Jeremy Harmon, the Tribune's director of photography, is a big fan of Morrissey. Big fan. Very passionate.
He posted something on his Facebook page last night, and I enjoyed it so much that I asked him permission to re-post it here:
I just read the info about the upcoming reissue of Morrissey's album Kill Uncle. They're replacing the original version of There Is A Place In Hell For Me And My Friends with the "live in the studio" version. They no doubt mean the rockabilly version from the Live at KROQ ep. The KROQ version, while interesting, does not have the poignancy of the more delicate piano version. It will stick out on this album like a sore thumb. The song will no longer serve as an elegy. It will instead be comic relief. It makes me feel like Mozo the Clown has decided to squirt me in the eye with water from the plastic gladiola pinned to the lapel of his tweed jacket. The Clown might think it's funny, but it isn't. The original version of the song sounds like the resignation to, and acceptance of, emotional defeat. The live version sounds like, well, it sounds like Fonzie started a Smiths cover band. In no way is the live version better than the original version. Furthermore, the additions of Pashernate Love and East West to the tracklist only dilute the album. Pashernate Love sounds like a throwaway from Your Arsenal for a reason. It's a great song. Top notch b-side. Pairs perfectly with You're The One For Me, Fatty. But Kill Uncle isn't a proper forum for that song. East West, a Herman's Hermits cover, just is what it is. It's just kind of there. Utterly forgettable. But hey, we need an extra track and a tacky badge, right? Et tu, Morrissey?
Harmon had to explain to me that the "extra tack and a tacky badge" line comes from The Smiths tune "Paint A Vulgar Picture," which complains about record companies doing this sort of thing.