Friday, April 17, 2009

Retrovideo Friday: Coachella Edition, Moz Style

It's Coachella weekend in California, and Callie will be updating us with plenty of coverage over the next few days. So in honor of the festival, this week's Retrovideo Friday is all about Morrissey, who is slated to perform tonight on the Coachella Stage.

This Week's Pick: "Suedehead" by Morrissey (Year: 1988; Video from: Later with Jools Holland, 1992)

Viva Morrissey. The man has had a long career — he got started as lead singer for The Smiths back in the early 1980s, and is still going strong while releasing albums as a solo artist. In fact, he's been solo longer than he was The Smiths' frontman, and it all began with the 1988 album Viva Hate. While going solo doesn't always work so well for people associated with well-loved acts, Viva Hate got a strong critical reaction upon its release and also produced a number of commercial hits.

One of these is "Suedehead," a song now considered a classic in the Moz catalog. Despite the absence of former bandmate and guitarist Johnny Marr, the song features a memorable guitar riff with Morrissey's trademark, cheerfully-mournful vocals. It's no wonder people gravitated to the song the way they did.

You can watch a performance of the song (below) from a 1992 taping of the BBC program Later With Jools Holland. It's a pretty solid version — the guitars are a little crunchier sounding at first (at least when compared to the record), and you get to witness a young Morrissey in all his shiny-shirted, well-coifed glory. Who knows? Maybe he'll perform it tonight.

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