A very peculiar release, this one. It came free with the first UK pressing of The Durutti Column’s 1989 album Vini Reilly, both on a 3″ CD and 7″ vinyl.
The Vincent Gerard and Steven Patrick on the cover are of course Vini Reilly and Morrissey, and the single track is an out-take from Morrissey’s first solo album, Viva Hate. The single track, I Know Very Well How I Got My Note Wrong is a version of the Morrissey track I Know Very Well How I got My Name which appeared not on Viva Hate but on his first single Suedehead.
The track itself is beautiful. As a song it’s a highlight of Morrissey’s solo career and Vini Reilly’s guitar work is, as always, amazing. It lasts for around 90 seconds before Reilly hits a bum note and both laugh. It’s a shame the track was never completed in this form; it works much better than the Suedehead version.
Vini Reilly has fallen on hard times lately. He’s always suffered from poor health which has deteriorated with age, and he’s fallen victim to the gross injustices of the UK’s disability living allowance system. It reached a point where he was in danger of losing his home, but fortunately (inaccurate) publicity around his plight prompted fans to step in and donate money to clear his debts. As The Guardian pointed out at the time, that a musician as important to Britain’s musical heritage as this should be reduced to such a state shows how little art is valued. More details of this story are on Reilly’s web site.
If you want to listen to more Durutti Column music, and you should, of course Vini Reilly is the obvious companion to this post and is a favourite of mine. It’s available in an expanded double format (although without the track presented here) from his web site. The usual recommended starting point though for his work is 1982’s LC, and absolute classic which everyone should own. However, like much of Reilly’s sprawling and neglected back catalogue, it’s out of print. It’s not hard to find second hand copies from the usual places.
Morrissey? Well the completed version of I Know Very Well is most easily found on the remarkably cheap triple HMV Singles compilation, and Viva Hate is widely available. Of course his best work was with The Smiths, whose work is now much more appealing since the Johnny Marr approved re-issues superceded the appalling sounding WEA versions.