Live at Earls Court finds British rock icon Morrissey and his band performing in London at the end of the You Are the Quarry tour. Not to be confused with the DVD Who Put the "M" in Manchester? recorded at the beginning of the tour in May, Live at Earls Court is a completely different concert from December 2004 and features a vastly different set list. While past live Morrissey albums such as Beethoven Was Deaf featured the singer's penchant for beautifully ragged ersatz rockabilly, Earls Court showcases the more polished group sound developed out of the You Are the Quarry sessions, which isn't to say that Morrissey has lost his edge. On the contrary -- such songs as "I Have Forgiven Jesus" and "The World Is Full of Crashing Bores" prove that his legendary wit and sardonic tongue are fully intact and as sharp as ever. Similarly, his burnished baritone vocals have arguably never sounded better and the lush, muscular band arrangements frame him with a glam regality befitting his late-career resurgence. Although newer songs off You Are the Quarry are the focus, longtime Moz fans will be delighted at the amount of Smiths songs included here. In fact, the mix of the old, the new, and the unexpected -- he also performs some rare B-sides -- makes Live at Earls Court one of the most successful albums of Morrissey's career.
Live at Earls Court Review
by Matt Collar