Q Magazine

Morrissey Buys Back Rights to 2 of His Albums From Capitol Records, Including 2021's Unreleased 'Bonfire of Teenagers'

Also retrieved from the label's clutches: 2014's 'World Peace Is None of Your Business'

wills q template
Source: MEGA

Morrissey has paid the exit fee to Capitol Records for two of his albums.

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

It’s been over four years since Morrissey last released a solo album, a period of time long enough that you may well have forgotten that it was entitled I Am Not a Dog on a Chain and featured the singles “Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know?,” “Love Is on Its Way Out,” and “Knockabout World.” Then again, perhaps the reason that you forgot about it was the fact that none of the aforementioned singles charted (although it's worth noting the LP itself landed at #3 on the UK Albums chart).

Either way, the point at hand is that Mozzer fans have been waiting quite a while for him to release something new. But that’s not to say that he hasn’t had anything new ready to release. Indeed, he finished an album entitled Bonfire of Teenagers three years ago for Capitol Records, only for the label to sit on it.

“This album was recorded in January 2021 and Capitol signed it and didn’t release it," Morrissey said in an interview with Good Day New York in October 2021. "But they’re now prepared to give it back to me for a certain price. It’s been quite traumatic and quite sad because when you record something, you want it to be available immediately and it was very much of the time. For me, it was a very personal thing and the fact that it hasn’t been released has been torture.”

Article continues below advertisement
wills q template
Source: MEGA

Morrissey performing at Troxy on July 22, 2023 in London, England.

At long last, it appears that the torture is over: whatever the "certain price" set by Capitol may have been, it seems that Morrissey has ponied up.

In a post on Morrissey Central, it was confirmed that "Morrissey has paid the exit fee to Capitol Records," which - also per the post - means that he now owns the rights not only to Bonfire of Teenagers but also his 2014 album World Peace Is None of Your Business.

The latter album hit #2 in the UK and #14 on the Billboard 200 upon its initial release, but it was pulled from U.S. streaming services only a few weeks after its release due to an apparent kerfuffle between Morrissey and the head of Harvest/Capitol at the time.

Article continues below advertisement
Source: MEGA

The English singer and songwriter began as the frontman and lyricist of the rock band the Smiths, before embarking on his solo career.

As Morrissey said in a statement posted on True-to-You.net at the time...

"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."

Article continues below advertisement

As for Bonfire of Teenagers, the album was produced by Andrew Watt and recorded in Los Angeles at various points during 2020 and 2021. Excitement was running high for the LP for a number of reasons, not least of which was a guest appearance by Miley Cyrus on a song entitled “I Am Veronica,” but it was reported by Morrissey in December 2022 that Cyrus’ backing vocals on the track had been removed at her request. Whether that situation will change now that he’s no longer tied to Capitol remains to be seen.

The album still reportedly contains guest appearances from Iggy Pop, Jessie Tobias, Red Hot Chili Peppers members Chad Smith and Flea, and former RHCP guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. Smith and Klinghoffer were credited as co-writers (alongside Morrissey, Watt, and longtime Morrissey collaborator Boz Boorer) on the only song from Bonfire of Teenagers to have been released thus far: “Rebels Without Applause,” which was issued as a single in November 2022.

But as to when we’ll hear the rest of Bonfire of Teenagers or see World Peace Is None of Your Business returned to U.S. streaming services, well, that remains to be seen. As of this writing, Morrissey remains unsigned. As such, the status of his other yet-to-be-released album – Without Music the World Dies, recorded in early 2023 – remains in limbo as well.

Article continues below advertisement

Never miss a story — sign up for the Q newsletter for the latest music news on all your favorite artists, all in one place.


Subscribe to our newsletter

your info will be used in accordance with our privacy policy

Read More