I had a difficult time choosing between two different Bill Morrissey albums. I ended up choosing “Inside” over the other consideration, “Standing Eight.” I think overall, “Standing Eight” is a better album, certainly the one I listen to more. However, Inside has a cover of Dave Van Ronk’s “Hang Me Oh Hang Me,” on which Greg Brown sings. This album introduced me to Greg Brown, who also has had a significant influence on my musical taste and songwriting.
Bill Morrissey writes songs that are character-driven, and written for a guy who has a limited singing range. Hey, that’s my thing. The song I’m sharing from Inside is one I recorded a while ago for an aborted project of Bill Morrissey songs, “Chameleon Blues.” I choose this one, because it shows the witty, sarcastic side of Morrissey’s songwriting. I’m also choosing this one as it is thematically, and musically, quite different from the previous songs I’ve shared in this series. His albums were filled with songs that ranged from highly sarcastic and witty to downright tragic. “Standing Eight” ends with the saddest song I’ve every heard, “These Cold Fingers.” Let’s just say the dog doesn’t make it and leave it at that.
Morrissey also published two novels in addition to his 9 studio albums before his death from heart disease at age 59 (according to wikipedia).