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VINE VOICEon April 15, 2005
Morrissey's voice has aged like fine wine, and "Morrissey: Live at Earl's Court" showcases some of his finest live material to date. His band, with whom he spent several months touring with has, when compared to when I seen Moz live at both the Apollo pre-album release (You Are the Quarry) and later at Radio City, really has the newer material down pat and help bring the overall concert to a higher level.

The benefit of listening to a live recording of Morrissey as oppossed to seeing him live or in a concert film nowadays is that the old Morrissey, the one who would drape himself over a monitor or twirl around like a whirling dervish is long gone, replaced with a near-wooden shell of the great showman. Fortunately his vocals have benefited from his lapse of visual performance, and "Earl's Court" is evidence that Morrissey, far from being the washout he was near becoming with he lack of credible material or record deal, is at his vox zenith.

Fans who had given up on Morrissey after his last several releases and didn't pick up "You Are the Quarry" should at least pick up "Earl's Court," where Morrissey and the boys do an excellent job of showcasing some of Morrissey's best material from some of the best classic Smiths tracks (How Soon Is Now?, Shoplifters, to name only five Smiths tracks they performed) to early solo material and his present work, which has the most focus in this collection. The weakest track is a cover of Patti Smith's "Redondo Beach," which lacks energy and is too anaerobic for my taste.
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on March 29, 2005
Expansive, dramatic and ever-endearing, Morrissey's second live album reminds us that this King of 80s/90s Alt-Rock is, at heart, our greatest crooner. His combination of emotional honesty, self-effacing humour and full-hearted showmanship remind us of a previous saint of the supper club circuit: Elvis. Now of course, Earls Court in London isn't the International Hotel in Las Vegas, but the ability to work a crowd with a balance of kitsch and conviction is similar. Moz brings to mind the best of the populism of the King's late-60s/early-70s shows. As for the set, it's an energetic and committed mix of Smiths/solo work with the occasional cover, the best being Patti Smith's "Redondo Beach." This is a fantastic souvenir to the most welcome 'come back' in God-knows-how-long. Here's a star we can age gracefully with.
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on April 28, 2006
I really appreciate that morrissey decided to release the live album and live DVD (of two different shows!) from the 2004 tour that supported his fantastic "You Are The Quarry" album. The songs from "Quarry" sound even better live, and it is nice that he is starting to play more of his songs from the Smiths era. If you decide not to buy this full album, you must pick up the single from this concert "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"/"Redondo Beach". "Redondo Beach" is a Patti Smith cover, and to disagree with one of the previous reviews, I enjoy it very much (perhaps because I love to hear Morrissey sing anything, especially if it is outside of his normal routine. Another highlight is the first verse of "Subway Train" by the New York Dolls. The New York Dolls are a Morrissey favorite, and he even wrote a book about them years before he started singing in bands. Here "Subway Train" leads into "Munich Air Disaster 1958, a fantastic b-side from the "Irish Blood, English Heart" single. On the "Who Put The 'M' in Manchester" live DVD he uses it to introduce "Everyday Is Like Sunday," which he did frequently on the 2004 tour. It works well in both cases. Sorry if I focused on the details instead of the whole, but this live disc is great. If you are used to listening to inferior fan-recorded concerts, do yourself a favor, support the best band in the world, and buy this album and the "Manchester" DVD.
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on August 30, 2005
This is the most incredible live album I've heard in years.
Every single song played is played with an intensity that truly shows Moz as the artist, the poet, the troubled genius that he is. There is genuine emotion here. If you can't figure out Morrissey and his attitude on life from this show, than you're just not paying attention. The ending says it all, "I love you, don't forget me". He doesn't want you to forget him (as so many did for so many years). He craves and demands your attention. He earns it here.
And the band, what can be said? Flawless. The Smiths and old Morrissey songs as well as the new material are played as good as if not better than the original studio arrangements.
Of note especially are the sequence of Subway Train (the old New Yorks Dolls song) coupled with Munich Air Disaster 1958 (much better than the combination of Subway Train and Every Day Is Like Sunday) followed by There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.
What few weaker points (and I'm hard pressed to find many) are still so complementary to the entire package that I feel the set list and performance are all well thought out.
There are no studio overdubs etc. here. What was played (mistakes and all) are right here. This was one tremendous show, I suggest you, "PLAY THIS CD LOUD".
Mozzer, you're still just incredible.
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on April 29, 2005
Not a fan of live releases - which have a tendency to feel like desultory product instead of celebration - I was doubly suspicious of Morrissey's Live at Earls Court, coming so quickly as it does after his triumphant return with You Are the Quarry. Wouldn't be the first time an artist - and this artist particularly - bilked his fan base from their hard-earned cash with yet another collection. But Earls Court is more than mere product; it's a document of an adored performer at the top of his game. In great voice, he tears through Smiths classics (a fierce "How Soon Is Now?" opens the disc), his recent good works, and - best of all - two seminal covers that pay homage to some of his heroes. One is the New York Dolls "Subway Train", which he melds with his own B-side "Munich Air Disaster 1958". Better still - in fact, seminal itself - is his take on Patti Smith's "Redondo Beach", a reggae-light skank that is a Sapphic cri de coeur in Smith's version, and a melancholy character piece in Morrissey's. It does what covers are supposed to, and so rarely, do: honors its source while tracing a line to the artist's own work.
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on April 12, 2005
Anybody who is slightly burnt-out on listening to "You are the Quarry",just because you can't stop listening to it,should pick up "Live at Earl's Court" as soon as you can.The sound quality is superb,the track listings are just right,and Morrissey sounds like he's having a really good time singing these songs.And die-hard Smith's fans,the version of "Bigmouth Strikes Again" is,alone,worth the purchase here.It is a Rip-Roaring,slap-in-the-face number my friends,which will get you out of your chair and make you do your best Air Guitar."Redondo Beach",is simply beautiful.And I have never heard the original version (yet).Buy this album,It will hold you over to his next one.
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on March 31, 2005
If you like Moz you should get this CD. If you're a new fans and like YATQ you should get this. If you only ever listen to Irish blood, English heart and like it, you should get this. Its really that good.

As always whenever a live or compilation CD came out, the track selections can't make everyone happy. I personallu wish it has Last international playboy and Everyday is like sunday. But regardless its a solid records and fully deserves my five stars.
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an enjoyable live performance that surprisingly demonstrates how well the classic Smiths' stuff goes with the new Morrissey. The songs are arranged nicely as the listener is treated to an array of themes: among which are lust, cynicism, a lot of black humor and light-hearted moments. Morrissey makes some interesting sounds with his voice on this work and improvises some of the lyrics, providing alternately strange and refreshing accents to the songs.

Ultimately it's about the uniqueness of this artist and the ongoing passion he brings to the music world. The band is tight and the singer has only gotten better with time.
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on March 29, 2005
Great selection of songs, great performance by the band, and the man singing at his best ever...

This is a must-have for any real Morrissey fan.

It has great Smiths-era songs, beautifuly played and from almost every important Morrissey-solo record...

Also perfect is the DVD "Who put the M in Manchester", its a different concert with a different set of songs, also great...

Get them now!
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on February 21, 2010
It still seems strange that an artist of Morrissey's stature should have languished in the wilderness for seven years without a record label, but his triumphant return in 2004 with the album You Are The Quarry (Jewel Case) and a whole slew of songs on singles, live DVDs and TV appearances galore put him right back into our black shrivelled hearts. The comeback culminated in a week-long victory tour of the United Kingdom just before Christmas 2004, of which this seventy-five minute set is the live souvenir.

A note in the booklet reads, "Everything on this CD was recorded live. Nothing was added or replaced in the studio". It was recorded on 18 December 2004 at Earls Court in London (although the rest of the tour was recorded and some of the banter with the audience is said to have come from other dates, and it has been claimed that some of the vocals were "repaired" with vocals dropped in from the other concerts), in front of a typically appreciative 17,183 people. Unfortunately, the picture of Morrissey on the cover was taken not at Earls Court but in Las Vegas the previous April. The album was produced by Peter Asher, continuing Morrissey's interest in sixties culture as Peter Asher was one half of Peter and Gordon and brother of Jane Asher, both having Beatle connections.

Although seven of the songs came from You Are The Quarry, Morrissey was clearly keen to reclaim his past and peppered the set with Smiths-era hits, opening challengingly with a muscular performance of How Soon Is Now?, originally a B-side, and including Bigmouth Strikes Again, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, Shoplifters Of The World Unite and a climactic Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me). He also featured a couple of his pre-wilderness solo singles (November Spawned A Monster, The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get) and dropped in an unrecorded cover of Patti Smith's seventies poem/song Redondo Beach. To round out the set were some more new songs that had appeared during the year on singles, the paternal Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice, Munich Air Disaster 1958 (which began with the same verse from a New York Dolls oldie that he had been using to launch Every Day Is Like Sunday earlier on the tour) and the sombre Friday Mourning. Two of the songs from the album were extracted as a double-A side single (Redondo Beach/There Is A Light That Never Goes Out).

Morrissey's voice had changed from Smiths days but was in fine fettle nonetheless and of course he wasn't onstage alone. Benefiting from a year spent touring, the band featured the mighty Boz Boorer, Jesse Tobias, Mikey V Farrell (actually adding a dramatic trumpet to a couple of tunes), Gary Day and Deano Butterworth. There is no lack of confidence or panache in the playing and there is a lot of atmosphere in this snapshot of where Morrissey was in 2004, though the studio versions of these songs probably remain definitive.
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