Updated, 10:02 a.m., Aug. 21: The Mancunian bard’s newest record appears to have been removed from several digital services including Spotify, Amazon Prime and iTunes.
The drama surrounding Morrissey’s U.S. label deal has taken another twist. The veteran British singer and songwriter has personally assured his fans he’s no longer on board with Harvest Records. And he’s made quite sure by taking a mighty swipe on the way out.
In true Morrissey style, the iconic artist has penned a wordy statement for his fan site True to You in which he details how his own dreams to promote his latest album were dashed by others. He even claims there was “mutual mistrust” between both parties.
It’s not the first time an artist has spoken out about a label deal gone sour, and those splits are rarely transparent. Morrissey, though, isn’t shy of a fight and he combines his pugnacity with a certain flair for prose.
In his latest letter, Moz reiterates an earlier blast that Harvest wouldn’t invest in promotional videos to support the World Peace Is None Of Your Business, his 10th studio release. “With every nerve alert, we pushed the label for a proper video for Istanbul to precede the album, not least of all because a single ahead of the album release might inch the album to a higher chart position,” he writes. “The label backed off, even though Istanbul received 55 radio plays in just seven days on a major US station. Instead, the label requested a fifth spoken-word film, which naturally had me fumbling around for an axe: no independent thought required.”
Tracking Morrissey’s last three weeks with Harvest is like following a soap opera. Moz first took a dig at Harvest in early August, following the release of the album. Then news broke the following week (via True to You) of the split.
“Morrissey is once again in search of a record label,” a note posted on the site boasted, adding that the decision came from Capitol Records Group chairman/CEO Steve Barnett. In the days that followed, sources close to the situation told Billboard that Moz hadn’t been dropped and that his contract with the company calls for two releases, the first of which was World Peace.
That wasn’t the full truth, according to True to You, which explained in an Aug. 16 note that Moz never signed a recording agreement with Capitol-Harvest, and that the former Smiths frontman “retains full ownership” of World Peace.
Morrissey has kept the ball in his court with his latest message, published under the title “Please Close the Door Behind Me.” “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,” he writes. “Just one weak-chinned drone can assert the fist of injustice and all of our efforts are flushed away. And thus … they were.!
He continues, “I might be wrong, but I think World Peace Is None Of Your Business will instantly disappear from iTunes and record stores and every download-upload-offload outlet on the planet, because Harvest technically have no right to sell it.”
It’s not all bluster and fury. Moz thanks “once again to the Harvesters who tried” and he signs off with the promise he’s “boot-camp ready” for a scheduled concert in Lisbon, Portugal on Oct. 6.