The Ten Best Morrissey Songs to Rival The Smiths

Tom Brogan
8 min readJan 22, 2021
Morrissey performing at the Hop Farm Music Festival in July 2011 by Man Alive! on Flickr.

There was a time not so long ago when Morrissey’s lyrics inspired fans to have them tattooed on their skin. Now Morrissey’s words are more likely to generate a sickening feeling in even the most die-hard Mozzerite. But for the length of this article let’s overlook his support of the far-right and his numerous racist comments and focus on what I think are his ten best songs, in chronological order, that can stand alongside his work with The Smiths.

“It makes me sound like a racehorse.”

Morrissey on being asked by Nick Kent if he minded being called ‘Mozz’.

Suedehead (Morrisey/Stephen Street), single from Viva Hate, 1988

The debut solo single which immediately allayed any fears the solo years would pale in comparison to The Smiths. It was released in February of 1988 and peaked at number five on the UK charts. Although even at this stage in his solo career there’s a dalliance with the far right. The title never uttered in the song, comes from Richard Allen’s 1971 novel of the same name. Allen was the pen-name prolific pulp writer James Moffat used for his series of ‘Skin books’ featuring the skinhead subculture.

“A suedehead was an outgrown skinhead,” Morrissey explained to Len Brown in Spin magazine in 1988, “but outgrown only in the hair sense. An outgrown skinhead who was slightly softer. Not a football hooligan. Back in ’71, when youth cults were on the rampage in Manchester, there was a tremendous air of intensity and potential unpleasantness. Something interesting grabbed me about the whole thing. I don’t think there were any good guys; everybody had several chips on several shoulders.”

The single was the first release on EMI’s HMV label since Joyce Grenfell’s ‘I Wouldn’t Go Back To The World I Never Knew’, 20 years before.

Everyday is Like Sunday (Morrissey/Stephen Street) single from Viva Hate, 1988

The second single, released in June of 1988, peaking at number nine on the UK charts. Now, had Morrissey sadly passed on sometime after this release his image would have been forever sealed as a beautiful, brave and inspired poet of a generation. Another sublime and perfect single.

Tom Brogan

Author of We Made Them Angry Scotland at the World Cup Spain 1982. Writing about films, music, football and television.