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Admittedly the man who sang Will Never Marry in the early 90s couldn't look less comfortable. Since his emergence from rock retirement in the objects Morrissey has chosen to feature on his album sleeves have spoken volumes; clues directed to his notoriously obsessive fanbase as to his current state of mind. His wielding of a tommy gun on the cover of 's You Are the Quarry signified his take-no-prisoners creative fight back; the violin he played on the sleeve of 's Ringleader of the Tormentors was suggestive of a more harmonious mood on his move to Rome.
So what does a cheery nipper signify? A secret love child? A reluctant acceptance, after Years of Refusal, of his biological urge to procreate? Some believe Moz is mocking the concept of parenthood, having often proclaimed it pointless.
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- Years Of Refusal!
Others claim he's embracing his inner child. Those hidden-meaning seekers for whom life is one long Da Vinci Code point to the W on the baby's forehead as an upside down M, stating that the child is the result of a union between Morrissey and Mariah Carey.
Morrissey - Years Of Refusal
No, say yet more, the M is in fact a butterfly which, linked to the caterpillar tattoo on his forearm, celebrates the miracle of reproduction even if from the disdainful expression it obviously isn't Moz's cup of tea. Poppycock, say an alarmingly large proportion of posters to threads called things like He's Touching The Baby's Penis!
The Moz apologist in me wants to read into it a sign of pop's eternal teenager begrudgingly accepting maturity, an awkward sort of settling, albeit one that would probably never involve fatherhood. The fact is, babies have rarely, if ever, been used on album artwork for cute factor alone.
In an interview with the BBC News website in October , Morrissey said that this next album was already written and ready for a possible Autumn release. In December, Morrissey signed a deal with Decca Records , which included a Greatest Hits album and a newly recorded album to follow in Autumn Mixing began in early February An additional track for the album was recorded in late May according to drummer Matt Walker.
Morrissey, ‘Years of Refusal’ (Lost Highway)
Keyboardist Michael Farrell left the band prior to the album's completion so Morrissey recruited Roger Manning to fill in. On 30 May , Morrissey announced that the new album, Years Of Refusal , was now complete and set for a September release.
However, the album's release date was delayed until 2 February at the request of Decca UK so Morrissey could have time to shop for a new label to distribute the album in the US after he withdrew from Decca US for their 'poor promotion of his Greatest Hits release'. Morrissey eventually agreed to a US distribution deal with the Lost Highway label. It was also later announced that 23 February would be the new release date for Years Of Refusal.
Finally, in a press release from Universal Music it was announced that the final release date for the album would be 16 February with the first single, " I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris ", preceding the album a week earlier on 9 February Upon release, the album peaked at 3 on the UK charts.