Morrissey Splits From Another Label As Miley Cyrus Wants To Be Removed From His New Album

Donnie Knutson / Frazer Harrison/Getty

Morrissey Splits From Another Label As Miley Cyrus Wants To Be Removed From His New Album

Donnie Knutson / Frazer Harrison/Getty

Since May 2021, Morrissey has been plotting the release of a new album, Bonfire Of Teenagers, which is the follow-up to 2020’s I Am Not A Dog On A Chain. After being offered to the “highest bidder,” it was announced that the album would be released in February 2023 via Capitol Records. Now it appears that Capitol has parted ways with Morrissey, which the embattled performer shared in a news post on his website yesterday: “Morrissey has voluntarily parted company with Maverick/Quest management. Morrissey has also voluntarily withdrawn from any association with Capitol Records (Los Angeles.)”

Today (December 24), Morrissey announced something else: Miley Cyrus, who had been a planned featured guest on the album, is removing herself from the project as well. “Miley Cyrus now wants to be taken off the song ‘I Am Veronica’ for which she volunteered backing vocals almost two years ago,” the post says. “This comes at a time when Morrissey has disassociated himself with Capitol Records (Los Angeles), who control the hidden album ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’.”

Morrissey’s last album I Am Not A Dog On A Chain came out on BMG. They dropped him later that year, a move Morrissey blamed on the label’s “new plans for ‘diversity.'”

In May 2021, Morrissey announced the aforementioned new album Bonfire Of Teenagers with the caveat that he didn’t have a label to release it. Here’s the text from that post:

Morrissey’s new album, BONFIRE OF TEENAGERS, has been completed in
Los Angeles.

“The worst year of my life concludes with the best album of my
life.” – Morrissey.

The eleven tracks are:


Morrissey is unsigned. The album is available to the highest (or lowest)

Around that time a writer for the Telegraph claimed, “No record label will touch Morrissey — and that’s the music industry’s loss.”

Then, in February of this year, Morrissey posted a photo of himself with Miley “relaxing” in what looks like a recording studio.

Cut to May when Morrissey debuted the song “I Am Veronica” in Phoenix. Some fans said they heard Miley Cyrus’ background vocals on it, though it’s hard to tell.

At a July performance in Las Vegas, you can hear the backing vocal a little better:

That takes us to October 29, 2022, when, in a since-deleted post, Morrissey said he signed with Capitol to release Bonfire, now due in February 2023. He also said the record would feature Miley Cyrus, Iggy Pop, Jesse Tobias, Andrew Watt, Josh Klinghoffer, Chad Smith, and Flea.

Capitol Records (Los Angeles) will release Morrissey’s ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’ in February 2023. The album will be released worldwide except for the United Kingdom, where there is no label deal. ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’ is produced by Grammy-producer Andrew Watt, and was recorded in Los Angeles. The musicians on the album are Jesse Tobias, Andrew Watt, Josh Klinghoffer (ex-Chili Peppers), and Chad Smith and Flea (both of the Chili Peppers). The album features Miley Cyrus and Iggy Pop on additional vocals. The eleven tracks are: I Am Veronica, Rebels Without Applause, Kerouac’s Crack, Ha Ha Harlem,I Live in Oblivion, Bonfire of Teenagers, My Funeral, Diana Dors, I Ex-love You, Sure Enough The Telephone Rings, Saint In a Stained Glass Window. Album art is by Liam Lynch. Capitol Records (Los Angeles) has also licensed the rights to re-release Morrissey’s albums ‘Southpaw Grammar’, ‘You Are The Quarry’, ‘Ringleader of the Tormentors’, ‘Years of Refusal’ and ‘World Peace is None of Your Business’, and these will be available in deluxe vinyl/LP formats. As with ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’, the albums will be issued worldwide except for the United Kingdom until a UK label steps in. Morrissey is managed by Maverick/Quest in Los Angeles.

On October 30, a “Veronica” promo clip surfaced online, and it appeared to feature Cyrus.

A few weeks later, Morrissey ended his LA show after a half hour without explanation, though some attendees reported the singer was complaining it was cold. A couple days later, Morrissey announced that his album would no longer be coming out in February, writing on his website: “Its fate is exclusively in the hands of Capitol Records.”

‘Bonfire of Teenagers’ is no longer scheduled for a February release, as stated by this site. Its fate is exclusively in the hands of Capitol Records (Los Angeles.)

The next few weeks included a cascade of updates. On November 25 the album’s first single, “Rebels Without Applause,” was released. A few days prior, however, Morrissey canceled five shows, citing “band illness.”

More recently, on December 22, Morrissey posted a quote of himself bemoaning the “absence of any promotion” for the album.

“It’s been quite sad. The absence of any promotion is noticeable. It’s devastating how no one can ever get this right. But they can’t, or they won’t. Radio stations, as far as I can tell, will play just about anything they’re asked to. But as I’ve always said, true artists must always look after themselves whereas non-artists are encouraged and advanced beyond reason. When you walk through a storm hold your head up high … as the song goes!”

And that brings us to yesterday, where Morrissey announced that he “voluntarily parted company” with his management (Quest/Maverick) and label (Capitol):

Morrissey has voluntarily parted company with Maverick/Quest management. Morrissey has also voluntarily withdrawn from any association with Capitol Records (Los Angeles.)

Responding to a Morrissey fan on Twitter who asked, “If Capitol Records failed to promote Morrissey’s album because they believe all the woke lies written about him, then why did they licence [sic] it in the first place?,” Scott Rodger from Maverick/Quest replied: “Morrissey’s album was due for release in Feb 23. It will come out but Morrissey himself put out a statement in his blog that the album ‘featured’ another artist who didn’t want to be credited and thus the artist’s label blocked the release. Nothing to do with Capitol.”

“Scott, this doesn’t ring true,” the fan pushed back. “How can the album be ‘blocked’ & yet still be coming out – which is it? And why didn’t Capitol (and Maverick) negotiate and fight your client’s corner against this other label? Why couldn’t that one track have been left out? Things aren’t adding up.”

Rodger replied: “The artist who did backing vocals will be taken off and replaced. That takes time especially as you hit Christmas. When you say fight, sadly it doesn’t work that way. The other label, Columbia, legally blocked it. They’re within their rights to do so.”

This month Cyrus has been teasing her new era in billboards spotted around the world.

At this point, it’s probably safe to say that Morrissey won’t be joining her on Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party on NBC next weekend.

Stereogum has reached out to Columbia for comment.

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