Morrissey planning new album, tour


NEW YORK -- As his marathon tour in support of the 2006 album "Ringleader of the Tormentors" winds down, Morrissey is already making plans. The artist has two new releases in the works and will be back on the road early next year, according to his manager, Merck Mercuriadis.

Mercuriadis said Morrissey, who was last inked to Sanctuary, will sign a new record deal to be announced soon. A greatest hits collection with two new songs and a new studio record produced by Jerry Finn, who was behind the boards for 2004's "You Are the Quarry," are on tap for 2008.

And while Morrissey has tended to stay off the road for long periods, the upcoming break will last only a few months, given the high demand to see the man in person. "He'll be back out in January," Mercuriadis said. "We'll take a short break and then start again in March."

Launched in mid-March 2006, the "Ringleader" tour was initially set to end in the U.K. the following December. But from the start, the routing philosophy was to "take it to the people instead of having the people come to us," according to Mercuriadis.

"He loves to play off the beaten track," Mercuriadis said. "Playing Merrillville, Ind., is at least as important to him as playing the major markets. It's also what allows him to continue going for 18 months. Everything is a fresh experience."