Last week, Morrissey released his cover of the Pretenders 1982 song “Back On the Chain Gang,” from their 1984 record Learning to Crawl. The video for the song featured Morrissey and his band performing an American Bandstand-type concert, and they’ve translated that energy into a live rendition of the cover on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Morrissey put on a spirited set with his band clad in shirts that read “living bodies that actually move,” but that’s not exactly the merchandise that has captured our attention.
Morrissey performed “Back on the Chain Gang” in a Morrissey shirt, which is definitely a flex but one that Morrissey has earned after a prolific and legendary career. It also seems like Morrissey’s Morrissey shirt has a picture of James Dean on it rather than himself, which is a fun choice. Hard to imagine that many other artists could pull off such a move without coming off as lame.
The Pretenders cover is part of Morrissey’s forthcoming vinyl reissue of 2017’s Low in High School, which is expected to be released on December 7. Morrissey told Rolling Stone when the track was released, “I think the original can safely be counted as a pop classic, and as always with the Pretenders, of the brain as well as the loins.” Watch the performance below.