Morrissey has appeared on The Late Late Show With James Corden to perform his cover of The Pretenders’ ‘Back On The Chain Gang’.
Morrissey wore one of his own tour T-shirts for the performance, while his backing band wore matching T-shirts bearing the slogan “Living bodies that actually move”. It’s a T-shirt Morrissey’s band has occasionally worn in concert before.
The former Smiths singer had announced last month that a studio cover of The Pretenders’ No 17 hit ‘Back On The Chain Gang’ would be included on an expanded reissue of last year’s album ‘Low In High School’. A video for the song features Morrissey playing guitar for the first time – Morrissey had previously stated he preferred not to play guitar, as it gave him better freedom of movement on stage in concert.
Morrissey first covered the song in October 2017 for 6 Music. ‘Back On The Chain Gang’ is one of The Pretenders’ most famed songs, having reached No 5 in the Billboard Hot 100, but has rarely been covered before Morrissey’s version – Brazilian singer Danni Carlos’ version on her 2004 album ‘Rock&Road Again’ is the only other known in-studio take on the classic.
The expanded edition of ‘Low In High School’, released on December 7, will feature three new songs in addition to ‘Back On The Chain Gang’ and five live recordings. The new songs are ‘Lover-To-Be’, ‘Never Again Will I Be A Twin’ and ‘This Song Doesn’t End When It’s Over’. The live songs are ‘You’ll Be Gone’, ‘Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?’, ‘I Didn’t Know What To Do’, ‘Judy Is A Punk’ and a version of ‘Rose Garden’ recorded at famed Nashville venue The Grand Ol’ Opry.
Morrissey’s performance for James Corden is a rare TV appearance by the singer, who most recently appeared in the UK on Alan Carr’s Chatty Man on Channel 4 in September.