Over 18 months after Morrissey first announced his upcoming album Bonfire of Teenagers, the LP appears to be indefinitely shelved once again after the singer revealed he has parted ways with his record label. Also delaying its release: Miley Cyrus wants her backing vocals removed from one of the album tracks.
In a pair of messages posted to Morrissey Central (via NME) — the singer’s go-to mouthpiece — Morrissey revealed that he has “voluntarily withdrawn from any association” with Capitol Records, the label that was set to release Bonfire of Teenagers in Feb. 2023. The singer also “voluntarily parted company” with Maverick/Quest management. (Morrissey previously complained about a lack of promotion ahead of the album’s release date.)
First announced back in May 2021, Bonfire of Teenagers was supposed to be released through BMG before that label dropped Morrissey in Nov. 2020. “The worst year of my life concludes with the best album of my life,” Morrissey wrote of the release, adding that he was unsigned and that the album is available to the “highest (or lowest) bidder.”
In October, Morrissey proclaimed that Bonfire of Teenagers found a home at Capitol Records, and that the album would feature an all-star guest list that included Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith and Flea, Iggy Pop, Andrew Watt, Josh Klinghoffer and, on the song “I Am Veronica,” Miley Cyrus.
However, “Miley Cyrus now wants to be taken off the song ‘I Am Veronica’ for which she volunteered backing vocals almost two years ago,” Morrissey Central posted Saturday alongside a photo of Morrissey and Cyrus in the studio. “This comes at a time when Morrissey has disassociated himself with Capitol Records (Los Angeles), who control the hidden album Bonfire of Teenagers.”
While Morrissey didn’t say why Cyrus wants off the record, he has invited controversy in recent years leading up to his departure from BMG.
In 2019, he claimed in an interview on his website that he isn’t racist because “everyone ultimately prefers their own race” and has been a public supporter of extreme right-wing politics in Britain. When Morrissey played a Las Vegas residency in 2020, his website stated that “there are no anti-social distancing or facial concealment rules in place” for the shows.
Morrissey’s last album, I Am Not a Dog on a Chain, arrived in 2020.