Istanbul (Morrissey song)

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Single by Morrissey
from the album World Peace Is None of Your Business
Released20 May 2014
FormatDigital download, 10" Vinyl (with other singles from this album)
RecordedLa Fabrique in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, February 2014
GenreAlternative rock
3:20 (radio edit)
Songwriter(s)Morrissey, Boorer
Producer(s)Joe Chiccarelli
Morrissey singles chronology
"World Peace Is None of Your Business"
"Earth Is the Loneliest Planet"

"Istanbul" is a song by English singer Morrissey. It is the fourth track on his World Peace Is None of Your Business album and was released as the second single off the album via digital download on 20 May 2014, through Harvest and Capitol Records.

This song depicts the story of someone who's desperately searching for a man in the midst of a prostitution environment in Istanbul. One mysterious and poignant piece of music. After the line "Oh, what have I done", the singer once again shows his brilliance, by creating an atmosphere where the listener is invited to imagine what sort of deeds have been done by the searcher. Such ability demonstrates a level of conversational situation between Morrissey and the person who is listening this story (may it be intentional or not).

In the end of the song Morrissey declares that he found the missing person: "I lean into a box of pine, identify the kid as mine." These words suggest that the person is no longer alive. Then Boz Boorer and the band drag us into a secret Arabian garden, a place of grieve.

Due to changes in global music consumption, the physical versions of the first four singles from this album were released together as one 10" vinyl.

Joe Chiccarelli, the album's producer, stated that "Morrissey wanted to evoke the feeling of the hectic and chaotic streets of the city of Istanbul, so he used a cigar-box guitar, a lap steel guitar and a complicated and busy drum rhythm, plus an actual gong as percussion, as well as vocal samples from a field recording taken in the streets of Istanbul by guitarist Jesse Tobias."[1]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video, directed by Natalie Johns, was also released on 20 May 2014. As with the previous single, it features Morrissey performing the song in spoken word.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
  1. "Istanbul" – 4:40


Additional musicians
Technical personnel