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Morrissey – You are the Quarry (2004)

July 20, 2014

[Album 331/1001]220px-You_Are_The_Quarry

What do people think of when they think of Morrissey?

Let’s see: miserable/sad bastard, says stupid things, can only sing 3 notes, and according to one High Court Judge, he is “devious, truculent, and unreliable.”

So I obviously enjoy when friends say, “I think of you when I think of Morrissey!” 😀

Recently, my afternoon was made when my friend Heather sent me the link, “21 charts that only Morrissey fans will find funny.”

It appears I’m part of the target audience as I thought the collection of charts & graphs was the cat’s pyjamas.  It also inspired me to create some of my own diagrams for this review.

I’d love to highlight all 12 You are the Quarry tracks but out of respect for your time &/or due to my inability to create more than 3 graphics, the opening trio will act as a representative sample for the album.  Bonus marks if you can guess the track names based on the hastily assembled Powerpoint slides!



Though LL Cool J once advised, “Don’t call it a comeback,” it’s hard to view this record through any other lens.

Despite fleeing to the U.S., he chose to open his first studio album in 7 years by telling his new home of America just where they could shove their hamburger!

Hopefully by the end of 2016, this song will need yet another lyric revision to the line, “But where the President is never black, female, or gay.”

A bold, if unspectacular, opener.

On the second song however, he’s back to his spectacular self.



Song 2 is comparable in feel and is probably his best song since The Boy Racer.  It’s actually not dissimilar to Blur’s Song 2 for that matter, though without the chorus screams (can you really picture Morrissey screaming?).

Even if there will never be another partnership quite like Morrissey/Marr, Alain Whyte was an underrated songwriting partner.  It’s a shame he isn’t writing with Morrissey any more.  From my gateway Moz song, We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful, to their last epic, Life is a Pigsty, they put together a pretty impressive body of work.

Speaking of super song titles:


I’m glad to hear he’s capable of forgiveness; I’d imagine many Canadian fans are still struggling to be as accepting of his decision/publicity stunt to boycott Canada because of the Seal Hunt!

Like its title, the song is memorable, as are several of the others (notably First of the Gang to Die) on this 2004 return-to-form release.

I often change my mind as to whether I prefer its follow-up, Ringleader of the Tormentors; either way, it was good to have him back saying questionable things and making some unquestionably great music.

From → 2000s

  1. jprobichaud permalink

    I definitely prefer this one over ‘Tormentors’. In fact, ‘You are the quarry’ makes a strong case for favourite of his solo efforts. So many great tracks but I think ‘First of the gang to die’ takes the cake. Does he really only sing three notes?

    • haha – in some songs (like half a person) critics argue that but in First of the gang to die, he definitely goes beyond an octave in the outro.
      Interesting candidate for top solo album – even if Your Arsenal’s not his ‘best’ it will likely always be my favourite!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        ‘Your arsenal’ is a fine album indeed, as is ‘Viva hate’. So many great songs. It’s a shame he’s refused to play Canada. He’s only hurting his fans. Although, it doesn’t appear he can finish a tour these days anyway…

      • I was burned by that in 2007 – we had tickets to see him in New York, all set to make the road trip and it he ran out of gas by that point in the tour again!

  2. I still think ‘Tormentors’ is overall better than ‘Quarry’ i still love this album. Its got so many great songs on it

    • Tormentors has a couple outstanding tunes (I will see you in far off places being one of his solo career peaks) and overall I prefer its production. I’m glad they splurged and paid for the full orchestra on tormentors, sounds way more full than the synth parts on Quarry.

  3. Morrissey sort of fell off my radar after Kill Uncle. He was there when my tastes were changing from new wave to alternative to rock and metal. I even had a Morrissey t-shirt in high school (the only fan, sadly)!

    • I still have a t-shirt, glad to hear you once did – I wore it on our ‘super-fan’ theme day at school this year and one of my students called it “sick,” hopefully that’s still a good thing!

      • This was my Moz tee:
        It disintegrated. I always wanted a Meat is Murder shirt, even though I am not a vegetarian, and resisted buying one since I felt a little hypcritical eating burg and fry wearing Moz as it was…

      • and they’re only asking $330.80 for it now!
        I had a meat is murder shirt that fell apart – perhaps because I didn’t actually follow the advice of the shirt…

      • Bahaha! I saw that price and I was like, “Wow! I turned my 330-dollar shirt into a rag”…lol

        There was this guy that transferred to my school in grade 11 who had the most gorgeous blue eyes and a Moz haircut…super sweet, who wore Docs and…a Meat is Murder shirt. …He walked the Vege walk. It would have never worked out between us…lol
        (/JK – I don’t eat beef, not for religious/enviro convictions…allergy)

      • That would have been a dealbreaker I suppose – I enjoy how you use html tags in conversation!

  4. “What do people think of when they think of Morrissey?”


    • Maybe that’s why people think of me when they think of Morrissey? I like to think I inspire general indifference! 😉

    • Bahaha, just today my husband and I were driving around town and “Sheila Take a Bow” played in the car. The hubs said, “Let me guess – this is either Morrissey or Morrissey and his BAND.” “Um, you mean, THE SMITHS?” “Yeah, whatever. It’s that guy ‘who whines and sings one semi-tone down from the rest of the baaaannnnddd’.” Me: eyeroll.

      He certainly isn’t everyone’s taste…

      • he’s that whiny guy and his baaaannnnndddd alright!

        I’ve been developing a theory about great singers:
        1) they don’t necessarily have to be able to sing (Bob Dylan)
        2) For every superfan, there’s probably someone at the other end of the fan spectrum, as evidenced here with Morrissey

        A theory not without holes but nice to hear Shelia getting some airplay!

  5. stuckonamber1 permalink

    A good album but not a patch on Viva Hate. Speedway is a classic album closing track!

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