Morrissey – November Spawned A Monster
(HMV Records 1990 12POP1623)
Matrix No’s: A1/B1 – UK Pressing
Sleeve in Nr MINT condition
Vinyl in Nr MINT condition
(there are some surface marks visible on the vinyl when held up to the light but they don’t affect the sound quality)
Steven Patrick Morrissey (born 22 May 1959), known mononymously as Morrissey, is an English singer, songwriter and author. He rose to prominence as the frontman of the Smiths, who were active from 1982 to 1987. Since then, Morrissey has had a solo career, making the top ten of the UK Singles Chart on ten occasions and reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart three times.
Born in Davyhulme, Lancashire, to a working-class Irish family, Morrissey grew up in Manchester. As a child he developed a love of literature, kitchen sink realism and popular music. Involved in Manchester’s punk rock scene during the late 1970s, he fronted the Nosebleeds, with little success. Beginning a career in music journalism, he authored a number of books on music and film in the early 1980s. With Johnny Marr he established the Smiths in 1982, soon attracting national recognition for their self-titled debut album. As the band’s frontman, Morrissey attracted attention for his unconventional yet expressive baritone voice, witty and sardonic lyrics, and idiosyncratic appearance; deliberately avoiding rock machismo, he cultivated the aesthetic of a social outsider who eschewed drugs and embraced celibacy. The Smiths released three further studio albums and had a string of hit singles. Personal differences between Morrissey and Marr resulted in the break-up of the Smiths in 1987.
In 1988, Morrissey launched his solo career with Viva Hate. This album and its follow-ups—Kill Uncle, Your Arsenal, and Vauxhall and I—all did well in the UK Albums Chart and spawned a number of hit singles. During this time his image began to shift into that of a more burly figure, who toyed with patriotic imagery and working-class masculinity. In the mid-to-late 1990s, his subsequent albums, Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted, also charted but were less well received. Relocating to Los Angeles, he embarked on a hiatus between 1998 and 2003 before releasing a successful comeback album, You Are the Quarry, in 2004. Ensuing years saw the release of albums Ringleader of the Tormentors, Years of Refusal, and World Peace Is None of Your Business. He released his autobiography in 2013, followed by his first novel in 2015. His eleventh solo album, Low in High School, was released in 2017.
Highly influential, Morrissey has been credited as a seminal figure in the emergence of indie rock and Britpop. Acclaimed as one of the greatest lyricists in British history, his lyrics have become the subject of academic study. He has courted controversy with his forthright opinions—endorsing vegetarianism and animal rights, condemning royalty and prominent politicians, and promoting a vision of English national identity and Britishness. In a 2006 poll held by the BBC’s The Culture Show, Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British cultural icon, behind only David Attenborough.
“November Spawned a Monster” is a song by Morrissey. It was released as a single in 1990. It was written by Morrissey and Clive Langer. It also features one of Morrissey’s former colleagues from The Smiths, Andy Rourke. In reaching number 12 in the British chart it was a marked improvement over Morrissey’s previous single, “Ouija Board, Ouija Board”, but still failed to chart as high as the singer’s first four releases. The track is one of Morrissey’s personal favourites, and has been played live many times by the singer. It along with its b-side “He Knows I’d Love to See Him” appears on the compilation album Bona Drag.
The song tackles the plight of the disabled, an unusual subject matter for a pop single. As ever with Morrissey the tone and sentiments are riddled with ambiguity. His use of words such as ‘monster’ and ‘twisted’ creates a strange mix of revulsion, sympathy and black comedy, all used to enlighten, and disturb, the audience. By forcing the ambivalent persona of tormentor and saviour, Morrissey forces the listener to confront their own prejudices head on.” The song is quoting Les Chants de Maldoror (Chant 2, verse 7), in which a hermaphrodite perceives himself as a monster and dreams of love.
In November 2014 Alex Broun’s play November Spawned a Monster, inspired by Morrissey’s song, premiered at The Old Fitzroy, in Sydney, Australia, directed by Robert Chuter (director) and starring James Wright.
- “November Spawned a Monster”
- “He Knows I’d Love to See Him”
- “Girl Least Likely To”
- Morrissey: voice
- Mary Margaret O’Hara: voice
- Kevin Armstrong: guitar
- Andy Rourke: bass guitar
- Andrew Paresi: drums