Released surprisingly quickly after the break-up, in March 1988, Viva Hate answered the pundits who declared that Morrissey would be lost on his own. Although flawed in many ways, Viva Hate has many absolutely classic tracks, notably singles "Everyday Is Like Sunday" and "Suedehead", and the epic monologue album track "Late Night, Maudlin Street".
The guitarist Vini Reilly was enlisted by writer/producer Stephen Street, playing keyboards and guitar on several tracks. Vini Reilly was reportedly unhappy with the contribution he made towards the album, saying "[Stephen Street] may as well have got a very good session guitar player to do what what I did." Vini's complex style of play did not really fit with Street's simplistic pop.
There is a noticable change in Morrissey's lyrical style as compared to his days as a Smith. With one exception (the evil "Margaret On The Guillotine"), gone are the detached diatribes of the past or the character-based poetry of early Smiths stuff. Even a song such as "Little Man, What Now ?" is laced with a feeling that the song is more to do with the lyricist than the subject matter (a fading star of a defunct television network).
This album was originally called "Education In Reverse", but changed name to reflect Morrissey's feelings after the break-up. Some Australian LPs were misprinted with this title, and are now worth about 25 pounds in good nick.
This album was recently reissued by EMI in a limited edition case at a limited edition price, in order to celebrate EMI's centenary. It comes with a 100-page EMI history which is completely devoid of any interest; the album has eight extra tracks (all B-sides, some excellent, some poor) :