Morrissey

Suedehead

Composed by Morrissey / Stephen Street

Song Review by

Morrissey's first solo single following the dissolution of the Smiths, "Suedehead" took its cue from a mid-70s pulp teen gang novel by British author Richard Allen. That said, the lyric itself seems to have little to do with the novel, beyond the time-and-place significance of its title - Morrissey himself later described "Suedehead" as being bound up in life as he lived it around 1972, aged 12 and 13, although he has never acknowledged who it is actually about - the lyric is a tacit confession of guilt, apologizing to a wronged friend while asking why they persist in trying to make contact. "Why do you come here, when you know it makes things hard for me?"

Its lyric notwithstanding, "Suedehead" was based upon a quirkily electric melody line, one of several instrumental sketches demoed by producer Stephen Street around the time of the Smiths' Strangeways, Here We Come album, for consideration as possible b-sides. A few weeks later, he received a call from Morrissey, inviting him to help out on what became the singer's Viva Hate solo debut. Released ahead of the LP itself, "Suedehead" swiftly emerged as Morrissey's first ever Top 5 British hit.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1988 EMI Music Distribution
Viva Hate 1988 Sire 3:54
Hulmerist 1990 Warner Reprise Video / Warner Bros. 0:00
Bona Drag 1990 Sire 3:54
No Image 1992 Warner Bros. 3:54
No Image 1992 Parlophone
The Best of Morrissey: Suedehead 1997 EMI Music Distribution 3:55
Pop & Wave, Vol. 8 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:52
Totally Awesome '80s: 1986-1989 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:53
The CD Singles, Vol. 1: 1988-1991 2000 EMI Music Distribution 3:55
The Best of Morrissey 2001 Rhino 3:54
The Original 80's Album 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 0:00
Greatest Hits 2008 Universal Distribution 3:49
Top of the Pops 1988 2008
Various Artists
BBC Music / EMI 3:54
101 Indie Classics 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:54
Be There Now
Various Artists
Soundsite 3:54
Best of the Bands: Classic Tracks
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold / EMI Music Distribution / Mixed Repertoire 3:54
Original Hits: 80s Pop
Various Artists
EMI 3:53