"Break Up The Family"
(Morrissey/Stephen Street)


This song was written and recorded at the end of the "Viva Hate" sessions which stretched from October to December 1987 at Wool Hall Studios in Bath, with producer Stephen Street. Musicians on the recording were Vini Reilly (guitar), Stephen Street (bass) and Andrew Paresi (drums).


album version {3:56}
"Viva Hate" album, original edition
"Very Best Of Morrissey" [remastered 2011; slightly edited]
"Viva Hate" album, EMI Centenary edition
"Viva Hate" album, redesigned edition [remastered 2012]


This song has never been performed specifically for radio, television or the web.


The song has been performed live 64 times by Morrissey, all on the 75-date Oye Esteban tour from 1999-2000. No live recording has ever been made available on an official release.


No demos or studio outtakes of this song have leaked to the general public at this point in time.



In an interview published in Melody Maker in 1988, Morrissey said "The song 'Break Up The Family' is strongly linked with 'Suedehead' and 'Maudlin Street', that whole period in 1972, when I was 12, 13. 'Break Up' is about a string of friends I had who were very intense people and at that age, when your friends talk about the slim separation between life and death - and you set that against the fact that this period of your youth is supposed to be the most playful and reckless - well, if you utilised that period in a very intense way, well, that feeling never really leaves you. (...) The family in the song is the circle of friends, where it almost seemed, because we were so identical, that for anybody to make any progress in life, we'd have to split up. Because there was no strength in our unity. And that's what happened, we did all go our separate ways, and quite naturally came to no good. I saw one of them quite recently, and it was a very headscratching experience."