back to article Morrissey tells netdepressives to boycott his re-releases

Lyricist and sardonic crooner Morrissey has urged loyal fans to steer clear when the big music labels re-release his old tunes. Mozzer has asked fans not to buy either a planned boxed set of his solo work or a re-released set of CDs and vinyl from his days with the legendary Smiths. The EMI, HMV and Parlophone record labels …


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  1. kaiserb_uk

    Piracy hurts artists...

    my arse.

    If Mozza doesn't get royalties from the Majors, then when does he get them? I was happy in the haze of the RIAA trial, but heaven knows I'm miserable now...

  2. Eddie Johnson

    Here's an Idea...

    If Morrissey really wants to stick it to the man, have him set up a web site with all his catalog available as mp3 downloads for free.

    What? He can't? He sold out all his rights 25 years ago and the labels own his soul? Sucks to be him then.

  3. Brett Brennan 1

    Nice to know that there are corporate freetards

    Well this takes the cake. The very same labels that, through their attack dog RIAA, are suing the cahones off of individuals that don't pay them their 99 pence per song are suddenly looking out the window when an artist wants HIS pound of flesh.

    Serve the labels right if the artists hit them with a class-action suit for being "misleading" about how their back catalog would be handled.

  4. DJ Particle
    Paris Hilton

    Alternate Plan....

    Have him set up a PO Box for "fan mail"....

    Get people to download his stuff off P2P (but don't officially endorse it, just get the word around on the underground)...

    In torrents, ask for donations to be sent to the "fan mail" address ;)

    Paris, just because. Do I need a reason? ;)

  5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    "Morrissey receives no royalty payments from EMI for any back catalogue"

    His problem is that he's not seeing this for the golden opportunity it is. Now he's got something else to whine about. $$$$$!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Read the contract

    The guy obviously needs to learn how to read. The fact that he isn't suing over the so-called 'breach of contract' is a proof that the labels has done nothing wrong here.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    As the argument about stealing from the mouths of artists doesn't apply, I'll keep an eye out for a torrent of it.

  8. Mike Street
    Thumb Up

    No Problem

    Never liked his 'work' anyway.

    Still, interesting to know that (at least sometimes) buying legal releases does *not* support the artist, as alleged by various self-interest groups.

    New RIAA slogan: "Record Companies are killing music"

    Makes me wonder if there are *any* good guys in the music biz.

  9. Michael Fremlins

    But Morrissey...

    what difference does it make?

  10. MrT
    Thumb Up

    Gonna spend my money elsewhere then...

    ... buying lots of lovely shoes.*

    Although TBH 'not buying Morrissey CDs' will be an easy enough request to follow.

    * 90's UK alternative comedy reference - Mozza wasn't just about daffodils and shifting between minor and major chords mid-word, y'know

  11. JasonW

    I wasn't going to buy them anyway....

    It was depressing enough listening to the Smiths & Mr. Morrissey the first time around without owning them.

    It was a marginal thing between poking my eyes out with a stick coated in dog turd and listening to that (the only thing that stopped me was the realisation that I'd be blinded by dog turd *and* I'd still be able to hear his incessant dreary warbling).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like somebody didn't get a very good contract

    however, I am more than happy to comply with the grumpy bugger's request that I not buy any of his records

  13. blackworx


    That is all

  14. Juan Inamillion


    ..I feel really sorry for Mozza (and I'm not a fan particularly) and for all fans of music. This is what the record companies do, they rip off the artists for as much as they can possibly squeeze out of them.

    And then, when they release back catalogue 20 years or more later - at full price, FFS - get all huffy and litigious when some folk object and make the material available for free on P2P.

    I never cease to be amazed at the hypocrisy of the record industry.

  15. Subban

    a title


    Yeah because no-one ever gets caught out by some shitty contract, right?

    Now what would be funny is someone ending up in court with one of Morriseys tracks as evidence, I would be wanting subpeona Morrisey and ask if as an artist he is being hurt by downloading his back catalogue.. Yes or No please and speak loudly so the jury can hear.. kthanx

    It would never happen, but I can dream right.

    I used to buy a lot of music, and download little, often buying what I liked that I had downloaded. I now avoid buying any music from the big four and only support independents with my wallet, I just wish more who felt the RIAA were evil incarnate would do the same. If they really did care about the artists getting the money would make a big difference, but the artist they sue "on behalf of" don't see a penny.

  16. adnim

    @Eddie Johnson

    It sucks to be any artist when the majors say... Sign here for the deal of your life, promotion, fame, money and international success. Alternatively you can remain unnoticed, unrecognised and poor. Oh btw after you have signed we own your ass and everything you do.

    Still I agree with you, if fame and money are more important than integrity and freedom, his choice was a big fail.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Pay actual folding money for music?

    Umm, why?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks but no thanks

    I'll buy whatever I like from wherever I like. I couldn't care less about Morrissey's contractual arrangements. I can only imagine it's ego which makes him think anyone else should care.

  19. Dave The Cardboard Box

    2 faced moaning git

    Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke could tell him a thing or two about being financially screwed by unscrupulous cash hounds.

  20. Chris C

    Yeah, sure, it's about the music

    Well, here we have at least one artist explicitly telling us it's NOT about the music. Clearly, he does NOT want his music to be heard. All he cares about is the almighty dollar/pound. In that case, maybe he should not have sold his rights to the labels. He, like every other artist, voluntarily signed a contract (multiple contracts in his case). And now, twenty or thirty years later, he doesn't like the terms of those contracts. Of course, if it weren't for those contracts, nobody would know who he is and he never would have made any money from his music. Like so many people with so many things, he was happy when it benefited him, but now that it no longer benefits him, he's complaining. Sorry, but you can't have it both ways.

    As for kaiserb_uk's brilliant comment above, you're absolutely right. Here we have an example of one single artist who does not get royalties from 20- to 30-year-old material. So surely that means that piracy doesn't hurt any artists. On a related note, I have never been physically assaulted, so clearly nobody else has either. By any chance, are you a statistician? As for your "when does he get [royalties from the Majors]?" question, it's a pretty safe bet that he got royalties when he said he did -- until 1992 from EMI, and until 1999 from Warner, as stipulated in the contracts he signed with them.

    Go ahead and vilify the RIAA and the labels. They certainly have a lot to be ashamed of, including unethical contracts and illegal price-fixing. But the artists voluntarily signed the contracts, so they have no one but themselves to blame. As for the price-fixing, people still voluntarily purchased the product, so people obviously still felt it was worth it. Let's not forget that if it wasn't for those "evil" labels, most of us never would have heard any of the music we have in our collections. The Internet is giving artists an outlet to self-promote and self-publish now, but that wasn't an option in decades past. So while we may hate the labels, let's not forget what they're brought to us for the past 70+ years.

  21. kissingthecarpet

    More artists

    should clarify whether they get paid or not when their material is released - I'm sure that a lot of them sold their rights years ago as well & probably for a lot less than the majors made off them.

    No doubt most of them were up to their eyes in debt & owed loads of tax, so took what was offered probably not really believing that they'd be around in 20/25 years time

  22. Giles Jones Gold badge

    @Piracy hurts artists

    I'm sure there was some small print in the contract they drew up that got missed. It's pretty common for huge record labels to screw artists over.

  23. asdf

    Re: Here's an Idea

    You are right even if your tone makes it sound like you agree with the pigopolists biz practices. I guess then its a good thing their house of cards is crumbling and future artists won't have to sell their lifes work for pennys to a bunch of white assholes in suites in order for John Q Public to have ever heard of them. The gatekeepers will be around a long time but its nice to see some sheep get out of the pen. 20 years of schooling and they put you on the day shift. Look out kid they keep it all hid.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    much as i'd like to feel sorry for him

    the only reason i can think of for him not getting any royalties, is that sometime in the past he sold all his rights to someone else for a crapload of money.

    I write software professionally, i don't expect to be paid everytime someone buys the software, instead i get a salary, or, if i was freelance, i might get a one off payment. Maybe artists should look into a similar compensation scheme... what they wouldn't get paid loads of money for the rest of their lives for doing something once, they'd actually have to keep working for it? Imagine that!

  25. Andrew Taylor 1

    That would be the same Morrisey

    who was successfully sued by the other members of The Smiths for their share of the bands royalties that he had pocketed.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piracy does hurt artists

    but the recording industry also does a lot of damage as well.

    I think if the artists got together and sort out a delivery system for their art, that is the one that breaks the current problem.

    Most fans would buy direct from the artist if given a chance, and if the cost of the delivery system was shared amongst the artists and controlled by the artists then sale price could also be kept low or set by the artist.

    That's the irony of things like Pirate Bay and Napster, had they just bothered to go to the artists directly and asked what they wanted they would have all taken off, and the recording industry middle men would be gone by now.

  27. Stan 2

    Great justification

    Not buying any Morrissey as a means of sticking it to the man? Great. Beats not buying any 'cos he's crap.

  28. Ned Ludd

    Tragic, but...

    How on earth can he not get royalties from his own material? Maybe he needs to look at new management...

  29. Tam Lin

    Piracy helps artists

    Piracy is free advertising for an artist's new stuff and live shows. Besides, fans still have enough money to actually purchase self-published music and tickets.

    Buying RIAA members' back catalogue reissues means the RIAA have enough money to hire the false friends, managers and solicitors to advise future talent to sign their rights over, repeating the cycle for another generation

  30. David Moore

    @Eddie Johnson

    "If Morrissey really wants to stick it to the man, have him set up a web site with all his catalog available as mp3 downloads for free."

    Someone already did mate, I think it's called the pirate bay or something like that?

    The Terminator, as I imagine Morrisey would've used his services extensively given the chance. Warner Execs beware.

  31. Tony Paulazzo

    @ Eddie Johnson

    Yea, stupid 16 year old, lied to and seduced by men 30 years his senior into signing a contract that promised the earth but simply filled their grade A cocaine bowls. As in, 'Sign here if you want your message to be heard. Yes of course this twenty five page, finely printed contract is fair, and no, no lawyer (which you couldn't afford anyway at £60 an hour), can read it. Here have a line that'll make things so much clearer - of course the one after will cost you dear.'


  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re-evaluate the dead star

    Having looked at the box set listing, it's a raw deal. Only two songs per CD, meaning that some of the rarer songs are still not available. "Oh Well I'll Never Learn" and "Hairdresser on Fire" are missing from the Suedehead CD.

    Not that I'd want to buy them. I sold my original releases a few years ago on ebay and made a small fortune.

  33. Paul 4

    Given that this is Morrissey

    It woulden't suprise me if he sold his rights to these songs for a big fat pile of money and now hes bitter that he is not making money off it.

  34. Anonymous Coward


    Heaven knows he's miserable now ..... Well he has a reason now

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Get a regular job?

    I dont expect to get paid for the work i did 20years ago, again today.

    So heres an idea, make some more music today? or get a normal job?

  36. Brennan Young

    Paint a Vulgar Picture

    Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package!

    Re-evaluate the songs

    Double-pack with a photograph

    Extra Track (and a tacky badge)

    A-list, playlist

    "Please them , please them!"

    "Please them!"

    (sadly, THIS was your life)

    But you could have said no

    If you'd wanted to

    (From Smiths - Paint a Vulgar Picture)

  37. Tom 12

    It's no wonder then

    .. that he's so bloody miserable.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Well, no surprises

    We all knew the RIAA wasn't about defending the artist already. It just wasn't public.

    No surprises here folks, carry on.

  39. MnM
    Paris Hilton


    Artists being freetards themselves? It cannot be. George Michael went there - he tried to extricate himself from his contract (with Sony??) quite some time ago, talking up his artistic freedom, but lost his case in the High Court. IIRC, he'd renegotiated his contract several times over several years, then wanted out, and the judge had none of it.

  40. thomas newton
    Paris Hilton

    @ kaiser b

    I dont think he does - he was moaning a while back about Joycey getting them all after losing his court case against him and andy rourke a while back ( I believe he went into some depth about it on the True To You website then).

    however, I cant help but think if him and johnny marr have just played it straight with them in the first place, and then in the subsequent court case (where if memory serves, the judge described him as a 'deeply unreliable witness' or some such) he wouldnt be in this position now.

    paris, 'cause I bet she knows a thing or two about uncomfortable positions...

  41. Anonymous Coward


    You mean Gladioli, his favourite flower... only fans who didn't know the difference turned up with daffodils.

  42. dunncha

    Shoplifters of the World Unite

    Maybe he should of announced a good tracker to pick the Albums up from. That would have been much more like he was in the good old days.

    But then again.....'What Difference Does It Make'

    I get my long jacket so I can swing it around as I try to dance but yet not look like I'm trying to dance

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I suppose the lawyers at EMI, Warner, etc are busy drafting an "artist must not tell fans to boycott his records" clause for future contracts, if such clauses are not already standard.

  44. Lionel Baden

    he should recommend downloading :D

    Arrghhh me hearties download my latest albums fa free

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Unimaginative Title Here...

    I think this is one reason why illegal downloads are still popular (refuse to use the term "pirating"). People know that the bulk, if not all, revenue goes to the record label and not the artist and so have no compunction about downloading. The argument that it is the artist that suffers is complete rubbish.

    Basically, record labels are just a bunch of parasitic *insert expletive of choice here*...

  46. Shady

    Works both ways...

    ...boycott his records if he doesn't get royalties - and boycott them if he does. For being a pretentious whining cock.

    He probably set this up years ago just so he could have SOMETHING, ANYTHING to whine about after the Tories were gone.

    The miserable bastard.

    <-- Wot, no commie icon?

  47. lIsRT


    Can he release covers of his old songs without the money going the same way?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Like I was going to buy it anyway...

    I don't need Morrissey telling me not to buy his back collection, anything he has written / sung has always meant depressing music to slit your wrists to to me anyway.

    I wouldn't want to risk putting near my CD player in case everyone in the house including the fish kark it from depression...

    Tombstone, Obvious really..

  49. Dave H

    To be fair...

    ... if I were him I would be advising people not to listen due to the general tuneless meanderings of a talentless wastrel. But that's just me.

  50. goggyturk


    This is exactly why I will never buy a solo Morrisey release. Apart from the fact he's been rehashing the same stuff for the last 25 years, he's also a bitter, twisted money grubber. "Don't buy these records because I won't get any money." Fucking pathetic!

    You won't hear Johnny Marr whining like a child about the Smiths re-releases, but maybe that's because he's the one with the serious career spanning 3 decades that doesn't involve swimming around the same goldfish bowl over and over again.

  51. Andrew Punch

    Morrisey is nothing without the Smiths

    Should I buy his work to annoy him - but then I would have to listen to it. Oh the dilemna.

  52. pctechxp

    Important lesson here

    If you are a successful musician you should set up your own label which you transfer your rights to but retain 100% control of.

    I'm sure he hopes that Warner are the first of the gang to die (sorry can't add anymore to this because most of the time I couldn't make out what he was bloody saying)

  53. Chewy


    So its seems that the former coke/scag-heads of Motley Crue were smarter than Morrisey by keeping hold of their back catalogue ha ha

  54. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    Should every downloader now start downloading and seeding Morrissey's .... eh..... music, so when they are hauled into court, could they then offer this as evidence that downloading does not damage the artist's income?????

    Although listening to Morrissey's .... eh..... music, might damage my sense of personal wellbeing

  55. EMInside

    Don't worry...

    He was paid! Reality is EMI and Warners are still trying to recoup on that advance. He's obviously not the world class star generating the world class sales he thinks he is.

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