Morrissey has once again hit out at former label Capitol Records for seemingly shelving his unreleased album ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’, following his exit from the label at the end of last year.
In a new statement posted on his website, the singer has contrasted Capitol not releasing ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’ with its decision to continue publishing Sam Smith‘s records. Smith has released all four of their studio albums – from 2014’s ‘In the Lonely Hour’ to last month’s ‘Gloria’ – via Capitol.
“Capitol Records (Los Angeles) proudly promotes Sam Smith’s ‘satanism’; yet they consider the honest truth of Morrissey’s factual ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’ to be their biggest threat and they will not release it despite their contractual obligation and promise to do so,” the statement reads. NME has reached out to Capitol Records for comment.
The “satanism” that Morrissey is alluding to in his statement is presumably Smith’s recent appearance at the Grammy Awards, where they appeared alongside Kim Petras to perform their Grammy-winning 2022 collaboration ‘Unholy’. During the performance, Smith wore a hat with devilish horns coming out of it, in front of red lighting, pyrotechnics and dancers performing in metal cages.
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Following the appearance, some right-wing politicians, pundits and conspiracy theorists accused Smith and Petras’ performance of including Satanic elements. “Demons are teaching your kids to worship Satan,” read one of the more outlandish comments, from conservative commentator Liz Wheeler.
In October 2022, Morrissey announced that ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’ would be released in 2023 through Capitol. In late December, however, the former Smiths frontman said he had “voluntarily withdrawn from any association with Capitol Records”. He also revealed that Miley Cyrus, who recorded backing vocals for ‘Bonfire’ track ‘I Am Veronica’ in 2020, had asked to have her vocals removed from the song.
Earlier this month, Morrissey released a statement on his website in which it was asserted that, despite Capitol still maintaining ownership of ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’, the label would not release it.
“Although [Morrissey] does not believe that Capitol Records in Los Angeles signed ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’ in order to sabotage it, he is quickly coming around to that belief,” the statement read.
With ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’ remaining unreleased for the time being, Morrissey’s last solo album to see the light of day was 2020’s ‘I Am Not a Dog on a Chain’. “Judged on purely artistic terms, this is an interesting album,” NME said of the record in a three-star review. “Whether you can separate it from his opinions, dear reader, is one for the darker nights.”
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