Morrissey spent this past Christmas weekend as the bearer of bad news about his career. Not only did the ex-Smiths singer reveal he has split from his record label, but he also claimed Miley Cyrus wants to be taken off his “hidden” album Bonfire of Teenagers.
Both announcements were made via Morrissey’s official website. On December 23rd, a message was posted under the title “Roll On 2023” which read, “Morrissey has voluntarily parted company with Maverick/Quest management. Morrissey has also voluntarily withdrawn from any association with Capitol Records (Los Angeles).”
One day later, Morrissey shared another note with the heading “Miley Is a Punk Rocker” and an image of the two artists in the studio. “Miley Cyrus now wants to be taken off the song ‘I Am Veronica’ for which she volunteered backing vocals almost two years ago,” it read. “This comes at a time when Morrissey has disassociated himself with Capitol Records (Los Angeles), who control the hidden album Bonfire of Teenagers. Above, Morrissey and Miley during Miley’s session for ‘I Am Veronica.’
In late October, Morrissey shared a since-deleted post announcing Bonfire of Teenagers would be released in February 2023. Recorded with Consequence 2022 Producer of the Year Andrew Watt, it also includes collaborations with Iggy Pop, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith and Flea, Josh Klinghoffer, and Jesse Tobias.
Alongside the album announcement, Morrissey mapped out a North American tour and revealed Capitol had licensed the rights to reissue several of his previous albums, including Southpaw Grammar, You Are The Quarry, and Ringleader of the Tormentors.
By mid-November, however, Morrissey had ended an LA concert early and revealed on his website that the “fate” of Bonfire of Teenagers was “exclusively in the hands of Capitol Records.” Within the next week, he canceled a handful of shows due to “band illness.” However, he did share a new look at the album with “Rebels Without Applause.”
Though Bonfire of Teenagers sits in limbo, Morrissey confirmed earlier this month that he’d booked studio time for another album called Without Music the World Dies. His last album, I Am Not a Dog on a Chain, was released on BMG in 2020. By that November, however, he was dropped from the label in a move Morrissey blamed on a new executive’s plans for “diversity.”