Morrissey posts alleged email exchange with Universal following Paris row

26 November 2015, 17:19


Universal have denied they prevented the release of the track, calling Morrissey's claims "hurtful and wrong".

Morrissey has posted an email exchange alleged to be between his band member, Boz Boorer, and a representative of Universal Music to prove the label prevented the reissue of I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris.

The former Smiths star took to fan site True To You to post the correspondence, which suggests attorney John Reid informed them Universal weren't planning to release "any records in response to the tragic events."

The email claimed to be from Boz Boorer to David Joseph reads: "We are shocked that you have made no move this week to promote the above song (download/special 7-inch/special CD) to support the people of Paris. Any other artist would be number 1 with this song RIGHT NOW.

An excerpt from John Reid's alleged response reads: "I spoke with David Joseph today. His position is that owing to Universal having a very close connection to the events, much as they see your point, they are not intending to release any records in response to the tragic events of last Friday. They feel it is too raw for them given the death of one of their staff members and instead they are going to show support and solidarity in other ways, including concerts in Paris later this year by some of their artists."

On Thursday 25 November, we wrote:

Morrissey has stated he has written proof that Universal Music denied him the rights to reissue his song, I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris, in the wake of the atrocities on Friday (13 November 2015). 

The former Smiths frontman originally took to fan website, True To You, this week to reveal he wanted to release the song as a "loving tribute to the lives lost in the Paris atrocities," but claimed the record company disallowed it in favour of a tribute from their current artists.

However, yesterday (24 November) Universal denied a request had even been made by the star and called his comments "hurtful".

The statement released by Universal Music on Pitchfork read:

"We have not received – let alone refused – any request from Morrissey himself related to ‘I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris’. While we have not been contacted directly by Morrissey, after seeing the comments on his website last week, we asked his representative to confirm his intentions and which charity he had in mind to support via the song’s proceeds. We are yet to receive a reply.

Many people at Universal Music have been personally affected by the events in Paris. The implication that we have blocked a request from Morrissey in favour of another tribute “utilizing our current crop of Universal artists” is hurtful and wrong."

However, Morrissey has now come back, claiming to have written proof in the form of a letter. 

The statement on True To You now reads:

"Universal Music (London) have denied refusing to re-issue Morrissey's I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris in support of the victims of the recent Paris atrocities.

Morrissey is in possession of a letter from John Reid at Russells (London) in which it is clearly stated that David Joseph of Universal Music (London) has no interest in re-issuing I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris, but has instead planned his own tribute to the Paris victims for December which will only involve current Universal bands.

Universal Music has claimed to be "hurt" by the suggestion that such a letter exists.

The letter can be freely made available to anyone who wishes to read it."

Morrissey's I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris comes from his Years Of Refusal album, which was released by Universal imprint Decca/Polydor in 2009. 

Morrissey Songs