Thursday, December 23, 2010
Morrissey's Bona Drag...20th Anniversary LP
Last week I lamented the rising costs of specialty LPs and targeted the newly remastered 20th anniversary of Morrissey's Bona Drag, one of my favorite albums of the '90s. While shopping at Waterloo Records here in Austin, I was very excited to see it on the shelves but hesistated when I saw the $37.99 asking price. Well, someone just gave it to me as a Christmas present, and I have to say that it's been spinning on my Rega P3-24 ever since I got it in the mail.
First of all, Major Minor Records has released this as a 180 gram double-LP set, and the sound quality is fantastic. It isn't jam-packed with bonus materials like I previously thought--mostly there's just a GIANT poster of Morrissey that I won't be hanging in my bedroom. But the pressing itself is quiet, and the sound quality is much better than my old CD. You also get six bonus tracks that take up side 4, and it's great stuff such as "The Bed Took Fire" (which later became "At Amber"), "Let the Right One Slip In" and "Please Help the Cause Against Loneliness." (You gotta love Morrissey's over-the-top song titles.)
But it's the familar songs that really surprise. "November Spawned a Monster," my vote for the greatest of all Morrissey songs, is so clear and detailed that you can hear every single guttural sound from the subject in question--a handicapped girl who just wants to be accepted and loved. You'll also marvel at the great guitar work in songs such as "Hairdresser on Fire" and "The Last of the Famous International Playboys" (perhaps my second favorite Morrissey song of all time). Who needs Johnny Marr? (Well, I do.)
So yes, this is well-worth $37.99, or even more. If you love The Smiths and Morrissey, this new pressing is absolutely essential.