Morrissey / New album ‘California Son’

Covers album features some interesting collaborations

This May, Morrissey will release a new studio album, California Son, which sees him covering a diverse variety of tracks from the 1960s and 1970s, including some originally recorded by Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.

The 12-track album also sees Morrissey tackle Joni Mitchell‘s ‘Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow’ (originally on 1975’s The Hissing of Summer Lawns) and Carly Simon‘s ‘When You Close Your Eyes’ (from 1972’s No Secrets).

The album also features a number of collaborations. It Over features American singer LP and further additional vocals on the album come from Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong (on Laura Nyro track ‘Wedding Bell Blues’), and Ed Droost, Ariel Engle, Sameer Gadhia, Lydia Night.

Roy Orbison, Jr has already given the cover of his dad’s song the seal of approval “We love Morrissey! Morrissey’s hair, and melancholy and poetic lyrics always reminded me of my Dad. His version of “It’s Over” is great.”

The album is produced by Joe Chiccarelli and will be released on the BMG imprint Etienne on 24 May 2019.

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California Son - vinyl LP


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California Son - CD edition


1. Morning Starship (Jobriath) with Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear
2. Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow (Joni Mitchell) with Ariel Engle of Broken Social Scene
3. Only a Pawn In Their Game (Bob Dylan) with Petra Haden
4. Suffer the Little Children (Buffy St Marie)
5. Days of Decision (Phil Ochs) with Sameer Gadhia of Young The Giant
6. It’s Over (Roy Orbison) with LP
7. Wedding Bell Blues (The Fifth Dimension) with Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day & Lydia Night of The Regrettes
8. Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets (Dionne Warwick)
9. Lady Willpower (Gary Puckett)
10. When You Close Your Eyes (Carly Simon) with Petra Haden
11. Lenny’s Tune (Tim Hardin)
12. Some Say I Got Devil (Melanie)

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I had this for Fathers day.Thank you girls..I knew there would be a Delux one coming out again .. This makes me feel a bit cheated now. It had to happen … Extra Tracks and a Tacky Badge..


Does anyone have information on an inevitable deluxe edition, released at a later date?

Marshall Gooch

You’re typing too fast, Paul. :-)
“The album also features a number of collaborations. It Over features American singer LP and further additional vocals on the album come from Green Day frontman Billie John Armstrong…”
should be “…It’s Over features…” and then “…frontman Billie Joe Armstrong…”


I’ve bought every Morrissey album up until now, and while his politics have gotten uncomfortable to say the least the thing that’s making me end my Moz purchasing is him doing a duet with that guy from Green Day. That’s an absolute non-starter for me.


Don’t you think that he’s earned the right to do a covers album ffs

paul wren

Ordered on indie blue vinyl.


Jobriath Boone’s Morning Starship is a wonderful slice of camp glam. Looking forward to hearing what Moz does with it.


There is also an indie exclusive ‘sky blue’ vinyl of “California Son”, available to preorder from Rough Trade (at a nice £19.99) and other independent record shops as preorders or limited numbers to purchase on release day :)



Singles “Lover-To-Be” (12inch red vinyl for RSD) and “It’s Over” (regular release backed with a new B-side) are to follow :)


Usually a covers album represents the terminal decline of a great career. But this – this is an album of protest songs. Bob Dylan would be proud.


Oh, absolutely – Bowie dropped off at an alarming rate right after Pin Ups, and one can’t see The Stones recovering from the Blue & Lonesome folly…….

Tao Jones

Bowie dropped off after Pinups ? Really ?

Thomas Casagranda

Thinking of a line from Bob Dylan – “Is there a hole for me to get sick in”

Donal Murphy

Always look forward to Morrissey’s releases, always changings things up, and now a covers album, sounds very interesting to me, and there talk of the next studio album not too far away either.


As the youngsters say…”lol no”


Sorry but the cover looks like the Doctor Who title sequence from the 70s…


Love Moz. I will be buying. The cover art is questionable though.


I love the cover. It reminds me of something from the 90s, or a music video scene. I wonder if the photo is recent. But really disliking the previous albums’ I cant wait to get this on vinyl (pls include dl code).
PS: all this Moreissey hate is boring


These days Morrissey sounds like a pissed up old ted with right wing views.

Wes Headley

He’s about as far from a wingnut as you can get. He’s liberal and always has been. Don’t know why people get so agitated simply because he speaks his mind– try not listening if it offends.


Oh My God! This is crazy, but I love it!


Preordered on iTunes and planning to buy it on CD too.
However i agree best Mozz years are behind him. Last 3 albums were as good as last 3 u2 ones (if you know what i mean).
I still collect both artists but not my favorite albums anymore. Classic albums like Your Arsenal and Vauxhall & I that is the good stuff.
Nowadays he wants to sound like The Tijuana Brass, i think Marr work is now more interesting.

David Bradshaw

Nice to see a proper review. Well put.

Wayne Olsen

This looks AMAYZING! Buffy’s “Suffer the Little Children” is a Morrissey song for sure.

Mark Levy

What a departure. Has Morrissey finally got writer’s block?


Morrissey and Billie Joe Armstrong covering Laura Nyro? What a nightmare ..

Rik Skyline

The best thing he could do is record a few new tracks with Mike Joyce.

Mr P

Morrissey has become his own tribute act


The Mozz rocks !!!


Quite enjoyed It’s Over, even if I didn’t hear a lot of LP on there (although I’m fine with that, not a fan).

I’m off to check out that mixtape link now!


Nice to see LP (Laura Pergolizzi) duetting here. She recently did so with Mylene Farmer – I hope this latest collaboration brings her greater international recognition. Oh yeah, then there’s Morrissey…


Very much looking fwd to this, bur not the 25 versions offered by BMG (was it 14 colored vinyls?) which some fans will be ocd-forcee to buy


What no Sparks track???????????

Paul Fraser

Probably the best thing he could have done. The last album was the strange situation of a Morrissey album where you didn’t want to listen to the lyrics (not just for the questionable politics but due to a lack of real poetry). Covering some lesser-known classic songs could be the more mainstream money maker he needs to keep him in nut cutlets.

It’s time for Morrissey the Torch Singer, belting them out in Stretford’s Working Man’s Club via Laurel Canyon.

David Waters

Surely he’ll be doing a Christmas Orchestral album by the end of the year too…


…or a Broadway show tunes abortion.

David Perry

Nice to see Petra Haden on this, her work with That Dog and Weezer in the early 90s is fondly remembered.


…and Beck!

David Perry

Yeah him too !


If Morrissey’s recent cover of Back On The Chain Gang is anything to go by, this could actually be a pretty enjoyable diversion (though not essential)…

But that cover art is absolutely terrible. Pretty much like the two forthcoming Bowie 7″ box sets (and, in fact, the four ‘era’ album box sets), the artwork seems to have been bashed together quickly by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Tony O

A cynic might suggest there has been a certain amount of cashing in over the last couple of years, that would not be me of course.

Morrissey Quiff

I’m sure the deluxe version will be out in bout 9 months.


They should’ve snuck the “Back on the Chain Gang” cover on there.

Kevin Galliford

Sorry Mozzer, too many recent sub standard albums & a tarnished public image have put me off . I have a policy of if anyone does 2 crap albums on the trot then I won’t buy any more. The ideas cupboard is now empty! He used to be really funny & entertaining in interviews & now he just comes across as an arsehole. What went wrong dear reader?

Lee Cole

Totally agree. I’ve lost faith in him now. Sad considering I’ve liked him since 89


Totally disagree. Low In High School is a brilliant record full of brilliant songs. If you’re still expecting Smiths / Viva Hate type of music, you’ve lost the plot! His writing is impeccable, music is getting better, and what he stands for is unquestionable. I’m really looking forward to this covers album as he has always expressed his passion for other artists via pre-show video’s, live covers, etc.

His critics have become middle-aged bores!

Ben Williams

Morrissey makes his own ‘Pin-Ups’ – been waiting for such an album for a long time, great news!

Gareth Jones
Garry Martin

Agree, at least that some creativity in the interpretations

8 bit mixtaoes

thanks for sharing the page! -8bm

Dave W

Oh oh. This doesn’t bode well. Could all end in tears!


The Smiths and Green Day…never the twain, until now!


Moz and a covers album. Its only a matter of time before Your Arsenal meets a Symphony Orchestra.


If Elbow @ Abbey Rd w/ BBC Orchestra is anything to go by it would be amazing ….