Ringleader of the Tormentors
|Ringleader of the Tormentors|
|Studio album by Morrissey|
|Released||3 April 2006|
|Genre||Alternative rock, indie rock|
|Singles from Ringleader of the Tormentors|
Ringleader of the Tormentors is Morrissey's eighth solo album, which debuted at number one in the UK album charts and number 27 in the US. It also hit no. 1 in Sweden, Malta and Greece. Billboard described the album as showcasing "a thicker, more rock-driven sound"; Morrissey attributes this change in sound to new guitarist Jesse Tobias. The album was released on 3 April 2006 in most of the world and on 4 April 2006 in North America on the Attack Records label.
Recording for the album commenced in late August 2005 in Rome. Mixing began in late October 2005. Originally Morrissey was to record the album with producer Jeff Saltzman, however he could not undertake the project. Early in recording Morrissey's publicist described it as "the most full-on rock record Morrissey's ever done. It's a balls-to-the-wall rock record, not a slow one like the last one." Yet in typical Morrissey style this seems to have been a myth.
Producer Tony Visconti, of T. Rex and David Bowie fame, took over the production role and Morrissey announced that Ringleader of the Tormentors is to be "the most beautiful—perhaps the most gentle, so far." Visconti wrote on his website on 1 November 2005:
|“||We have been working on the music and each day it just sounds better and better. I find every musician in the band a joy to work with. Morrissey's vocals are passionate and confident. Right now I'm at the mixing stage and most of the musicians have gone home. I am two thirds of the way through one of the best albums I've ever worked on, with not only Morrissey at his best, but the plot has twists and turns which somehow involve film composer Ennio Morricone and an Italian children's choir. That should whet your appetite, you Moz fans, you!"||”|
The musicians recording with Morrissey in Rome were: Alain Whyte, Boz Boorer, Jesse Tobias, Gary Day, Michael Farrell, and Matt Chamberlain. Chamberlain replaced Dean Butterworth, who decided to continue drumming for the band Good Charlotte. Marco Origel, from the San Francisco area, engineered the album.
Release and reception
The album's opening track, "I Will See You in Far-off Places", was leaked on the Internet on 2 February 2006. The music combines mystic chanting, horns, buzzsaw guitars, a pounding bass line and relentless drumming with vocal gymnastics reminiscent of several tracks from You Are the Quarry such as "Come Back to Camden" and "You Know I Couldn't Last".
The album's first single, "You Have Killed Me", was first broadcast on the radio station BBC 6 Music on 4 February 2006. The song's lyrics reference Rome and Romans several times, with lines such as "Piazza Cavour, what's my life for," and mention of Italian film directors Pier Paolo Pasolini, who was born in Bologna but lived in and wrote about Rome, and Luchino Visconti, and actress Anna Magnani who starred in movies of both directors. "You Have Killed Me" was released on 27 March 2006 and reached number three in the UK Singles Chart.
The entire Ringleader of the Tormentors album was leaked on the Morrissey fansite, Morrissey-solo, on 5 March 2006.
"In the Future When All's Well" has received some airplay in the United States on alternative rock radio. The album has also been in continuous rotation on Left of Center, Sirius Satellite Radio's college and indie rock channel.
Ringleader of the Tormentors became Morrissey's third number one album on the UK Albums Chart, selling 62,000 copies in its first week of release in the UK. It was also the first British album chart to include download sales, 1,200 of which were full album downloads of Ringleader of the Tormentors. The album peaked in its debut week at number 27 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., and according to Neilsen Soundscan, has sold 98,000 in the U.S. as of August 2008.
|1.||"I Will See You in Far-Off Places"||Morrissey/Alain Whyte||4:13|
|2.||"Dear God Please Help Me"||Morrissey/Whyte||5:51|
|3.||"You Have Killed Me"||Morrissey/Jesse Tobias||3:08|
|4.||"The Youngest Was the Most Loved"||Morrissey/Tobias||2:59|
|5.||"In the Future When All's Well"||Morrissey/Tobias||3:54|
|6.||"The Father Who Must Be Killed"||Morrissey/Whyte||3:53|
|7.||"Life Is a Pigsty"||Morrissey/Whyte||7:22|
|8.||"I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now"||Morrissey/Whyte||4:14|
|9.||"On the Streets I Ran"||Morrissey/Tobias||3:51|
|10.||"To Me You Are a Work of Art"||Morrissey/Whyte||4:02|
|11.||"I Just Want to See the Boy Happy"||Morrissey/Tobias||2:59|
|12.||"At Last I Am Born"||Morrissey/Michael Farrell||3:33|
- Morrissey – vocals
- Alain Whyte – guitars and backing vocals
- Boz Boorer – guitars
- Jesse Tobias – guitars
- Gary Day – bass guitar
- Matt Chamberlain – drums
- Michael Farrell – piano, organ, keyboards, trumpet, trombone and percussion
- Ennio Morricone – "Dear God Please Help Me"
Children's choir on "The Youngest Was the Most Loved", "The Father Who Must Be Killed" and "At Last I Am Born"
- Laura Adriani
- Gaia e Andrea Baroni
- Niccolo Centioni
- Julia D'Andrea
- Alice e Ester Diodovich
- Marco Lorecchio
- Charlotte Patrignani
- Allmusic review
- Blender magazine review
- The Guardian review
- The Independent review
- NME review
- The Observer review
- Pitchfork Media review
- Rolling Stone review
- Times Online review
- Billboard Morrissey Rocks, Revels In Rome On New Album
- When in Rome, produce a Morrissey album
- Sexton, Paul. "Morrissey Earns Third No. 1 U.K. Album". billboard.com. 10 April 2006.
- Cohen, Jonathan. "New Morrissey Album Pushed to Early 2009". billboard.com. 5 August 2008.
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