It Took Some Time

Why Morrissey is newly hip among bands that sound nothing like him

"There's no way you could ever be like Morrissey. He's just his own thing," he says. "To me, it's more like [Frank] Sinatra. Sinatra also said things that no one else could say, in a way that no one else could say them."

Madden has a point. Like the Chairman of the Board, Morrissey isn't merely a musician. He's an untouchable icon--a figure of sorrow, of understanding, of unrequited love, whose myth and mystery is sometimes more famous than his music.

"The bands who seem most influenced by the Smiths and Morrissey have taken nothing sonically from them," says Chuck Klosterman.
"The bands who seem most influenced by the Smiths and Morrissey have taken nothing sonically from them," says Chuck Klosterman.

It's fitting that the angst that Morrissey has expressed for 20-odd years is finally receiving its mainstream due. His fame has not come by normal means; why should his influence be conventional? Doing things "My Way" was good enough for Ol' Blue Eyes, and it's good enough for Morrissey; right after slipping offstage in L.A., he cued up that very song.

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