The launch of Morrissey's finest solo album, in 1994, was accompanied by
several signing sessions across the country. I can't help but introduce thousands
of superlatives when discussing this album; the word "beautiful" hardly does it
justice. From the moving clarinets of "Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning" to the
tear-inducing signpost that is "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself", this album
sparkles with a sadness unsurpassed by any other artist, ever. The frank admission
of "Speedway", the chart-busting grower "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get",
the gorgeous "Now My Heart Is Full"; ... oh !
The resignatory feeling that permeates the album served as a tonic for the fame-weary
Morrissey; while recording it, he felt sure that this was his last album - a delicate
farewell. I can't see how anyone can criticise anybody who has produced an album such as
this, of such lasting elegance, meaning, and above all, humanity.
The background of the recent deaths of three close friends (Tim Broad, Mick Ronson and manager
Nigel Thomas) simply makes this album all the more personal. The combination of writers Boorer
and Whyte with the top-notch production by Steve Lillywhite (who is coincidentally married to
Smiths collaborator Kirsty Maccoll) is god-touched, unreservedly.
The title is a clear reference to seminal British film Withnail And I. Vauxhall is a tube station
in London near where Morrissey lived for a while (I think).