20th anniversary definitive remaster by Bill Inglot (2014) pressed on 180g vinyl LP!
1994's Vauxhall And I is a very different album than its guitar-driven predecessor, Your Arsenal. For his fourth solo album, after years of frustration at the misinterpretation of his work and aesthetic, as well as the loss of some of his closet confidants, including that of Mick Ronson (Arsenal’s producer); along with his two new songwriters, Alain Whyte and Boz Boorer, Morrissey crafted a flawless album of brilliant, melodic and languid songs, exquisite arrangements and mellifluous vocals – some of the finest he has ever recorded.
Vauxhall And I signaled an acceptance of ageing amidst the tyranny of time, casting off the shackles of the past, with a will to embrace the future. Along the way the album visits a cast of characters, including, references to Brighton Rock – gorgeous, exhilarating album opener "Now My Heart Is Full" – those whom disregard all social conventions and “take life at five times the average speed” ("Spring-Heeled Jim") and rejected romantics ("Billy Budd" – also a Herman Melville character).
It also lays waste to ignorant and selfish tourist whom are “jaded by stagnation” ("The Lazy Sunbathers"), the unthinking and unquestioning ("Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself" – later covered by The Killers), and tackles the inevitable loss of innocence ("Used To Be A Sweet Boy"), amongst other inimitable themes. The album’s first single, UK No. 8, “The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get," is all killer riff and features one of Morrissey’s finest lyrics, particularly the truthful and hilarious couplet; “Beware I bear more grudges/than lonely High Court judges.” Proving yet again that Morrissey was peerless with a pen and sharper than a razor when it came to slaying the establishment.
The album’s most haunted moment is the eerie, whispered "Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning," a sad, yet unsentimental tale of rejection. Perhaps the most visceral moment on the whole album is closer "Speedway." From the rev of an engine, the song crashes and burns through a litany of defiance and ambiguity, ending one of the greatest albums ever released on a perfect note of survival against all odds.
1. Now My Heart Is Full
2. Spring-Heeled Jim
3. Billy Budd
4. Hold On To Your Friends
5. The More You Ignore Me the Closer I Get
6. Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself
7. I Am Hated For Loving
8. Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning
9. Used To Be A Sweet Boy
10. The Lazy Sunbathers