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Morrissey Covers The Pretenders ‘Back on the Chain Gang’

And is that Moz on guitar or are we mistaken?

Cody Ayres

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If you were holding your breath for a Smiths reunion, the wait will continue. But the band’s former frontman, Morrissey, has continued to make waves in the alternative rock community with his solo work. Moz’s discography now spans three decades.

The most recent addition is a cover of “Back on the Chain Gang,” originally made famous by The Pretenders. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Morrissey reflected on the experience of covering — as well as paying tribute to — the song.

He talks about attempting to correctly capture Chrissie’s trademark misty wobble while, also adding his own influences to the cover by playing a bit fast and loose with the lyrics. The English rock legend also talked about holding Hynde’s character in very high regard.

Morrissey tells the magazine that he considers his relationship with the female rock icon to be “one of my longest and most enduring friendships.”

The cover is accompanied by a music video that puts Morrissey in a very vintage setting — with guitar in hand — performing the song while flanked by a studio band and a trio of dancing groupies.

When asked about the rare site of the vocalist strumming a guitar he told Rolling Stone, “I wanted people to see that I can play as well as Jeff Beck. I wanted them to, but they never will.”

Morrissey traded in his guitar for a mic stand with a live performance of the song on the Late Late Show With James Corden earlier this week. From the moment the 59-year-old’s iconic voice rang out “I found a picture of you, and it hijacked my world that night,” not a single member of the talk show audience remained in thier seat.

The song was recorded to appear on the re-release of Morrisseys eleventh studio album Low in High School set to hit shops and streaming apps December 7th.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

My name is Cody Ayres and I am a UNCC graduate with a bachelors degree in sociology. While in college I served as the causes coordinator for the campuses concerts and causes club, which put on small shows to raise money for charitable foundations. I am currently living in Charlotte, N.C. where I work as a bartender while also writing for a startup channel called ignore the world. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing soccer as well as watching just about any sport that I can get my eyes on.

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