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Morrissey accuses HMV of attempting to suppress sales of Smiths reissues

By | Published on Monday 19 June 2017


Morrissey has accused HMV of attempting to suppress sales of vinyl reissues of The Smiths’ ‘The Queen Is Dead’ single. His theory, it appears, is that The Smiths are considered “too radical” for today’s youth, and therefore the powers that be are attempting to stop them from hearing the song.

The limited edition seven-inch and twelve-inch reissues are only available to purchase in record stores. In HMV, both releases have been slapped with a sticker limiting purchases of each disc to one per customer. This, reckons Morrissey, is part of that big, bad conspiracy against his former band. Apparently, as yet, no one has shown him a Venn diagram illustrating the intersection between limited edition vinyl releases and eBay.

In a post on Facebook, Moz says that the sticker on the record is “not unlike a Smoking Will Seriously Damage Your Health warning”, adding that it “was not requested by ​T​he Smiths, and cannot be found on any other HMV stock, and therefore exists for ‘The Queen Is Dead’ only”.

HMV was actually selling various limited run vinyl releases this weekend, as part of its Vinyl Week promotion, so Morrissey would have been able to do a thorough test of his hypothesis. Though had he done so, he’d have discovered that all of the various limited edition vinyl releases being sold had the ‘one per customer’ sticker on them.

Perhaps Morrissey went in on Friday, when the Smiths singles were put on sale, and didn’t see any of that. Why he would then wait until Saturday evening to post about this is a mystery. Anyway, by then he had decided that this was all “an attempt to freeze sales, of course”.

It is, Morrissey continues, “an overwhelming insult to The Smiths. As if artistic freedom must struggle in our current culture of banality. As if only counterfeit emotions ​may ​apply”.

This conspiracy doesn’t just stretch to HMV though. You may have noticed that none of today’s mainstream pop radio stations are playing a 31 year old single to promote its limited repressing on vinyl. But their evil plan has been foiled by those clever Smiths fans!

“‘The Queen Is Dead’ is also the only song currently in the UK top ten that has not been played on radio, and yet still sits at number four on today’s sales chart”, Morrissey goes on. “Over 30 years since their death, and The Smiths are still thought too radical for the slow reader! It is evident, to me at least, that music audiences must only feel and think the very same thing at all times”.

Given that the single only landed on Friday, he’s presumably looking at sales data for the chart week so far. Because ‘The Queen Is Dead’ isn’t in the current UK top ten.

It’s alright though, Morrissey has developed a fail safe plan in order to ensure that all Smiths fans can own multiple copies of the release and just keep them in their houses to enjoy for themselves. It is thus: “If you are in possession of seven variable wigs, a box containing false noses, multiple-sized plastic clip-on ears, a nurse outfit, a set of stilts, a Superman cape, and a variety of oddly shaped spectacles, then we urge you to use them now and buy as many copies ​of ‘The Queen Is Dead’ ​a​t HMV as​ you ​desire”.

Perfect! Take that, The Man! You tried to knock Morrissey down, but you will fail every time, because he knows about wigs. Meanwhile, the current price for the two records on eBay is around £45 – a mark up of £22.02.

HMV has not yet responded to a request for comment.