very traditional probably was less than impressed.
 

manicboy

Active Member
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

It's a matter of taste I'm afraid.

(Disclaimer: I enjoy World Peace. But it's no Years Of Refusal.)
I would agree. It's certainly not as bad as Kill Uncle (funny how nobody references this album anywhere) but it's not as brilliant as Refusal or Quarry either.

And to those who think Harvest failed to promote the album because they thought it wasn't any cop are seriously mistaken. Sounds like they wanted Moz to be a "Spoken-Word Artist" rather than a Singing Artist and Moz didn't want to play ball which he has every right to IMHO.

Further, I've never heard of an album being released and then shelved by a record company in such a rapid fashion. I really don't think anybody else is gonna step up to re-release/distribute Peace so maybe it's best to find another record company to release new material. If it does get re-released, I would hope the bloody lyrics are included! Why Harvest didn't include lyrics is a crying shame!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

If it does get re-released, I would hope the bloody lyrics are included! Why Harvest didn't include lyrics is a crying shame!

Well, the lyrics were included, in both the vinyl and deluxe CD formats. The only thing they were missing from was the budget CD release.
 

Chickpea

pithy yet degenerate
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

I could very easily imagine that someone or some company got paid a great deal of money to think up this approach. Is it really that hard to imagine some wannabe Don Drapper going "Imagine that if instead of doing a traditional promotional campaign with videos and singles, we do wheat paste posters, spoken word videos, and a book reading" and than some hapless record exec responding "Oh that's so edgy all the cool kids will love it!"
I agree. When the initial promotion started with the wheatpastes, I was actually pretty excited. I liked the way they looked, and I liked the (perhaps overplayed, but whatever) mystique of them not having Morrissey name on them. Of course, I assumed that those "mystery" wheatpastes would eventually be replaced with ones all of the info on them, since that's how a teaser works—you have to eventually reveal something! Those posters effectively accomplished nothing, since the only people who knew what they were about were people who are most likely already going to buy the album. The same goes for those spoken-word videos—really nice as a couple of teasers, but not four of them, and not without a proper video to follow.

The book reading thing just seems ridiculous. Sure, people would have gone crazy and turned out in droves, but in what life is Morrissey going to do something like that?? I keep trying to picture it, and…nope.

But yeah, I have witnessed many a misguided marketing strategy fail miserably, and in my experience that failure usually comes when too many people are involved in making decisions and giving go-aheads. It's very possible that whoever came up with the various campaign strategies initially actually had a really solid plan, but that the higher-ups at Harvest/Capitol nixed the necessary follow-through once the tour was cancelled.

Who knows. At the end of the day, this was a terrible match, and I think Harvest has made a huge mistake. That said, this "uncoupling" does seem to be for the best.
 

Derek17

Well-Known Member
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

I think the bottom line is the spoken word videos are fine as promotion prior to the release of the record but once the singles come out you need accompanying videos so that they can be played on TV and people can click on YouTube and hear the song with the video rather than initially just having access to the promotional spoken word videos.

No idea why they decided to release 4 singles prior to the album's release as well -- without videos or physical releases -- and expect that to work positively. Why even bother releasing singles that are set up to fail?
 
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CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
I haven't read all 13 pages so perhaps someone brought this up, but why would a record company consider "promotion" putting up the teaser videos for a day and take them down the next, leaving the audience feeling like they weren't supposed to see them in the first place or are now uninvited to see it?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

At the end of the day, this was a terrible match, and I think Harvest has made a huge mistake. That said, this "uncoupling" does seem to be for the best.
Well stated, but perhaps more like an "uncuffing?" xx
 

AgathaC

Member
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

He is not whining, he explained the situation of the fallout of Harvest and him. They sound like complete morons with no marketing experience. I would be mad as hell at Harworst.
He got what he wanted, a new album paid by Harvest. There is always something in it for him. He gave up altruism for his fans when he realized they would sell him for a buck. You dig your own grave.
..
 
Morrissey has never produced a decent, artistic or even remotely interesting music video - okay - so maybe Suedehead and the homage to Dean. The others are either bog standard, poor camp or downright rubbish. We aren't missing anything by not having a performance video to Istanbul. Moz should get over it, and so should we. And if he wants another label to come calling, he should try writing witty and insightful lyrics - you know - like he used to when he gave a shit. Next up would be an album of songs where half of the tracks didn't sound like half baked demos.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

Morrissey has never produced a decent, artistic or even remotely interesting music video - okay - so maybe Suedehead and the homage to Dean. The others are either bog standard, poor camp or downright rubbish. We aren't missing anything by not having a performance video to Istanbul. Moz should get over it, and so should we. And if he wants another label to come calling, he should try writing witty and insightful lyrics - you know - like he used to when he gave a shit. Next up would be an album of songs where half of the tracks didn't sound like half baked demos.
The worst Morrissey video of all time was November Spawned a Monster.

Morrissey truly proved that he is "not a man" during the film of this video.
 

Carlos Danger

New Member
Re: TTY Statement : Please Close The Door Behind Me

Who didn't see this coming? I called this months before the album was released...

I can't say it is really a surprise that Harvest wanted to coast off the success of Autobiography. It wasn't entirely a bad idea, either. Harvest wanted to make maximum profit with minimal investment while Morrissey was once again, in that moment, a commodity. Of course, they bungled it from the start by waiting too long to start promotion.

However, with that said, Morrissey is still culpable because he literally took no initiative to promote the album. It wouldn't have taken much to grant a few interviews or ask for a performance slot on a talk show. Also, he should have bit the bullet and not taken away Harvest's biggest and best way of promoting him & his album - social media.
Right. Because you know all what did and didn't happen. Plus your years of experience in the music industry gives you expertise to pass judgement. :lbf:
 
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