When Capitol Music Group chairman/CEO Steve Barnett announced on Jan. 15 that Morrissey had signed with CMG’s Harvest Records, he praised the artist for staying “consistently true to his artistic vision and ethical principles since he first exploded onto the scene in the 1980s.” Months later, those principles exploded, all right, as Morrissey, 55, blasted his record company for allegedly not properly promoting his new album, World Peace Is None of Your Business, which arrived July 11.
Below, a blow-by-blow primer of a fight where both sides say, “F— Harvest.”
June 10 Morrissey cancels tour dates due to illness, claiming opener Kristeen Young gave him a “horrendous cold” and apologized for doing so. She denies both claims, saying she had allergies.
Aug. 6 Morrissey praises fan music videos for “World Peace Is None of Your Business,” pillories Harvest for not doing the same.
Aug. 10 Rumors start to circulate, beginning with fan site True to You, that Morrissey is once again “in search of a record label.”
Aug. 15 Sources confirm that Morrissey is still signed to Harvest/Capitol.
Aug. 21 Morrissey lambastes Harvest for lack of promotion and says he still owns rights to World Peace Is None of Your Business, which disappears from Spotify and the iTunes Store.
Aug. 25 Sources confirm that Morrissey is still signed to Harvest, which “reluctantly” removed World Peace Is None of Your Business from digital services per the singer’s request.
Oct. 7 Morrissey — who tells El Mundo he might have cancer (“If I die, then I die”) — and his band wear “F— Harvest” T-shirts onstage in Lisbon.
Oct. 8 Harvest starts selling “F— Harvest” T-shirts for $16.
This article first appeared in the Oct. 25 issue of Billboard.