Like Starbucks’ Artist’s Choice series, the new Under the Influence CDs give established stars the chance to curate collections of songs that helped inspire them to become the creatures they are today. Who better to kick things off than Morrissey, who long ago raised pop fandom to an art form? From the Moz’s fetid memories spring things like an obscure 1972 Cajun song by the Sundown Playboys, a morbid piece of pop opera from Klaus Nomi, and cuts by artists even Morrissey himself says he knows nothing about (Jaybee Wasden). Like the man choosing the songs, these rate as rare, tortured, and worth a furtive listen.
We gave it a B+