So the Morrissey revival continues with this reissue of the man's 1992 video collection. Released on the same day as Hulmerist, this carries on from where the previous DVD left off. While Hulmerist consisted of videos from the early solo period, The Malady Lingers On concentrates on the early 90s, especially the Your Arsenal period.
Your Arsenal is likely to remembered for the controversy over Morrissey's flirting with far-right imagery and the ensuing debate about whether he was a racist. That's a shame, as the album was one of his finest solo releases and it is represented here by no less than five songs.
Thankfully, there's no sign of The National Front Disco (leaving aside the racism accusations, musically it's one of the poorest songs Morrissey's ever recorded) but there are memorable tracks such as Glamourous Glue and We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful.
If there's one theme that runs through these videos it's that of camaraderie. If the videos on Hulmerist portrayed a man coming to terms with splitting from his old friends in The Smiths, The Malady Lingers On shows that same man happily ensconced in a new gang. Morrissey's backing band feature in every video here, either dutifully following their leader round the streets, driving around Arizona with him (in My Love Life) or, in the case of Certain People I Know, hanging out on a beach with him.
Perhaps the best video here is Tomorrow, filmed in Nice with some stunning black and white cinematography. It's all shot in a similar way to Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy in one take (years before The Verve did the same with Bitter Sweet Symphony) and features Morrissey singing to the camera while walking round the streets of Italy. Sounds simple, and works beautifully.
You're The One For Me Fatty is more in the storytelling vein of early Morrissey videos, following the touching story of a couple out on a date. Other videos are less successful though, especially Sing Your Life. This dates from Morrissey's ill fated collaboration with Fairground Attraction's Mark E Nevin and is one of his weakest songs. The video is just strange, with Mozza (in a very unflattering pink suit) and band performing in front of a '50s style dancing audience. The appearance of Chrissie Hynde is about the only point of interest.
However, we do get a chance to reassess Pregnant For The Last Time, generally thought of to be one of Morrissey's poorer records. Here though, it sounds marvellous, the rockabilly sound really suiting his voice. The video too is excellent – concert footage in Germany mixed in with the band exploring the tourist landmarks of Berlin.
At just half an hour long, The Malady Lingers On will probably only tempt long-term Morrissey fans to part with their cash. It makes an excellent companion piece to Hulmerist, but it would be nice to see a more comprehensive package released on DVD which covers Morrissey's entire career. This will do nicely for now though.