Morrissey's 'Autobiography' a Record-Breaker in Britain
Morrissey ought to shelve “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” for the foreseeable future.
The British singer is on a hot streak. His headline-grabbing memoir is officially a record-breaker in his homeland, and one of his recordings with the Smiths has been named the best album in history.
Morrissey’s “Autobiography” has become the U.K.’s fastest-selling memoir by a musician since official sales records began. The £8.99 ($14.50) paperback publication bowed at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Top 50 after selling 34,918 copies, according to The Bookseller.
Morrissey’s tome is the first rock bio published under the venerable Penguin Classics imprint, home to Aeschylus, Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde. That had infuriated some purists and folks in the publishing business, but clearly not the singer's many fans.
It’s easily the biggest first-week sale from a musician's memoir since official sales records began in 1998. The previous best was Keith Richards' “Life” (Weidenfeld), which sold 28,213 copies in its opening week back in October 2010.
Meanwhile, the NME has declared The Smiths' “The Queen Is Dead” as the "greatest album of all time". The Manchester group’s 1986 album topped out the list of 500 records, which was decided by a panel of NME journalists past and present.
It’s a remarkable change in fortune for an artist whose year has been dogged with health problems and concert cancellations. There was even a moment when Morrissey was urged to consider quitting, for the sake of his health.