Rob Jones

The 2 DVD set that is Morrissey: From where he came to where he went: With and without The Smiths traces the career of one of our most lauded rock stars.

A collection of associates and analysts who have come in to the presence of Morrissey unite to offer an insight in to The Smiths and the solo career of the Pope of Mope . There are those musical folk who have worked with him including Craig Gannon (who worked alongside the main man in The Smiths and also in a section of his solo career). There are also contributions from other aural accompanists including: Stephen Street, Johnny Bridgwood, Vinni Reilly and Mark Nevin. These pop partners are also dovetailed with the views of renowned rock assessors such as Paul Morley, Stuart Maconie, John Robb and the late Tony Wilson.

The highs, middles and lows of a controversial, uncompromising and incomparable career are given a fine toothcomb treatment-and, a number of awkward and sometimes seemingly immovable stones are overturned.

The documentaries head from the early years through to the You are the Quarry era-and, it is quite evident that Morrissey is a real star whose fans do not just dip in to his world because these faithful folk are obsessive. At the same time their hero does not pander to tastes, styles or whims because even though he is heavily influenced by the 60’s of his youth and a black and white world that is linked to that period Morrissey is also of the now. New generations of Mozzer maniacs are coming through the ranks and these worshippers were not even born when The Smiths arrived. However, his words and ways still touch the hearts of the original devotees as well as holding the attention of fresh disciples. This set offers some fine footage of The Smiths in action and the conversation is full of tantalising tales about the guy who has always been the outsider on the inside!

Morrissey has overcome hurdles, defied trends, courted controversy and shunned scenes. His desire to do it his way is admirable and even though that may lead to more than the odd hiccup he stands alone and the record business is a better place for him!