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After a few festival warm up dates in Europe, Morrissey hit the road in North America to promote his most recent album, "Your Arsenal". The tour was broken down in two consecutive 'legs', the first of these is covered in this portion of the gigography. The tour was a huge success and brought Morrissey to the peak of his popularity in America, while at home in England his reputation was being tarnished by the NME's vendetta. The two Hollywood Bowl concerts sold out in record time, beating a record previously held by the Beatles.
During the Your Arsenal tour, Morrissey took the habit of throwing his maracas (in "You're The One For Me, Fatty"), a tambourine (in "Certain People I Know") and his gold lamé shirt into the crowd.
Personnel: Boz Boorer (guitars), Alain Whyte (guitars), Gary Day (bass) and Spencer Cobrin (drums).
All songs from the "Your Arsenal" album were performed on most of the tour. "Tomorrow" made its live debut on the first date in Minneapolis and was played on most nights. "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday" was introduced in Salt Lake City when it replaced the cover of Suede's "My Insatiable One" in the setlist. "The National Front Disco" was the typical set closer for most of this portion of the tour until the second show in Hollywood. Not only after this was it replaced as the closing song, it was also removed from the set, to return only on the final date in Honolulu.
The highlight of these dates was the live introduction of the yet to be released b-side "Jack The Ripper" in Portland. It was first performed for two nights, replacing "Tomorrow" in the set. It was then dropped for a short period of time and then reintroduced for three more dates at the expense of "Everyday Is Like Sunday".
Besides the above, "He Knows I'd Love To See Him" also made its live debut on the first date. However this one wasn't a new song as it was known to fans who owned "Bona Drag". The latter album was also heavily represented by songs such as "Suedehead", "Sister I'm A Poet", "Everyday Is Like Sunday", "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" and "November Spawned A Monster".
Finally, the set was completed by "Alsatian Cousin" and the lesser known b-sides "Girl Least Likely To" and "The Loop". The latter was only played on the last few dates when "The National Front Disco" was deleted. The "Kill Uncle" album was completely ignored.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 25 concerts.
Alsatian Cousin - 25
Click here for more tour statistics.
There were many other lyrical changes. In "Sister I'm A Poet", Morrissey always sang "A plastic bag stranded at the lights, this once was me" instead of the studio version's "Oh no, no, no-no, waiting at the lights, but not this time". On most dates, Morrissey changed the line "Someone kindly told me that you wasted eight of nine lives" in "You're Gonna Need Someone On Your Side" to "Someone kindly told me you've collected very sharp bread knives". On the last few dates in September and the first few ones in October, Morrissey actually sang "Someone kindly told me you've collected eight of nine lives" which is somewhere between the studio version and the live version.
In "The National Front Disco", Morrissey often changed a line to "Ah, have we lost our boy", usually skipped the title and the "When you've settled the score" lines and sometimes skipped the "then you might do" line, probably not to stir more controversy. The song always ended in extended noisy jam with lots of feedback as it would always when played live, whether as an encore or not. When the latter song was replaced by "November Spawned A Monster" or "We'll Let You Know" as set closer, the band would do the same, giving Morrissey time to exit the venue before the fans made it outside. "November Spawned A Monster" featured a notably different intro to the version performed in 1991, and a clarinet line was added during the bridge, played by Boz, except in San Jose, where he played a saxophone. On the few dates towards the end of this leg when the song replaced "The National Front Disco" as set closer, it was extended with a long instrumental feedback outro during which Morrissey left the stage
In "Tomorrow" Morrissey on and off changed "I won't tell anyone" to "I will tell everyone/everybody" and/or "through my shiftless body" to the self-depreciatory "through my useless body". In "Certain People I Know", near the end of this leg of the tour, he started singing "Don't you find life absurd?", something that he would do more and more as the tour progressed. As he always did in "He Knows I'd Love To See Him", Morrissey skipped the first two lines and started the song with "I have lived in the Arse of the word". He also dropped the final line "He doesn't know" and occasionally made a few other minor changes.
In "We'll Let You Know", Morrissey always sang "Is it London?" in a falsetto voice over the bridge, as he usually did in 1992 (he would not do that in 1995). He also occasionally sang "of course we know" instead of "we sadly know" and "but only if you're really interesting" instead of "but only if you're really interested". When performed as an encore on a few dates near the end of the leg, just like other set closers "The National Front Disco" and "November Spawned A Monster", "We'll Let You Know" was extended at the end with feedback and flute. In "Everyday Is Like Sunday", he changed a line to "scratch on a postcard" and sang the "when you're on your own" outro, something he did in 1991, but that had mostly disappeared in previous performances of the song so far on the Your Arsenal tour. On a few dates towards the end of this leg, he also sang "please come, please come nuclear bomb", another occasional change in 1991. In the debuting "Jack The Ripper", Morrissey didn't sing the "Nobody knows me" outro. The song ended the same way it started.
"Famous When Dead", a manufactured bootleg from Sacramento and the untitled audience recording from Milwaukee are good second choices. Both feature "You're Gonna Need Someone On Your Side" and "Glamorous Glue" missing on "I'm A Poet". "Famous When Dead" also has the advantage of featuring "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday", "The Loop" and "Jack The Ripper" which were introduced into the set after Boulder.
The fan interested in more dates might want to seek fair sounding audience recordings available for Boston, Portland, Hollywood (11 October, often circulated as 10 October), Concord, San Jose and Costa Mesa. Again, earlier dates slightly differ in setlist to later ones. Early concerts include "My Insatiable One" and "The National Front Disco", while later ones include "Jack The Ripper", "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday" and "The Loop". Hollywood and Concord are two of the three dates where "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" segued into "Girl Least Likely To".
The completist who has all the above, including the 3 dates available on video, will want the following gigs circulated on cd-r and/or on file sharing networks, but in poor quality: Minneapolis, Chicago, Toronto, Buffalo, Springfield, Columbia (Washington), Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Seattle and Concord. It must be noted that the Columbia recording is circulated on the internet as from Philadelphia.