18 March 1985|
Apollo Theatre, Oxford
William, It Was Really NothingOxford was treated to the rarer "You've Got Everything Now", but regular "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" and occasional "Reel Around The Fountain" were not played.
As he entered stage Morrissey greeted the audience with "Hello, we're the other funny Manchester group!", a reference to opening band James. In set opener "William, It Was Really Nothing" he made a slight mistake when he sang "...and if you like you can buy the ring, *I* doesn't care about anything". Before "What She Said", knowing that the concert was being recorded for posterity, he announced "I hope you take notes ... this will all be relevant one day..." The most recent release "Shakespeare's Sister" was introduced with the words "This is our new single... which is about the greatest woman that ever lived..."
When he returned to the stage for the first encore Morrissey announced "This is being taped by the jolly BBC, so if anybody has anything clever to say, say it now and go down in history..." The performance of "Miserable Lie" which followed was a very lively one. Morrissey rolled his 'R's, changed some of his words and echoed the endings of certain lines as he had been doing at the time. After the song he asked "Any questions?".
This concert was first broadcast on Janice Long's programme on BBC radio the following May and is still broadcast now and then around the world. The track selection was not always the same but "I Want The One I Can't Have", "Rusholme Ruffians" and "Handsome Devil" were never featured. It must also be said that the version of "You've Got Everything Now" that the BBC broadcast was taken from the recording of a different, unspecified date, and "How Soon Is Now?" was edited down by one minute.
Collectors putting sound quality above content will want a copy of a Westwood One transcription disc which seems to never have been used for broadcast, or if it was, the broadcast has never made it onto bootlegs. The original transcription discs are very scarce, but digital copies have made it on the internet. The track listing is the following: "William, It Was Really Nothing", "Hand In Glove", "How Soon Is Now?", "Stretch Out And Wait", "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore", "Shakespeare's Sister", "The Headmaster Ritual", "Still Ill" and "Meat Is Murder". Next up in sound quality and featuring more songs is the 21st century digital satellite broadcast. Although technically lossy, the broadcast sounds just as good as the transcription disc and features the full broadcast set given above, include some missing banter and the complete "How Soon Is Now?".
The most widely circulated bootleg produced from the radio show has to be "Same Day Again". It is available on cd, the 14 broadcast tracks are present and in the proper order and the sound quality is excellent. The only thing it lacks is some of the in between song banter by Morrissey which can be found on some of the other titles, as well as one minute from "How Soon Is Now?". In 2006, a fan put up for circulation on the internet a 'readjusted' version of this bootleg. Using a digital rebroadcast of the show (mentioned above) he reintroduced some of the missing banter, the missing minute from "How Soon Is Now?", applied a minor correction to the pitch and increased the volume, but kept "You've Got Everything Now" as is, so from a different date. The sound quality slightly suffered in the process but is still very good and the result is an interesting alternative. The original version of "Same Day Again" was reissued with different artwork under the same title, or the alternate titles "Live In Europe" and "Radio One In Concert 9.5.85".
The "Before Love" cd bootleg (beware, not the LP with the same title) is just as good as the above but the track order was mixed. The show is coupled with "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" from Dublin 13 November 1984, soundchecks of "Asleep" and "Unloveable" from Inverness 1 October 1985 and a soundcheck of "Purple Haze" from Glasgow 16 July 1986.
"Stealers" is also very interesting. However it lacks "Barbarism Begins At Home" despite the fact that the song is listed on the sleeve. It sounds like it was produced from vinyl, probably from the earlier "A Kind Of Loving" bootleg LP which has the same messed track order. (Note the latter LP was also reissued on fanmade cd with this slightly alternate artwork).
"Better Live Than Dead" lacks three additional tracks to the three that were never broadcast: "The Headmaster Ritual", "Still Ill" and "You've Got Everything Now". It is a CD reissue of the earlier vinyl bootleg with similar artwork, but no title. The latter had also previously been seen with alternate artwork under the title "Oxford Apollo 9.5.85 / PS Remember Jesus Loves You". The "James Dean Is Dead" cd bootleg has the same track listing, it is probably related to the above, but for some reason, the sound quality is inferior. Same with "Selling Ice Cream" which is on top of that miscredited as being from Los Angeles 1986.
"Flowers" lacks the four following songs from the broadcast selection: "Nowhere Fast", "What She Said", "Hand In Glove" and "How Soon Is Now?". However what there is of the show is coupled with two tracks from the 1986 Kilburn concert that are missing on the official live album "Rank" as well as Peel sessions of "London" and "Half A Person".
Finally the live version of "What She Said" mentioned above which was released on the NME freebie 7" "Poll Winners" found itself tagged at the end of the "So This Is America" bootleg LP which offers an American concert from 5 August 1986.
Most but not all of the bootlegs mentioned above are available in digital format on the internet. The best ones (the transcription disc, the digital satellite broadcast, "Same Day Again" and "Live In Europe") and the complete audience recording are commonly found there, so the non-availability of some of the others is secondary.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.