Looks like Morrissey is keeping himself busy in light of the label troubles and tour cancellations around his new album World Peace is None of Your Business. According to the fan site True To You, the longtime punk fan has been asked to curate a new Best of the Ramones compilation for Sire and Rhino Records. This is what the cover looks like:
Morrissey has been quite vocal about his love of the band, once telling Billboard (via Punknews.org), “When I bought the Ramones first album on import, I was enraged with jealousy because I felt they had booted the New York Dolls off the map … If the Ramones were alive today, they’d be the biggest band in the world. It takes the world 30 years to catch on, doesn’t it? I mean, look at poor Nico. Every modern teenager now seems to love Nico, yet while she was alive she couldn’t afford a decent mattress.”
Ironically, a young Morrissey — still using his first name Steve — also wrote about the Ramones in a 1976 issue of Melody Maker, but his admitted jealousy manifested as criticism instead (via Dangerous Minds):
The Ramones are the latest bumptious band of degenerate no-talents whose most notable achievement to date is their ability to advance beyond the boundaries of New York City, and purely on the strength of a spate of convincing literature projecting the Ramones as God’s gift to rock music.
They have been greeted with instant adulation by an army of duped fans. Musically, they do not deal in subtlety or variation of any kind, their rule is to be as incompetent as possible.
For a band believed to project the youth of America, New York – suburban life, anti-conformism, sex and struggle, or whatever, they fail miserably. And in the sober light of day their imperfections have a field day.
The Ramones make the Stooges sound like concertmasters, and I feel that the only place for their discordant music is the sweaty downtown Manhattan dives to which they are no doubt accustomed.
The New York Dolls and Patti Smith have proved that there is some life pumping away in the swamps and gutters of New York and they are the only acts which originated from the N.Y. club scene worthy of any praise. The Ramones have absolutely nothing to add that is of relevance or importance and should be rightly filed and forgotten—Steve Morrissey, Kings Road, Stretford, Manchester.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, indeed.