November Spawned a Monster
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|"November Spawned a Monster"|
|Single by Morrissey|
|from the album Bona Drag (compilation)|
|Released||23 April 1990|
|Format||7", 12", CD, cassette|
|Songwriter(s)||Morrissey, Clive Langer|
|Producer(s)||Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley|
|Morrissey singles chronology|
"November Spawned a Monster" is a song by Morrissey. It was released as a single in 1990. It was written by Morrissey and Clive Langer. It also features one of Morrissey's former colleagues from The Smiths, Andy Rourke. In reaching number 12 in the British chart it was a marked improvement over Morrissey's previous single, "Ouija Board, Ouija Board", but still failed to chart as high as the singer's first four releases. The track is one of Morrissey's personal favourites, and has been played live many times by the singer. It along with its b-side "He Knows I'd Love to See Him" appears on the compilation album Bona Drag.
The song tackles the plight of the disabled, an unusual subject matter for a pop single. As ever with Morrissey the tone and sentiments are riddled with ambiguity. His use of words such as 'monster' and 'twisted' creates a strange mix of revulsion, sympathy and black comedy, all used to enlighten, and disturb, the audience. By forcing the ambivalent persona of tormentor and saviour, Morrissey forces the listener to confront their own prejudices head on." The song is quoting Les Chants de Maldoror (Chant 2, verse 7), in which a hermaphrodite perceives himself as a monster and dreams of love.
In November 2014 Alex Broun's play November Spawned a Monster, inspired by Morrissey's song, premiered at The Old Fitzroy, in Sydney, Australia, directed by Robert Chuter (director) and starring James Wright.
Steven Wells in NME gave the single a very bad review, saying that "Morrissey repeats his one tune endlessly" and that the single showed a "drying up of the old creative gastrics". In a retrospective review, Ned Raggett of Allmusic called the title track "one of the most powerful of Morrissey's solo career, with a relentless, just off-kilter enough rock chug supporting an empathetic lyric about a young girl suffering from physical deformity." Raggett also praised the b-sides "He Knows I'd Love to See Him" and "Girl Least Likely To", writing that the former contains "some of his clearest lyrics on gay life in the face of official disapproval" and the latter emerges as the "surprise winner, even stronger than the title track."
- "November Spawned a Monster"
- "He Knows I'd Love to See Him"
12" vinyl, compact disc & cassette
- "November Spawned a Monster"
- "He Knows I'd Love to See Him" (Morrissey/Armstrong)
- "Girl Least Likely To" (Morrissey/Rourke)
|Country||Record label||Format||Catalogue number||Notes|
- Morrissey: voice
- Mary Margaret O'Hara: voice
- Kevin Armstrong: guitar
- Andy Rourke: bass guitar
- Andrew Paresi: drums
The song was performed live by Morrissey on his 1991, 1992, 1999/2000, 2002, 2004, 2013, and 2016 tours.