Skip to content

Morrissey Releases First Single in Three Years, ‘Rebels Without Applause’

Track is from the artist's upcoming Andrew Watt-produced album, 'Bonfire of Teenagers'

Less than two weeks after announcing his upcoming album Bonfire of Teenagers was no longer on the release calendar of Capitol Records, Morrissey has unveiled a new single, “Rebels Without Applause,” on … Capitol Records.

The track has been part of Morrissey’s live set for several months and has an unmistakeable resemblance to the Smiths’ 1986 song “Cemetry Gates,” particularly in its main guitar motif and bass line. This is the artist’s first new single in the “exactly three years” since “It’s Over,” according to his official website.

Bonfire of Teenagers has been largely completed for a year-and-a-half following a flurry of sessions at producer Andrew Watt’s Beverly Hills, Calif., studio, backed by his core band of session collaborators Josh Klinghoffer and Chad Smith. Smith’s Red Hot Chili Peppers bandmate Flea and longtime Morrissey band member Jesse Tobias also play on Bonfire, while Iggy Pop and Miley Cyrus contribute guest vocals on as-yet-unnamed songs. Smith and Klinghoffer also play on Pop’s own new album, Every Loser, produced by Watt and due out Jan. 6.

On Oct. 29, Morrissey said the album would be released in February by Capitol, only to then report on Nov. 14, without elaboration, that it was no longer scheduled for that time frame. “Its fate is exclusively in the hands of Capitol Records,” he said. A label spokesperson did not respond to SPIN‘s request for comment at the time.

Beyond “Rebels,” Morrissey has debuted most of the 11 other Bonfire songs in concerts this year, including “I Am Veronica,” “Sure Enough, the Telephone Rings,” “I Live in Oblivion,” “Kerouac’s Crack,” and, most recently, “Saint in a Stained Glass Window.”


After canceling four shows this week due to an illness in his touring band, Morrissey will return to the road Monday (Nov. 28) in Washington D.C.