Miserablism

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1990
Original album - Alternative
Producer - Harold Faltermeyer, Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - Behaviour 2001 reissue Further Listening 1990-1991 bonus disc
Other releases - bonus track on a special Japanese edition of Behaviour; b-side of single "Was It Worth It?"

In a song that he says was written from the apparent viewpoint of the public persona of former Smiths lead singer and subsequent solo artist Morrissey, Neil reveals here how little patience he has for young people who adopt a self-consciously, perpetually pessimistic or gloomy pose as a fashion or even a lifestyle. He mercilessly lambastes it for being the pretentious, escapist cop-out nonsense that it is, using the term "miserablism" to describe it. In fact, he maintains that it's more than mere nonsense—it's destructively self-fulfilling nonsense. As the vocoderized voice in the background repeats, "That's what you want, that's what you get."

Instrumentally, this track is notable for its dense analog (as opposed to digital) synthesizer backdrop, which the Boys created with the help of German keyboardist/producer Harold Faltermeyer, best known for his 1985 hit instrumental "Axel F." Faltermeyer apparently felt that "Miserablism" should have been included on Behaviour—it was, in fact, part of the album's track lineup until quite late in the process—and should even have been one of the album's singles. But Chris reportedly vetoed its final inclusion on the album, believing that it didn't fit in well with the mood of the other songs.

Annotations

Mixes

Officially released

List cross-references