Album Review – Mark Morriss

Mark Morriss

Mark Morriss – ‘The Taste Of Mark Morriss.’ (Acid Jazz)

It’s a bit of a shock, to be honest, for this self-confessed ageing indie kid to realise it’s now twenty years since Mark Morriss first appeared as frontman of The Bluetones. They’re about to embark on an anniversary tour, but in the meantime he’s releasing his third solo album, The Taste Of Mark Morriss.

According to the press release, this is Morriss selecting his ‘favourite “blast from the past” songs that helped to form his musical tastes and shape the songwriting abilities we all know and love, picked them apart and re-invented them with his own flair.’ It has to be noted that the album does not get off to a promising start, with its cover of Jess Conrad’s ‘This Pullover.’ Whilst this song was reportedly voted in the top ten of Kenny Everett’s Worst Records list, it’s hard to know exactly why it’s here. It’s so exasperatingly twee it’s enough to make The Pastels and Belle & Sebastian want to grate kittens.

There are, however, some excellent songs here which Morriss’s reworkings do justice to. So The Sisters of Mercy’s 1988 single ‘Lucretia My Reflection’ manages to show that it can lose the bass riff which underpinned it and come up smiling. Meanwhile his take on Laura Brannigan’s 1984 hit ‘Self Control’ shows that that song was always pretty dark underneath that glossy eighties production.

Perhaps what surprises the most are his covers of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s ‘Souvenir’ which manages to be almost as lovely as the original, minus the synths and the darkness he brings to Madonna’s ‘Angel’ as if to balance up de-gothing the Sisters of Mercy elsewhere on the album.

Overall, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. It’s fun and no doubt selected tracks of these will do the rounds of people making lists of interesting covers. It doesn’t stand up as well as some other albums comprised completely of covers (thinking of Bowie’s Pin-Ups or Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Through The Looking Glass), but there’s some fun to be had here.


The Taste of Mark Morriss is released by Acid Jazz on July 31.

A song for today #17

Mark Morriss

The Bluetones’ Mark Morriss is shortly (July 31) to release his second solo album The Taste Of Mark Morriss. It’s a covers album, and one of the tracks to be doing the rounds is his own unique take on the Sisters Of Mercy’s ‘Lucretia My Reflection,’ which was a hit in 1988 and appeared on the goth legends’ second album Floodland.

This is the video:

The original can (and indeed MUST be streamed by clicking on the link below)

This is the album tracklisting – and for fun if you click on the link you can hear the original (clever, eh?):

1. This Pullover (originally by Jess Conrad)
2. Rock & Roll Woman (originally by Buffalo Springfield)
3. Souvenir (originally by OMD)
4. Self Control (originally by Laura Branigan)
5. Duchess (originally by Scott Walker)
6. You Are My Friend (originally by Rain Parade)
7. Lucretia (My Reflection) (originally by Sisters of Mercy)
8. Angel (originally by Madonna)
9. Almost Gold (originally by Jesus & Mary Chain)
10.Don’t Let Go (originally by Weezer)
11.Love Comes Quickly (originally by The Pet Shops Boys)
12.Good Advices (originally by REM)

Ten more from John Peel’s Festive Fifty

John Peel with Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley in 1999.

Yup, kids, just like it says, ten more tracks that made John Peel’s Festive Fifty, and I’ve tried to go for even less predictable stuff this time…

Gang Of Four -‘Damaged Goods.’ mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.23, 1980 Festive Fifty no.50)

Bluetones -‘Slight Return.’ mp3 (1995 Festive Fifty no.21)

Detroit Cobras -‘Shout Bama Lama.’ mp3 (2001 Festive Fifty no.21)

Dead Kennedys -‘California Uber Alles.’ mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.33 , 1980 Festive Fifty no.31, 1981 Festive Fifty no. 42)

Soup Dragons -‘Whole Wide world.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.25)

Camper Van Beethoven -‘Take The Skinheads Bowling.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.47)

PJ Harvey -‘Dress.’mp3 (1991 Festive Fifty no.2)

Melt Banana -‘Stimulus for Revolting Virus.’ mp3 (1998 Festive Fifty no.37)

Helen Love -‘Long Live The UK Music Scene.’ mp3 (1998 Festive Fifty no.10)

Broadcast -‘Come On Let’s Go.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.5)

As always, if you want to find out more about John Peel start here and for more music featured in his annual Festive Fifties, an excellent place to start is the Teenage Kicks blogspot, especially for music long since deleted.