The Miracle of the Smiths

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This is not a thread in which I (or you) say 'Hey, the Smiths were grate'. Yes, I think they were, but the value judgements were handled over on the CoD thread. What I want to reflect on is the *strangeness* of the band - the thing I have never quite got my head around about them.

When I think about Originality (cf. ILE), I often think about things that combine existing cultural features in ways that no-one had thought of - and succeed in pulling off some kind of unlikely synthesis. The Smiths seem to me a major case of this:

a) folk-pop jangly guitar tradition

+

b) Northern English camp tradition

= major incident in pop history.

The thing that is hard to understand is why or how those two things (Roger McGuinn and Alan Bennett, so to speak) came together. Just by sheer chance and contingency? What strange alchemy was going on? How much of the improbable synthesis was carefully planned? etc.

the pinefox, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

This really is a great question -- and it is, oddly, something I was thinking about last night. I've just recently procured a car with only a tape deck, and therefore went rummaging through all of my old tapes for something decent; given that most of my tape-buying comes from the high-school period, I found myself pretty well stocked on the Smiths' back catalog. Thus it was that I was driving around last night listening to The Queen is Dead and thinking about how, despite their presence and influence and normalization over the years, the Smiths really are a very weird band, even by today's standards.

The duality you point out is an apt one, but I'd even add a few things to that. First is the fact that while Marr is overshadowed by Moz as the source of oddity, it's worth noting that Marr was pretty interesting as well. He tends to get defined as some sort of godfather of indie jangle, but listening back through those records, you realize how all-over-the-place he tended to be, from those funky little instrumentals he'd play live (funky in the sense that, say, "Rubber Ring" is funky) to the occasional rockabilly turn ("Vicar in a Tutu") -- leave alone the wide swath of pop/rock he cut through.

And then you pair that with Morrissey, whose inclinations were even more unusual and in a completely different fashion. This is what fascinates me about Morrissey -- the fact that he seems to be essentially a social deviant, the sort of person who would be sitting creepily in a flophouse or hanging around libraries scaring people had he not been given a near-magical opportunity to be odd for a living. The fact that his pre-Smiths life was allegedly so creepily sheltered explains quite a bit -- the camp mentioned above seems a direct result of the only two musical influences he claims from his youth, those being (a) sixties British pop of the Lulu / Twinkle / Sandy Shaw variety, and (b) glam, e.g. his New York Dolls obsession. (That background also explains his least appealing traits: (a) his gynophobia, common to pretty much all sheltered, awkward, creepy boys, and (b) his homoerotic attraction to hypermasculinity in the form of hooliganism. This all makes so much sense if we believe the stereotypical accounts of his youth that have him basically sitting home reading Wilde and being terribly, debilitatingly awkward and sickly and etc.)

Add to that the funkiness of Andy Rourke and the perpetually shuffly drumming of Mike Joyce. It's hard to tell, though, how much of this was Marr's doing, as both of those traits seem to be intended to work with his funky/shuffly guitar leanings.

But maybe someone who is older than me and was living in the U.K. in the early 80s can offer a better take on exactly how odd they sounded at the time. Surely "Hand in Glove" was a big surprise when it first hit the radio?

Nitsuh, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

They sounded remarkably fresh when they came out in 83', this was when the dominant style in the UK was faux-soul/funk/jazz e.g Style Council/Nick Heyward/Galaxy. Guitar rock was pretty infra dig at the time, anybody remember rockist as an insult?

The thing with the Smiths is that they were one of those bands, and this seemed quite common among postpunk Manc bands, was how difficult it was to work out what the influences were. Compare that with say contemporaries like the Bunnymen or the Icicle Works and you'll see what I mean. Now we know it was a mix of Twinkle and Bert Jansch.

Billy Dods, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Maybe part of the success lay in the fact that while most Mancunian rock bands of the period were exclusively dark, the Smiths -- in yet another paradox -- managed to be dark in a vivacious, campy, almost-ecstatic way. I mean, the intent verges on humor at some points -- "Nowhere Fast," for instance. Echo and the Bunnymen didn't seem to figure this out how to work this until several albums in.

Nitsuh, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Great question - I'll get to this tomorrow.

Dr. C, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Didn't Orange Juice set a tiny bit of a precedent for this sort of thing? Jangly Byrdsy sound w/ "frightfully camp" lead singer? Of course, Morrissey was a far stranger, more complicated, more magnetic character than Edwyn Collins, but when I first heard "Hand in Glove" a million years ago, I thought of Orange Juice.

Arthur, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Arthur: OK, fine - and I thought someone would say something like that. I still feel like the Smiths 'programmatically' combined odd elements in a new way.

Dr C: great answer - but Why, Dr C? Why?

Billy Dods: I have never ever heard rockist *except* as an insult. (Funnily enough, I think I first encountered the word in Reynolds, re. Marr, Sept 1989.)

NItsuh - thanks for the answers. Weirdness: yes. Humour: of course - it's not a hint or a subtext, it's a big aspect of the schtick. I agree with you, of course, re. Marr's diversity - this was one of the reasons he stands out so much; he seems to have *seen further* than most musicians - and also, had the technical capacity to put what he had in his head onto vinyl. But the jangle (Byrds, if you like) think is still central - was still the default setting - so I think it remains central to my (bemused) question.

I like your details on Morrissey's identity too - BUT are you sure about the 'gynophobia' thing? (I take it this means something like misogyny - is that right?) I mean, he was also interested in feminist texts, as far as I can remember. A conflicted character in this regard, maybe?

As for "having a car with *'only'* a tape deck"... jeez. That's what I call living in the World's Only Remaining Superpower.

the pinefox, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

re feminism: wasn't his close pre-fame friend linder (of ludus and the orgasm addict sleeve) who = v.aggressive feminist (my friend LN recalls appearing on-stage w.Cath Carroll as Linder's gogo dancers, dressed in capes of raw meat and wearing enormous black dildos) (which = feminism, er, i'm not sure how) (so yes, conflicted)

mark s, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

On gynophobia/feminism - possible that he was full of both fear and respect simultaneously?

Tim, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Re: 'Gynophobia'/Feminism - Moz and Linder are still matey. She now takes many of his tour pics. And 'Shakespeare's Sister' is also the title of a proto-feminist Virgina Woolf essay.

Andrew L, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I would probably like the Smiths if only they'd found someone to write them some decent melodies. And get rid of that damn "singer." I don't freaking care how "British" he sounds; he has no energy.

Jack Redelfs, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Pinefox this was all done back in 1987 on the South Bank Show re *strangeness* of the band and formative stages. Don't you remember that show? references to George Formby, the unique guitar playing of Marr, and Morrissey's unusual persona and cultural reference points.

On a related note there was an obscure Liverpool independent band called Pink Industry would released a fine single about Morrisse, What I Wouldn’t Give.

The band would steer even closer to the mainstream with their next single, a 7" of "What I Wouldn’t Give" b/w "Bound By Silence" (1985), taken from their forthcoming album. A fantastic single, it became an immediate collector’s item because of the cover that was adorned with Morrissey’s photograph, illustrating a lyric in the song: "That’s my Smiths tapes you never wanted to hear, throw them away, Morrissey in the bin?, if it would bring you back again."

I am not to sure of the precise meaning of this track, maybe celebrating the individuality of Morrissey - but this is one of the finest atmospheric pop tracks i have ever heard. In way it reminds me of Shriekback on this big hush or faded flowers - intricate softly spoken higly atmospheric haunting music.

Pink Industry was a brilliant electronic-industrial-atmospheric act out of Liverpool. Fronted by the charismatic Jayne Casey, they put out three albums and a brace of singles between 1982 and 1985, with a few compilations following in their wake. Jayne had previously fronted two acts–seminal Liverpool punk band Big in Japan, and art- house throwaway act Pink Military

The strangeness of The Smiths in away was put into context on this single, how many artists have songs directly sung about them by other artists in a deeply passionate sense - after a relatively short period of time. This single came out in 1985 and got played a few times on John Peel and RTE Dave Fanning shows back in the summer of 1985.

Apparently Jayne Casey knew Morrissey

the only pink industry i know of were from liverpool, england. the only mention i ever heard of them was in the smiths book _the complete story_ by mick middles. described as "wild and intelligently wacky", led by jayne casey, "fashion queen, mother superior, and friend of morrissey".

DJ Martian, Monday, 24 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Folk-pop jangle? Great for Europussies who needed a 'band' to live vicariously through but couldn't handle actually 'rock'. Never meant shit to me and never will. I'm with Rollins on this one.

dave q, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

But Rollins only hated the Smiths because he was too pussy (or uptight maybe) to live vicariously through them.

(Also having heard his 'stand-up' you have to assume he was jealous of Morrissey for being funny sometimes)

Tom, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I was HUGELY Smiths-obsessed in high school and could be found in downtown Minneapolis trying to lay my hands on everything I could, inc. James Dean Is Not Dead (Morrissey's hackjob JD book written when he was very young). I had Pink Industry and Ludus records (the Ludus I * really* wanted to be good but they had all sorts of yucky freejazz Sax Work on them, urggh).

Morrissey was a HYOOGE feminist of the Brownmiller/Dworkin school, which is very attractive to 16-year-old fag hags in training ('Mom, I'm okay downtown because the gay guys in the record store keep an eye on me.' 'Whaaaaaaaat?!?'). Linder Sterling/Mulvey from Ludus was his best punk friend (she also designed Magazine and Buzzcocks sleeves) and the person who inspired Cemetry Gates. Mark S is right - she did wear the meat dress at a gig and was part of a coterie of tough feministas inc. the Naylor sisters and Cath Carroll. She does these weird sub-Richard Hamilton collages for art - Nick Momus and I went to see these a few years back 'cos his friend Andrew Renton was showing them in his gallery (now defunct). We were both a bit disappointed, Nick more 'cos Howard Devoto failed to turn up. Linder is now partnered up with the novelist/pop critic Michael Bracewell (who I like very much). YEARS ago when I was in Manchester visiting friends we walked into the big posh Waterstone's and she was managing it, so jaw/floor moment for me!

Jayne Casey last I heard was the director of the Bluecoat Centre in Liverpool - she's artworld big there.

Although I *hated* Johnny Marr for the latter half of 1987 he (and the Bunnymen) were *so good* at gutar it turned my head from the dark synth stuff I liked before I discovered the Smiths. It wasn't until I actually visited England and met the beermonster casual element of their later fan base that I managed to calm down about love for said group (and it did annoy me that Morrissey, who supported socialist causes, would wind up shafting the rhythm section). When I moved here I quickly met all kinds of music industry people who had been friends with him at one stage or another, but there were surprisingly few 'stories' if you know what I mean.

As to the skins and cholo boys Morrissey seems to be obsessed with now, it's definitely a case of Fancying What Is Most Terrifying/Physically Threatening to self.

suzy, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Of course, we can totally dismiss anything Dave Q says about anything after his assertions that a)London hasn't recovered from the Blitz and b) Rollins is right. What a chump.

DG, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

"as for the skins and cholo boys"

Can someone explain all this stuff to me about Morrissey in the present. I know very little about him or the Smiths but I always hear about some vague racial thing but never get a clear cut idea about what people are talking about.

hans, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Wow, that 'blitz' comment seems to have wound up some people something amazing! Wonder what Steve Strange would've thought.

dave q, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

OK, here I go with an attempt at explaining.

Morrissey has always had a fetish for tough boys because they are so different from him. Also, fear stimulates the adrenals in the same way as arousal, so perhaps he's mixed up the thought of getting his arse kicked with the thought of getting his arse...well, you know. This became a lot more pronounced after he left the Smiths. I've never believed he has a problem with racial issues, just that in certain areas a guy like him who is literate but not terribly disciplined or qualified in his education might try to comment on certain Matters Of The Day and cause misunderstanding. A lot of his writing is about Difference, but when it's not about being a little bit strange/outcast/ queer I think it's clumsy.

Fetishising tough boys as the Other is a BIG part of the aesthetic of gay men who grew up in the 70s and 80s; if you look carefully at the personnel of fashion shoots etc. in Brit magazines you'll soon see that most of the skinhead/hooligan shoots are put there by gay guys of un certain age. In America, the peachfuzz mullet pickup boy serves the same function to designers like Jeremy Scott and writers like Dennis Cooper.

Morrissey now lives in Silverlake in LA, big home of fanciable cholo boys. Most of the gay guys I know who've lived there think they're cute because of the unattainable aspect. Note to LA cholo boys with a sensitive side: if you fancy a sugar daddy, you'd have thousands to choose from.

suzy, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Rockist as an insult - used IIRC by a number of different factions in different ways. For example, by new-rom/synth poppers against ALL guitar music, OR as Billy says, by soul-jazzers in a similar way, OR indie-guitar fans (EATB, Smiths, Cocteaus) against TRAD-guitar music (pub-rock, metal, heavy-rock). What was REALLY infra-dig at the time was the guitar SOLO, rather than the guitar. Just about anything with a solo was automatically 'rockist'.

On to The Smiths. I'd say the single biggest 'miracle' about the Smiths is that somehow Johnny Marr firstly 'clicked' with an oddball like Morrissey, and secondly, that he was able to find a way to accomodate and harness Moz's eccentricities within a viable working band. This is based on evidence from Johnny Rogan's book (Morrissey and Marr : The Severed Alliance) and a few conversations with Smiths/Morrissey insiders. Marr's genius as a guitarist and arranger is evident, but I think it's even more incredible that he managed to work with Morrissey for 5 prolific years before the inevitable falling out.

Part of this is in the basic practicalities of song-writing. By all accounts Morrissey's words would often appear in different places in the arrangement to where Marr had expected (verses became middle 8's, or Moz would sing across a transition...etc). This may account for the way that many Smiths songs don't have a normal structure or easily identifiable chorus, especially the earlier material. This lack of concern for (or lack of knowledge of..) conventional forms (on the part of Morrissey) helped a great deal to set them apart from the rest. It probably loosened-up Marr from some of the more trad. influences which he might have been tempted to copy. So, I'd say that in terms of FORM, little was planned, at least initially.

Of course we wouldn't be bothering to think/write about this if it were not for the startling subject matter and language of Morrissey's lyrics. In some ways it's quite amazing how you can make such an impact by speaking so directly. Then again think how contemporaries like Ian McCullough were still largely using rock-trad language inherited from The Doors, Lou Reed etc.

Possibly Morrissey's most staggering achievement is to draw on so many largely untapped sources of language to weave togther his words. Camp humour, pathos, Northern dourness, everyday sayings ("The devil will make work for idle hands to do"), heroic superiority (" We may be hidden by rags, but we've something they'll never have"). Sure, you can find examples of each of these around the place before the Smiths, but no-one had ever integrated them into a coherent WORLD before.

Someone asked what initial impact the Smiths had. I remember listening to a 7-inch of "Hand in Glove" when it was released and liking, but not loving it, immediately. I remember spending a lot of time with it trying to figure out exactly WHAT was so different about it, as did a lot of my friends. It definately made an impression, but didn't knock us flat. I guess it was just a tantalising glimpse of Morrissey's world. I saw them live at the Lyceum with Howard Devoto (3rd London show?) and it was clear that something big was coming, even though the set still relied too heavily on B-grade stuff like Miserable Lie and Hand That Rocks The Cradle. When "This Charming Man" was released my friends and I hated it! Friend NG's comment "They've turned into The Farmer's Boys" summed up our initial response to the chirpy hi-life guitar, the jaunty swing of the beat, and the camp lyrics. I still think of this comment every time I hear TCM. I'm not sure whether the album came next, or the "What Difference Does It Make" single, but from that point you couldn't ignore them.

I can't dispute that The Smiths were, as Pinefox puts it, a major incident in pop history. Somehow, I rarely play them these days, and I struggle to enjoy them as much as I once did - I get the impression that history has not been totally kind. I'll dig out a couple of albums tonight and try to make sense of these thoughts.

Dr. C, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Re Morrisey & rough trade - is this an example of 'false consciousness'? Serious question BTW

dave q, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

RT the record label or RT the proclivity?

suzy, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Hans - around the time of 'Your Arsenal' , Morrissey began to drape himself in the Union Jack while performing, and often talked abt how much he loved skinheads. His song 'The National Front Disco' contained the line "England for the English", apparently a quote from the character the song is about; an earlier track called 'Bengali in Platforms' included the line "life is hard enough when you belong here", suggesting that the Asian fashion victim of the title did not 'belong' here (here = the UK.) Morrissey was accused of racism by the music papers, a charge he denied as ludicrous, but which he refused to refute in detail.

This wasn't the first time that the music papers branded Moz a racist. During The Smiths heyday, NME soul boy Paolo Hewitt ( IIRC) claimed that the song 'Panic' was racist, because the line "burn down the disco, hang the blessed DJ" was implicitly an attack on black musical forms like disco and funk, and talk of hanging recalled the language of the lynch mob. Moz also famously said that "All reggae is vile".

More generally, Moz has always lamented the death of England - or his vision of England, shaped by kitchen sink dramas, camp comedies, mods and rockers violence, images of rundown seaside towns etc. An England corrupted by outside influences, chiefly American consumer culture (ironic considering that Moz now lives in the USA). In this way, Moz can be seen as part of an English socialist tradition that streches back at least to Orwell - the working classes have been seduced by the empty, gaudy trash of an imported culture that has cut them off from their 'authentic' roots and 'heritage'. Yet at the same time, Morrissey worshipped The New York Dolls...

Basically, the contradictions are endless... 'For what it's worth', I don't think Morrissey is or was a racist, but his obsession w/ the nature of Englishness, his indifference to dance music, and his previously mentioned homoerotic fascination/loathing for the bully bad boy, did drag him into some pretty murky waters. But Ironically, at the height of Moz's flirting with fascism period, he was booed off-stage by racist skinhead Madness fans who hated seeing their beloved Union Jack soiled by Moz's poovery...

Andrew L, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

LA is chocka with mourners for Merrie Olde Ingerland. Also full of champagne socialists who loathed Thatcher/Major and couldn't be arsed to subsidise either.

I always had the idea that Britain in the 50s and 60s had this nice can-do attitude when all the trad class distinctions were starting to erode (well, if you were a clever working-class angry young man). If you got involved in the music biz in the 80s you'd have been seriously disabused of the notion that Britain was on its way to better, more egalitarian times.

suzy, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I'm still savoring the phrase "peachfuzz mullet pickup boy".

Sean, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

That Blitz comment only got to me cos it was an amazingly stupid thing to say, and don't go claiming you didn't mean it either, DQ.

DG, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

What I REALLY meant to say was, "Even the Blitz wasn't enough to make the place bearable!" Happy now?

dave q, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Pah! You said something stoopid and now you're trying to wriggle out of it. Go and sit in the corner. [Excuse us, people who are answering the question properly.]

DG, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I should explain the "gynophobia" tag, above, because it's not necessarily exclusive of the capacity for feminism -- it's more of a personal / emotional tendency than a political or intellectual one. What I'm trying to get at is the all-consuming fear and loathing of women and heterosexual acts on that first record. Most explicit in "Pretty Girls Make Graves," but hinted in the squalid depiction of sexuality in "Miserable Lie" and pretty much all over the place -- I assume you guys know what I mean. I'd tag it as a fear of sexuality in general if not for the fact that that fear is a lot less prevalent with regard to men.

It disappears by the next record, though ...

Nitsuh, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I always read it as 'urrgh! breeders!'. Not in the pejorative sense that really queeny guys use, just the annoyance with some kind of biological inevitability and/or shagging just because it's there. But yeah, you're right, Nitsuh, the only woman that ever made Morrissey squirm ever after was old Maggie T.

suzy, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Cor.

1. I like the qualified points that Nitsuh and Suzy have just made - that sounds about right to me.

2. Like I said, this is not meant to be a thread re. the Smiths = grate or rubbish - so with respect and all that, I don't see Jack R's, or Dave Q's comments, as very relevant really. (There's a C/D for that.)

3. I like Cockfarmer's post. Also DG is on the money here.

4. Martian: yes, I saw the programme - which has never been very highly rated - years ago. You seem to be saying that I don't have a clue about the BASICS about the Smiths. What I'm trying to say, rather, is that once you have all those basics, it's still hard to make it all add up.

5. Suzy is right re. otherness, boot boys, etc - in detail.

6. Dr C: fantastic post: I agree with almost everything you say (until towards the end), and I (think I) know what you mean about initial reactions and the way you go back to them later (ie: still thinking about 'TCM' in terms of initial rejection). (Maybe initial reactions have something going for them.) I totally agree with you re. Marr holding things together (ie, how did he cope? etc), and the ('accidental'?) oddity of the structures (*this* is the kind of thing that no-one ever seems to get to discussing, for one reason or another - though it's BASIC to what the band had to offer).

the pinefox, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Andrew's comments are uncanny, because I was thinking about that very thing earlier today. Basically, dogmatic mid-80s Smiths fandom as I see it was the *last breath of Hoggartism* (after Richard Hoggart, "The Uses of Literacy", 1957, specifically its comments on rock'n'roll and coffee shops) before it suffered the twin mortifications of the collapse of Communism and the rise of MTV Europe. "Panic" and "Bengali in Platforms", viewed together, are a genuine reinterpretation of the spirit of Robert Blatchford, something that fascinates me although I don't really think it makes any sense today.

I don't really have anything else to say, except that I'm playing "The Headmaster Ritual" at the moment and it still sounds pretty special to me, though obviously intensely related to a social set-up now long vanished.

God, "Panic" sounds stranger with every year that passes: I don't know whether the Pinefox will agree with me, but I find it their strangest, weirdest, most pathological single, their most passionate yet their most doomed. But I don't think it would have sounded like that in 1986: it's just that the more Britain changes year by year, the more cosmopolitan and hedonistic it becomes, the more it seems like an anthem raging hopelessly against the tide. Time has made "Panic" sound vainglorious: the question is - from someone far too young to understand these things 15 years ago - did it *always* seem like that?

Robin Carmody, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

linder, CC and the naylor sisters — tho some are loosely speaking active non-queers — all i think dwell proudly at the anti-breeder end of the feminista arc (some it is true at the anti-morrissey end of the FA possibly also)

mark s, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

The only time I ever wrote a letter to a music paper was to say please don't hand the world's biggest Tamla/Motown fans a white sheet and burning cross ensemble for not liking reggae or S. Wonder's I Just Called was when Panic was released. I seem to remember the impetus for Panic was Steve Wright playing something TOTALLY INANE after the first Radio 1 bulletins about Chernobyl.

A few years later, of course, the clubs were in thrall to dance music which did say something to people about their lives.

suzy, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

So many interesting points. Dr C your memory of rockist as an insult tallies with mine. There seemed to be three strands to it and both were subtly political. One was a throwback from punk i.e guitar solos were self aggrandising muso wank and distracted from the *message*.

The other was rather more complicated in that it was thought that rock music was aggressively male, white and reactionary. That led to the favouring of soul and jazz as a role model. Not just because the music was good (even though much of it is of course) but because it was more authentic (compared to the pure pop which dominated the charts the year before)but also because it was thought that working class yoof in Thatchers Britain could identify/empathise with the struggle of black music/civil rights as if by osmosis e.g Style Council/Redskins/Housemartins.

The other was of course sexual, guitars of course being phallic symbols they tended to frowned upon unless used in an art school influenced form (Bunnymen) or the floppy fringe brigade (Aztec Camera/Lotus Eaters/EBTG) So Moz’s asexual prescence was just dandy. I remember one of the Fine Young Cannibals saying quite seriously anyone who listened to Jethro Tull must be by default a fascist. Strange times. Thank god the Sonic Youth/JAMC/Sample culture were just around the corner.

I think Panic stands up better than a lot of other Smiths songs, stealing chunks of Metal Guru is no bad thing of course. It doesn't sound like raging against the tide (too joyful) but more a call to arms against mediocrity. The echo of the provincial towns sounds rather quaint now, I can't imagine anyone else singing the praise of Carlisle when you've got the delights of London or NYC to write about. I thought hang the dj referred more to the banal smashie and nicey crew who dominated radio at the time, rather than club culture.At the time though he was probably justified as it was post disco/hi-NRG boom of the late 70's/early 80's but pre acid house boom of 87/88 (which I'm sure Moz loved).

I never got to see the Smiths unfortunately. I did see the Farmers Boys, though it’s not something I brag about. (Did you know exec producer on the Farmers Boys lp was Pete Waterman-it's not something he brags about either).

Billy Dods, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

"something totally inane" - yep, it was just after the first reports of Chernobyl, and the track concerned was Wham!'s "I'm Your Man". I'm not sure that Steve Wright was on air at the time, though: it would ideally have been Gary Davies, a fellow Mancunian who arguably attacked the Hoggart / Blatchford tradition (to which Moz aspired, as I see it) simply by existing, dressing and speaking like he did.

"Hang the DJ" referring to Smashie and Nicey gang - yes, absolutely, but that doesn't detract from the essential nostalgia of "Panic" as a song: a call to arms, absolutely, but also a rather pathetic, blunted one, the children's choir sounding like a vainglorious echo of post- war formality, and I can't help but hear a desperate fear for the future behind the line "Could life ever be sane again?". The strange thing is, though, I think the song is *brilliant*, but what it is based on (broadly, to my ears, desire for a unified working class not indulging in hedonism and love for American pop culture) could never be recaptured, and that is where the brilliance comes from: the desperation to achieve something that could never actually happen, never more perfectly expressed in pop. It isn't that nobody would write about provincial towns now but that provincial towns *just aren't like that anymore*: even compared to 15 years ago, they are as given over to hedonism as anywhere else and totally unresponsive to any remaining echoes of puritan socialism (or puritanism or socialism in any form, really). This is, I think, why Morrissey lives in LA: he would rather not live in Britain than in a Britain unrecognisable from his idea of Britain.

Essential ambivalence is what I love best about the Morrissey of that time, and his worst moments ever have been his most obvious: I personally think of "A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours" (specifically "It has been before / So it shall be again") as referring to the Wilson government / social democratic leadership compared to the Thatcher era, but I can quite see why certain people after the Union Jack / "NF Disco" episode interpreted the song to mean something rather less positive (I don't think that interpretation is *right*, of course ... the ambivalents of pop have to be prepared for occasional stupid misinterpretations: it goes with the territory).

Robin Carmody, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Robin -- I think the Moz lyrical moment that best sums up your take would be "We are the last truly British people you will ever know."

Nitsuh, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I think you've hit on the essential dilemma of Morrisey in that he is passionately in love with the idea of the working class, hence the iconic sleeves Pat Phoenix/Viv Nicholson etc, but ultimately it's unrequited love. I hate to quote Pete Waterman but as he said 'real people (i.e working class) don't listen to his music', that's not entirely true of course but there is a large nugget of truth in his statement. Liam Gallagher, ironically a big Smiths fan, is probably more representative of the working class audience than Morrissey.

Working class culture by and large has always been hedonistic in nature, that's why it's been despised by the liberal cultural elite, some of it only recently getting approval e.g middle classes new love of football.

The other thing is the provincial towns Morrissey loves may have existed at some point, but they had already disappeared, or were disappearing, by the time Panic was written. I was frequently in Dundee at the time and although there may have been socialism I don't remember much in the way of puritanism (but that's quite a different story).

Billy Dods, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

So much good stuff to chew over.... Will rejoin he fray tomorrow. Good to see you back Robin!

Dr. C, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

This is all quite fascinating when compared to the politics of Smiths fandom in the suburban U.S., which was far more simplified: nobody liked the Smiths; if you did, you were therefore odd and effeminate and either To Be Shunned or To Be Beaten, in extreme cases.

Nitsuh, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

But Nitsuh, Smiths fans are odd and effeminate.

Sean, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Oooh, get her.

DG, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Like others have said, this is getting really interesting and involved. Allow me to respond again.

Robin C:

>>> mid-80s Smiths fandom as I see it was the *last breath of Hoggartism*

In large part, yes, this is right. Maybe the M thing about 'illness' (hearing aids etc) stuck out, though? Also re. gender - cos M was 'sexually ambiguous' - and Hoggart's book doesn't have much place for that. (This is the puritan vs bohemian split in M, if you like.)

>>> I don't know whether the Pinefox will agree with me, but I find it their strangest, weirdest, most pathological single, their most passionate yet their most doomed.

Yes - kind of. But like you, I don't think that detracts from its enjoyable fascination. A strange thing, rarely mentioned, is that it's VERY SHORT!

Suzy:

>>> A few years later, of course, the clubs were in thrall to dance music which did say something to people about their lives.

Well - different perspectives here, surely. From the POV of dance fans (or whatever) in 1986, dance music presumably *did* say what they needed; just like (I imagine) it does for dance fans now. It doesn't for me, of course - but you knew that.

Dods: I like the points re. rockism (personally I *love* guitar solos, of course).

>>> The echo of the provincial towns sounds rather quaint now, I can't imagine anyone else singing the praise of Carlisle when you've got the delights of London or NYC to write about.

Well. Just you wait. One day.

>>> It isn't that nobody would write about provincial towns now but that provincial towns *just aren't like that anymore*: even compared to 15 years ago, they are as given over to hedonism as anywhere else and totally unresponsive to any remaining echoes of puritan socialism

Hold on - there seems to be an assumption developing re. M's attitude to provincial towns (which as said in past I find fascinating - the towns, I mean, not the attitude). I don't see it that way. I think he is just *listing* for PANORAMIC EFFECT: it's ALL ENGLAND APOCALYPSE.

>>> The other thing is the provincial towns Morrissey loves may have existed at some point, but they had already disappeared, or were disappearing, by the time Panic was written.

But those towns are still there! Yes, they've changed - but for the better *as well as* the worse, I'd guess (like most things: dialectics as usual).

Back to 'strangeness': this is still the key thing for me. Robin C pinpoints an aspect of it re. the children's choir - an element of sinister otherworldliness, or whatever. Plus, the comic (and retro) eccentricity of Marr's *music* (cf Nitsuh earlier) as well as the unseemly violence of the lyric (M as embarrassing ranting party guest - back to Nitsuh earlier, again)...

It would be interesting to know if 'Panic' could ever have gone another way - if there were more elaborate lyrical drafts that spelled things out more fully (a la 'Queen Is Dead'). But I'm clutching at gladioli, I know (I know, I know...).

the pinefox, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Aw, thanks, Dr C.

Billy: the other Mancunian axis that comes to mind as more representative of genuine latter-day (i.e. post-Thatcher, or rather *irrevocably-changed-by-Thatcher*) Northern working-classness is the Roses / Mondays (the Mondays especially) wing which was in the ascendancy as Morrissey's solo career declined (held back, as I saw it, by long gap between first two proper solo albums causing loss of momentum: instructive that none of his four 1991 singles, from the Our Frank era, made even the Top 20 whereas the first four solo singles all went Top 10). For some reason (and I was actually thinking about this before I knew this thread existed!), I associate "Madchester Rave On" outselling "Ouija Board Ouija Board" five to one in Manchester HMV with the fall of Communism and the emergence of MTV Europe: not only concurrent, but a similar, definitive (or so it seemed) victory of hedonism over any remaining hints of, perhaps foolhardy, ideological conviction.

Provincial towns already changing rapidly by 1986 - well, exactly, kind of strengthens my argument that the central theme of "Panic" is nostalgia and longing. This is, also, its central fascination.

Pinefox: shortness of "Panic" something that occured to me earlier. I personally relate it to the classicism / nostalgia of the song: write a song that evokes provincial towns as they perhaps were around 1963 and make it the length of pop songs of the time (during the British New Wave cycle of films from 1958-63, it wasn't unknown for songs of less than two minutes in length to make Number One: Adam Faith's "What Do You Want?" springs to mind).

The towns are still there, of course, and what is fascinating is just how much they have changed, as anyone who makes a habit of visiting places that feature in old films, TV series, photographs etc. will know. One of the great fascinations of modern Britain is comparing the general informality and hedonism of these places *now* (main exception that comes to mind: Winchester, especially in winter) with images of how they once were. Peter Hitchens was, perhaps for the only time in his life, spot on when he said that traditions can be destroyed just as effectively when you leave the buildings there but chip away at the ideas and feelings that gave them meaning, as when you tear down the buildings themselves. This is the key to how Manchester - and, I suppose, provincial Britain generally - has evolved in contradiction to and refusal of Morrissey's vision of it.

Strangeness: exactly. Listening to "A Rush And A Push ..." and "Death of a Disco Dancer", what comes out is how great they are *as sound*. I'd previously concentrated on Morrissey's words, but what stands out now is how great a *band* they were. For the first time, "Disco Dancer" sounds to me quite as apocalyptic as the title track of "The Queen Is Dead", an epic melodic grind for long after Moz himself is unheard.

There is much more within this thread, I think.

Robin Carmody, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I just remember hearing "Bigmouth Strikes Again" because my friend brought it into 11th grade English class to play and thinking "What a goofy song," so I larfed. Didn't actually get anything by them until two years later, 1989, and never saw any videos or anything or TOTP appearances, and didn't grow up in England, so they just always were. And pretty good, too.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 25 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Lucky me, nobody would ever have beaten me up at school for what music I liked. This was also before high-school age kids got down with the concept of Euro = insult. The few sarky comments I got - always, always from metal-loving future gas pumpers and their girlfriends - were inevitably met with this sort of scenario:

(Suzy and Nellie are sitting in the hall in front of their opened lockers which are littered with artfully arranged pin-ups from British and Japanese music mags. They are clearly deep in conversation)

PASSING METALHEAD BOY does a double-take when he sees locker gallery full of Men Wearing Makeup. PMB: "What is that faggot shit?"

SUZY and NELLIE exchange glances. Each girl removes an empty shopping bag from their locker. NELLIE: "'scuse me?"

PMB: "I asked you what that faggot shit was."

NELLIE (offers bag to PMB): "Here, take this."

SUZY (offers second bag to PMB): "Here, take this."

PMB now has TWO BAGS. PMB is puzzled.

SUZY: "Now. Put both bags over your head, DUDE. Keep America beautiful, okay?"

...see, they didn't stand a chance so no real hassle. Mallrat girls who had 'hair' comments were encouraged to look five years into the future, where if they had not managed to reproduce with a football player, they might actually HAVE the haircut I was sporting that day. In the same future I would of course be having my hair cut where I would never have to look at their bad style ever ever again. Besides, there weren't enough of US to form an actual Breakfast Club-type subcult so we were very confusing for THEM.

suzy, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Robin sez : "Morrissey's solo career declined (held back, as I saw it, by long gap between first two proper solo albums causing loss of momentum..."

Not sure I agree. Sitting out Madchester was probably a wise move, but the single biggest cause of the decline HAS to be the fact that Kill Uncle was so spectacularly awful. Virtually EVERYTHING which was good about the Smiths had gone by now. (By the way, except for the singles, I really don't like Viva Hate either).

Somehow that knife-edge balance between camp, misery, humour, nostalgia and arrogance, which he kept throughout the Smiths career is out of whack much of the time. Too much or too little of any of these carefully-juggled elements resulted in nonsense like King Leer, Bengali in Platforms, Little Man What Now, Late Night Maudlin Street,Alsatian Cousin etc. Maybe the lay-off before Kill Uncle gave him too much time to think about how and what, rather than doing what came naturally in The Smiths. Working with hacks like Street, Langer and Nevin couldn't have helped much either.

Arthur makes a good point about a possible precendent in Orange Juice, and for the Postcard singles, it makes good sense. Simply Thrilled Honey and Blue Boy in particular have that odd structure and slightly distanced feel which marked out Hand In Glove. I sense that Collins was a much less complex character than Morrissey, and consequently less interesting. The post-Postcard era showed that he had nothing much to say.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Hold on - there seems to be an assumption developing re. M's attitude to provincial towns (which as said in past I find fascinating - the towns, I mean, not the attitude). I don't see it that way. I think he is just *listing* for PANORAMIC EFFECT: it's ALL ENGLAND APOCALYPSE.

I agree, pf. It's funny - I was thinking of posting a thread about Panic a while ago and thought better of it. What I was going to ask was 'what does this song MEAN?' Or more specifically, what do the chorus and verses have to do with one another? But then I decided it would make me look stupid. Of course I understand the connection, but it struck me as a perfect example of Morrissey's (Smiths era) approach to songwriting- so many self-contained lines/notebook fragments/twisted aphorisms that somehow end up constituting a lyric. If someone asked me what situation Morrissey was describing, or point he was making in a lot of Smiths songs I'd have no straightforward answer. He changed style a bit on Meat is Murder ('The Headmaster Ritual' is perhaps his best sustained direct, transparent song) but he never really lost his predilection (knack?) for opaque, ambiguous, cut and paste lyrics (torrents of words falling over themselves) until a little way into his solo career.

A thing that rarely gets mentioned: Mick Middles' book (yes, I know it's terrible) insists that when Morrissey & Marr started out, their plan was to become a songwriting team, not a band. Does anyone know if that's true?

Nick, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I think PF's urge to put the strangeness down to such a simple synthesis is perhaps an oversimplification. But if we go along with it for the time being, then I think we have to agree with Arthur and Dr. C that Orange Juice pulled off *a* synthesis of similar elements some years before, if not precisely the same synthesis.

That begs the question what was different about the Smiths. I would tend to argue that, musically, they were *less* strange than early Orange Juice: a fuller sound, less angular and difficult, less scratchy. Which is to say, I suppose, that they were more palatable to a pop/rock mainstream. I recall very well hearing "What Difference Does It Make" and "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" on Radio 1 on the bus to school. I can't imagine any of those first few OJ singles making it onto the breakfast show.

There's also clearly a big chunk of J. Rotten in the Morrissey persona: that ill, contrary outsider bit, handing down his crushing barbs with total disdain. I suppose you could argue that, musically, the Smiths were the first band in a musical generation to consider themselves nothing to do with punk (and punk as just a detail of history). They made themselves palatable to punk-obsessed likes of me by the Rotten-ness of SPM. Just a thought.

Tim, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

("the first band in a musical generation to consider themselves nothing to do with punk (and punk as just a detail of history)": tim you are once again forgetting IAN PAIGE and SECRET AFFAIR!!)

mark s, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

NEVER! Nor could I. Man, the Affair were all about punk rock and you know it.

Tim, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I knew this thread would be long and wonky, just knew it.

btw, I saw the Smiths on their first US tour in NY... which one of you geeks is jealous? :)

Sean, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Would that be the Danceteria show on NYE '83?

If not, no need for jealousy here.

suzy, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

To hell with you both. But neither of you clowns has anything on my friend ML who went to England in 1979 and ended up seeing Joy Division. With OMD opening, when they had long hair and wore robes. Astounding!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I can see similarities with Orange Juice but I think the reason why they didn't sound as startlingly different as The Smiths is because Edwyn Collins was (at the time) one of those singers who sounded as though they listend to nothing but David Bowie. Who cast a long shadow over early 80's pop.

The one act who no ones mentioned is The Buzzcocks. If Morrissey has any antecedents it's surely Pete Shelley, slightly effette, vulnerable impassioned delivery, dry Northern sense of humour and a knack for a memorable phrase. It makes me think that all the talk of Moz is slightly misplaced and what made them sound so unique is not Moz but Johnny Marr.

Billy Dods, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

And you forgot about Devoto too.

suzy, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Robin C:

>>> For some reason (and I was actually thinking about this before I knew this thread existed!), I associate "Madchester Rave On" outselling "Ouija Board Ouija Board" five to one in Manchester HMV with the fall of Communism and the emergence of MTV Europe

Put that way, it sounds odd - but I think your overall generational point is valid.

>>> shortness of "Panic" / classicism [60s]

This is a fine point, which goes for other Smiths records too, of course.

>>> Peter Hitchens was, perhaps for the only time in his life, spot on when he said that traditions can be destroyed just as effectively when you leave the buildings there but chip away at the ideas and feelings that gave them meaning, as when you tear down the buildings themselves.

Hm... but was he 'wrong' at the same time as being 'right'? I hope so.

Dr C:

>>> but the single biggest cause of the decline HAS to be the fact that Kill Uncle was so spectacularly awful.

I agree - but Stevie T will tell you, I think, that it was 'Ouija Board' which summarized decline !

>>> (By the way, except for the singles, I really don't like Viva Hate either).

I do. I agree that a balance has been lost, but that record is close enough to the Smiths - close enough to the flow - to retain much of what what M had then, I think. (I still think it the best solo record.)

>>> Working with hacks like Street, Langer and Nevin couldn't have helped much either.

This is true. Actually there is a whole separate discussion to be had re. the influence of Langer & Winstanley on the records of Morrissey, Costello and... Lloyd Cole!!

D Nick: you are very, very on the money - loads of money!

>>> What I was going to ask was 'what does this song MEAN?' Or more specifically, what do the chorus and verses have to do with one another?

This was what preoccupied me after I'd left the thread yesterday. And I realized that I had let myself forget my original sense of the song. What happens in the song - let D Nick take up the point again -

>>> it struck me as a perfect example of Morrissey's (Smiths era) approach to songwriting- so many self-contained lines/notebook fragments/twisted aphorisms that somehow end up constituting a lyric... but he never really lost his predilection (knack?) for opaque, ambiguous, cut and paste lyrics (torrents of words falling over themselves) until a little way into his solo career.

This is terrific stuff - so basic, yet so little recognized (it often seems). Anyway: Panic seems to me to be a *yoking of 2 ideas*:

1. REVOLUTION IN THATCHER'S BRITAIN - it's happening all over, kids! The miners' strike may have failed, but look at this fantasy! Violence is the only answer to our rulers!...

2. WE DON'T LIKE DISCOS / DANCE MUSIC - extended to 'burn down' idea, this seems like the same idea as #1. But really it's a much narrower Morrisseyesque fantasy.

In yoking the two he left the impression that the whole song was really about #2 (which emerges halfway through); whereas really I feel that #1 (very 80s, very Red Wedge pushed to extreme, in a way) is the key, and drags #2 in its wake.

Corroboration of a sort: Steven Wells made Panic his 45 of the week (July 86) cos it was Politickal, like. (Nothing to do with anti-disco sentiment, which would have repulsed him.) Think about it (as annoying people say).

>>> A thing that rarely gets mentioned: Mick Middles' book (yes, I know it's terrible) insists that when Morrissey & Marr started out, their plan was to become a songwriting team, not a band. Does anyone know if that's true?

No... I don't even recall seeing it. Anyone else?

Hopkins:

>>> I think PF's urge to put the strangeness down to such a simple synthesis is perhaps an oversimplification.

Fine. You're probably right. I was only being 'heuristic', or something. There is still a point there. I am not convinced, I think, that OJ were into that *particular* synthesis.

In return, I think your post is perhaps tainted with (by?) your perpetual post-1983 antipathy to the Smiths. To me, OJ sound (yes) original and different in the way you say - but also less fun than the Smiths (perhaps cos so original and different).

Dods mentions Bowie - I wonder whether my whole fixation on 'strangeness' misses out the idea that Bowie had done all strangenesses before? But no, I think, not quite. (Strange Pop Bowie = other thread.)

the pinefox, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

No. Devoto jumped ship pretty quickly (only on Spiral Scratch i think?), so I think of them as Shelley's band rather than Shelley/Devoto.

Billy Dods, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Not to pull the discussion in a new direction, but -- is it universally agreed that Kill Uncle was no good? I always quite liked it -- as sort of the distillation of everything Mozzy. It's as far as he's ever gotten from simply trying to carry on from the Smiths, musically speaking...

Nitsuh, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Out of curiosity what did Rollins say?

What does it mean to live vicariously through the Smiths? That you fantasize about being a miserable closeted neurotic?

sundar subramanian, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Pinefox: your analysis of "Panic" *spot on* in that, like you, I think the "BURN DOWN THE DISCO" stuff is only the secondary theme of the song, just made to sound as though it was the central theme by the way it is presented and put over. Maybe if the song *had* been longer and more fully-explained, the "REVOLUTION" element might have been given the chance, so to speak, to sound more prominent?

When he made the comments I quoted, Hitchens was to me "wrong" because, on the whole, I don't think the traditions he cherishes were worth preserving, but also "right" because I thought he put his argument over very well *even though I disagreed with it*. Certainly, on a personal level, Hitchens is more interesting to me than any other journalist of the right, and there are some fundamental truths he has grasped about the anti-traditionalism (despite appearances) of Thatcherite policies, but I wonder how much of his interest to me is down to the endless amateur sociology *and* amateur psychology you can get out of the contrast between him and his brother.

Dr C: that's sort of what I meant to say about Kill Uncle, but it got lost along the way. It wasn't just the delay: all the singles off that album were just SO WEAK: you could not imagine any of them going Top 10 for one moment. I would concur utterly with what others have said about Morrissey losing his essential ambiguity at that time, and his lyrics becoming so much more boring and uninspiring (of thoughts, of possible meanings, of anything, really).

Robin Carmody, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Robin C:

>>> Maybe if the song *had* been longer and more fully-explained, the "REVOLUTION" element might have been given the chance, so to speak, to sound more prominent?

Yes, precisely. Also the disco stuff has been easier for people (journos, whoever) to seize on over the year - where the revolution doesn't really go anywhere. (Is this right?)

Always seemed significant to me that the 45 was released just after Queen is Dead LP: and - more so - that live, they would follow that title track with 'Panic', without a moment's break (cf Rank LP): ie. 'Panic' was an extension of the political analysis of the earlier song. OK, only a pop lyric / tune; not a terribly sophisticated analysis, and tending more to 'adolescent' espousals of rebellion vs the royals / hatred of the Tories than anything properly worked through. But still - not quite the same as the 'racism / anti-disco / reactionary' thing that has been insisted on again and again. Possibly.

>>> I wonder how much of his interest to me is down to the endless amateur sociology *and* amateur psychology you can get out of the contrast between him and his brother.

Sad situation. But CH is also odd and perverse: currently writing articles for Guardian attacking 'liberal twits' who question war / US foreign policy. He's bright and everything, but I think he slightly abuses his position by going for perversity and irritation of readership too much.

>>> It wasn't just the delay: all the singles off that album were just SO WEAK

'Our Frank' - yes. 'Sing Your Life'? Probably. But funnily enough (Nitsuh may back me up here), two non-45s are arguably the most compelling things here: 'Driving Your Girlfriend Home', and 'Mute Witness'. (Thanks to Stevie T for making party tape in June 1997 which brought latter track to my stunned attention in the middle of Covent Garden. Never since abandoned belief that track is grate, though I'm not entirely sure I've even *heard* it since.)

the pinefox, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Yes, Mute Witness is the only track off KI which is any good. Reminds me of Roxy Music in a way.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 26 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

My contribution to all this

Tom, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Fascinating thread. Another contradiction: Morrissey was the son of Irish immigrants (as was Marr) making all that nostalgia for lost England, + later flirtation with British nationalism, all the stranger.

stevo, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

lots to digest here, i shall have to print this off and read on the tube journey home and take it all in then. brilliant stuff here.

gareth, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

More coming soon : Devoto's role in all this. Suzy's comment set me thinking - I'm CONVINCED that Devoto-era Buzzcocks (or more correctly Buzzcocks-era Devoto) is an extremely rough precursor of some of the stuff Moz was up to. They knew each other too (via Linder?). Lots of clues in Times-up sleevenotes, which are at home so I'll be back later.

Also what was The Smith's legacy? Twee-core? C-86? (I think mainly not), Jarvis Cocker/Pulp?

Dr. C, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I think Dr. C's right about Buzzcocks-era Devoto. But only really as regards lyrics, not in terms of melody or music. I stand by my comment regarding J. Rotten, too, but that's no contradiction). I do think the band's relationship with / musical break from punk is crucial, and the reading of "Panic" which various people seem to be reaching for above can be thought of as a punk story too: in the lyric you see a wave of unspecified panic crystallise into a musical battle, the fear and confusion of the initial verses collapses into the safety / sterility of a polemic reaching no further than the DJ booth.

Legacy? The Smiths were immensely popular amongst the people who would become the twee end of indie, and were a central inspiration for a generation of sensitive kids to form bands and write sensitive songs. You could argue whether that meant twee-core was the legacy of the Smiths either way. I think it's *a* legacy of the Smiths. Pulp another, without question I think.

I did love the Smiths very dearly once upon a time, but I balk at talk of them being a miracle. I can't remember thinking "that sounds like nothing I've ever heard" (except perhaps on first hearing "How Soon Is Now"). I can remember thinking that some of their records were unbearably exciting. (If this comment bears the 'taint' of my not being a raving Smiths enthusiast, PF, please feel free to ignore it).

Tim, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Doc Hopkins said:

>>> I do think the band's relationship with / musical break from punk is crucial

OK - I'll buy it, though I'm not sure I get it yet.

>>> and the reading of "Panic" which various people seem to be reaching for above can be thought of as a punk story too: in the lyric you see a wave of unspecified panic crystallise into a musical battle, the fear and confusion of the initial verses collapses into the safety / sterility of a polemic reaching no further than the DJ booth.

This is a fine argument.

Weird complicating Pulp fact = Pulp started before Smiths? - or sth absurd like that?

>>> I did love the Smiths very dearly once upon a time, but I balk at talk of them being a miracle.

I meant 'miracle' in a non-evaluative sense - which I know sounds oxymoronic. I'm sure you think that my attempt to be non-evaluative is 'tainted' by evaluation. Probably it is, and possibly you think that's OK (possibly inevitable) anyway. I don't mind balking at (talk of) miracles, but in pop terms I can't think of that many things that deserve the term better than this lot (but possibly nothing does), whether in evaluative or non-evaluative terms (assuming that either category exists).

>>> (If this comment bears the 'taint' of my not being a raving Smiths enthusiast, PF, please feel free to ignore it).

Oh, I did.

the pinefox, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Tim - Devoto/'Cocks - yes, not the music but not the lyrics either EXPLICITLY. To me the link is more of 'something behind Devoto's lyrics, SOMETHING pushing him to say the things he says' which runs through Morrissey too. The quote I was looking for from Devoto came in Feb 1977 when he left the Buzzcocks : "I don't like most of this new wave music. I don't like music. I don't like movements Despite all that, things still have to be said."

Also compare Devoto's famous "I am angry, I am ill, and I'm as ugly as sin" line from Magazine's "Song From Under the Floorboards" with Morrissey's later preoccupations with illness and ugliness.

I go for 'a major incident in pop history' to describe the imapct of The Smiths rather than any definition of 'miracle'. Yet, I'm still struggling to understand what of consequence, if anything, they left behind. Here's my best shot at asking the question - "What did the advent of Morrissey allow artists to now do (which no-one did before)?" 'Scuse the bad grammar.

Dr. C, Friday, 28 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Quick and not fully-formed thought: that lyrically, Morrissey does a version of Devoto with the illness / ugliness / outsiderness intact but with HD's (explicit) anger supplanted by shyness? Would that make the Morrissey character more sympathetic than the spikier Devoto character, and hence a likelier target for wider indentification?

Tim, Friday, 28 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Pulp influenced by the Smiths?Jarvis wouldn't hear of it.Pulp's first releases coincided with Smiths' first album - Smiths get glory and since then Jarvis has never spoken very kindly of the Smiths.I put the brevity of 45s like Panic down to a focus on lyrics as opposed to musicianship - when they run out of words,the song is over.I don't know how anti-musicianship Morrissey was though.Listening to a song like Shoplifters Of The World Unite there is more of a conflict - contrast the lyrical side of group with the very rawk guitar break.

Damian, Friday, 28 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Tim - yes, exactly. "Shy" is one of the ingredients which Morrissey brought in which had hardly been seen in rock/pop. A shy performer is a contradiction in terms.

Dr. C, Friday, 28 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Tim H's idea is good.

Doc C says, what did M leave behind? - etc. It's a very good question - BUT, can't a band / artist / whatever (in any medium) be 'great' and still NOT have a great influence? (cf, as always, Eliot's review of Ulysses, on this point.)

My feeling is that he made possible a more conversational style - he opened the door to new kinds of verbal awkwardness. But that is not meant to imply that there was no conversation or awkwardness pre-M.

Damian - I agree re. the chronology, but not re. musicianship. Marr was very much a 'musician' - not just a three-chord hack. There is always a sense, I think, of him 'doing what's right for the record'. You may have a point re. lyric-determines-length-of-track - but then, what about all those records where that doesn't apply? = That Joke / HSIN? / Queen Is Dead etc. I don't know - your argument is good, but I think Marr *could* easily have gone on and played fabulous 5-minute outros - *and I wish he had...*

the pinefox, Saturday, 29 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I have finally read Ewing's piece on this - so compact, yet so brimming with ideas, and so regularly sound in its subtle judgments; terrific.

the pinefox, Saturday, 29 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

pinefox - it's an argument that applies better to many of the singles,really - that Marr was very much a musician is not in any doubt.

Damian, Sunday, 30 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

When "panic" came out i was a d.j. I host a show in the national italian radio, and sometime I played records in some little club in Rome. But I was a devoted fan of the Smiths, also, and in the strange position of listening this song from a double point of wiew. As a devoted fan of the Smiths I loved from the first time the verse about the "music that says nothing about my life". Yes, there's a revolutionary quality in a song like "Panic", and it will last forever. But there's also a shadow of sadness, the sense of change of an era: "my life" sung by Morrisey was not "our life", nor "our times" anymore. Morrissey sang for people that stand alone and sad in a dark sofa of a bad disco wanting to be million light years away from there, for people that can listen only to crap radio into their cars, for people alone and probably sad and angry maybe. But were they the same people that sing the "racist" chorus "Hang the dj", like hooligan in a football stadium? I don't know. I hope not. My answer, back then , was simple: I had to save that d.j.! (I agreed with Paolo Hewitt, but his piece on NME was a shock for me). I put Smiths records on the shelf and began to listen and play mainly black music, and than house, acid house, jungle... a revolution was began, and was made by people tired of listen "my" music into "my" room. From now on it would be "our" music, outside, rave music... Ok, it was many years ago from now, and I can just say that the struggle between individual and collective values into pop music is not come to an end. If "Panic" said something about the changing moods in my life almost 15 years ago, I cant say "Hang Morrisey" back than nor now.

alberto piccinini, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

"Morrissey sang for people that stand alone and sad in a dark sofa of a bad disco wanting to be million light years away from there..."

Is that YOU over there in the gloom, Pinefox?

Dr. C, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

No. To be honest I didn't quite understand that last post, though I think its intentions were good.

the pinefox, Thursday, 4 October 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
a section of "Panic" everyone seems to forget is (IIRC) "hopes may rise in the Grasmere / but honey pie you're not safe here / so you run down to the safety of the town / but there's panic on the streets ..."

it's presumably a glancing sideways allusion to William Wordsworth, and it says a lot about the culture Morrissey came from: romantic fantasies of pre-industrial Britain, while superficially appealing, ultimately unsettle him as much as the erosion of the Industrial Revolution legacy and its replacement by rootless consumerism, because both present a vision of a parallel universe in which the culture he came from would never have existed (Manchester is often cited as "the first industrial city" and it was certainly an irrelevant backwater before the flight from the land enabled it to rapidly become an economic powerhouse). visions of the pre-industrial world erode and threaten Morrissey's urban-socialist-collectivist past, and the creation of a deunionised Manchester where Janet Jackson is a more important cultural figure than J.B. Priestley (the mortal fear which drives the main narrative to "Panic") presents the clear message of NO FUTURE. it's as if, amid bleak premonitions of his future, he's dismissing a possible solace because of the threat it poses to his pride in his past.

why don't people focus on that line in particular? it's pretty much the epitome of a deeply conservative Old Labour mindset, as though he sort of wants to find solace in an unchanging, utopian, monocultural vision of the countryside as a place to escape his hated deindustrialisation and decollectivisation and consumerisation and all-pervasive cultural hybridisation in the erstwhile socialist heartlands from whence he came, but that very Old Labour tribalism stops him (all the neo-ruralists in the last 35 years of pop culture came from pretty middle-class backgrounds AFAIK, and I find it very hard to imagine Fairport Convention coming even from the more salubrious parts of Greater Manchester, the equivalent suburbs to the Wimbledons and Muswell Hills from whence they actually came. as for such a band coming from Sheffield or Newcastle? utterly unthinkable, certainly in that generation, before the Industrial Revolution legacy crumbled and the new pick-and-mix rootlessness set in.)

robin carmody (robin carmody), Wednesday, 11 December 2002 21:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

and what would be the ULTIMATE anti-"Panic"?

a few contenders:

Wham!, "Bad Boys"

Bros, "When Will I Be Famous"

Happy Mondays, "Step On" (also Mancunian of course so probably the most obvious)

The Brotherhood, "Punk Funk"

Clipse, "Grindin'" (Westwood: "CHEETHAM HILL MASSIVE!!!")

robin carmody (robin carmody), Wednesday, 11 December 2002 21:34 (11 years ago) Permalink

God this was a good thread.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 12 December 2002 11:10 (11 years ago) Permalink

But it's still going, Doc!

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Thursday, 12 December 2002 12:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

No it's stopped now - Robin mentioned Fairport Convention ;)

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 12 December 2002 13:11 (11 years ago) Permalink


Cheers, Doc. Good stuff, Robin. I am touched to see people reviving old pinefox threads.

the pinefox, Thursday, 12 December 2002 14:40 (11 years ago) Permalink

I appreciate your joke, Doc. That does tend to happen, doesn't it :)? To be honest, though, my Fairport reference was more incidental than anything else: their cultural territory would have been closed off to an Old Labour purist like Morrissey. My mum is more of a socialist than I am, and grew up when old-school socialism still made cultural sense, but she's lived in places like Chipping Norton and Kidderminster, so she never went *that* way.

"Panic" is a *weird* record, isn't it? Bloody weird, to be honest. Bizarrely, its emotional extremity and call-to-arms reminds me now of Eminem's "Lose Yourself", but ***from the opposite starting point***. It's almost an anti-pop pop record, in that it's an explicit refusal of the cultural exchanges that were already, by 1986, forming 90% of the Top 40. In fact, it's probably the best possible candidate for Tom's "Berlin WHAT?" thread, not in terms of actual reference points per se, just the ethos that formed it.

I recently said (not on here IIRC) that Wham!'s "I'm Your Man" was to Thatcherism what something like Elgar's "Dream of Gerontius" was to romantic Toryism: the epitome of the ethos expressed in music. If pure Thatcherism said "fuck you, High Tories *and* puritan socialists" ... well, it was revulsion at hearing "I'm Your Man" in a thoroughly inappropriate context which inspired "Panic" in the first place, so I always imagine Prince Charles hearing Diana playing it and getting TOTALLY PISSED OFF (remember his expression when she dragged him along to see Michael Jackson at Wembley in 1988? something like that).

I'm waffling, aren't I? But "I'm Your Man" and "Panic" = the Thatcher and Scargill of pop, surely, the radical of the right and the desperate nostalgic dreamer of the left.

robin carmody (robin carmody), Thursday, 12 December 2002 15:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

Wow - classic OLD SKOOL ILM. It's like May 2001 all over again!!

Hey Pine! Are you going to the ILX Christmas thing?

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 12 December 2002 16:04 (11 years ago) Permalink

that's a high compliment, Doc.

God ... I loved that period of ILM, even if it went over certain heads :).

oh, and Gareth to thread!

robin carmody (robin carmody), Thursday, 12 December 2002 16:07 (11 years ago) Permalink

Doc - don't know about the xmas thing. May 2001: I can only chuckle.

Robin C: can't seem to remember what heads you mean - not that I expect you to mention them by name.

the pinefox, Thursday, 12 December 2002 16:54 (11 years ago) Permalink

of course not, Reynard - I'm far too polite for that :).

robin carmody (robin carmody), Thursday, 12 December 2002 18:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

8 months pass...
Snakes alive.

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 12 August 2003 20:10 (11 years ago) Permalink

dear lord!

nnnh oh oh nnnh nnnh oh (James Blount), Tuesday, 12 August 2003 20:15 (11 years ago) Permalink

GOD I LOVE THIS SERIES.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 12 August 2003 20:16 (11 years ago) Permalink

I thought I had already ordered this but it doesn't seem to be on my Amazon order page. Maybe I didn't go through with it.

Mary (Mary), Tuesday, 12 August 2003 23:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

I was hoping the link led to Smiths action figures.

s1utsky (slutsky), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 00:39 (11 years ago) Permalink

I just read back over the whole thread, very amazing stuff. So many interesting points it's hard to know where to begin. Forgive the length.

Mick Middles' book (yes, I know it's terrible) insists that when Morrissey & Marr started out, their plan was to become a songwriting team, not a band. Does anyone know if that's true?

This may be part mythology, but according to both "The Severed Alliance" and "The Songs that Saved Your Life" Marr went and knocked on Morrissey's door to introduce himself because he was fascinated with the Leiber/Stoller story/ethos (which mentor and later manager Joe Moss introduced him to) and wanted to carry on in that tradition. Of course there was a go-between, Stephen Pomfret, who had been in a band with Morrissey called the Nosebleeds, who was at first allotted a space in the new band and then dismissed once his work was provided. Marr was five years younger than Morrissey, so they traveled in slightly different circles, though they had met once before, at a (Buzzcocks?) concert. Morrissey was also very interested in the great songwriting tradition, Brill, and especially 60s girl groups, and at their meeting Marr was sure to play up his interest in that area also. Marr later disdained Morrissey's girl pop covers as the worst things they'd ever done though. I think the thought was that, if they couldn't make it as a band (because they couldn't find the right other members), they could at least write songs for others. This is evidenced in their frequent pleas/campaign to Sandie Shaw to let them write a song for her. But it didn't seem to go much further than that.

When I played a Smiths bootleg that I had just picked up, Gareth said, "The Smiths sound like they're all playing a different song at the same time." I had never thought of it that was, but given their background it makes sense. Marr had a dilettante background, tons of different influences, but had been most recently in a funk band with Rourke called Freak Party. And Joyce came from a punk band. These influences had to be stifled to an extent to please Morrissey. Toward the end, Marr was even fed up with their "jangly" ethos. At the time Marr was working in at X clothes shop and meeting a lot of people, creating a lot of opportunities for himself. His previous bands hadn't worked out so he set off to find himself a lead singer. Morrissey was sitting at home collecting unemployment and writing fanzine type books about The New York Dolls and James Dean. In progress were books about 60s girl groups and "Exit Smiling," a book about underrated Hollywood movie stars. These latter were shelved once the Smiths began. Apparently the songwriting process worked like this: Marr, and later his producers, would work out the tune, and then Morrissey would add music. But it wasn't that simple, if Morrissey wasn't pleased, he would ask for the melody/mood to be more like "this" and Marr was left guessing at and then striving for what would please Morrissey. One song, apparently, "Draize Train," Morrissey regarded so lightly that he could never make lyrics for it, so this was left as an instrumental. As others have mentioned above, Morrissey's very unusual phrasing would have the band revising the tune even more.

Morrissey was also apparently jealous of any of Marr's relationships outside of their own. This led to first manager and Marr friend Joe Moss leaving the group, and seemed to affect their management throughout. Morrissey didn't trust anyone in control of his business, nor was he comfortable executing the decisions himself, as much as he was making them. This left Marr in the unfortunate position of doing all of Morrissey's dirty work. Morrissey did seem to have a very crafty business head: the deal he worked with Rough Trade was 50/50 (with only himself and Marr as beneficiaries of course. He was also apparently stingy in paying his roadies. The only way Joe Moss got paid after he left was from Marr's pocket. The Smiths were virtually unmanageable, and this may explain their haphazard single/record releases. Though Rough Trade must have something to do with this also. Certain songs that should have been released as singles never were, or were too late, as "How Soon is Now," and tons of single were thrown out to the public, and then collected on a compilation to the hold the fans over until the next proper album. I don't know if this is common in the UK? This may have also reflected Morrissey/Marr's
reevaluation of the 45 as superior to the album and their belief in the themselves/desire to be foremost pop chartists. The band also had serious problems with their producers. Marr bonded heavily with John Porter, and the two of them got very into adding guitar upon guitar into the mix, which Morrissey wasn't very happy with. They were guitar geeks and spent tons of time in the studio messing around. Morrissey was a purist and wanted to tone down any technological influence, "Hand in Glove" was given it's clubby sound purely by distortion, a trick the band used to get around Morrissey's edicts. Morrissey preferred Stephen Street as a producer, who he later worked with at the beginning of his solo career, and I think Marr just learned how to be a producer himself to get around Morrissey's jealousy.

What I'm trying to get at is the all-consuming fear and loathing of women and heterosexual acts on that first record. Most explicit in "Pretty Girls Make Graves," but hinted in the squalid depiction of sexuality in "Miserable Lie" and pretty much all over the place

I think the loathing isn't specific to "heterosexual" acts, just sexual. The "Pretty Girls Make Graves" is another plundering--this time from Jack Kerouak's "Dharma Bums" and probably appropriated for its sense of futility and poetic drama rather than a specific misogyny. Morrissey was extremely "pro-feminist" as a youth -- he went to meet Patty Smith (through fanzine connections) wearing a button that said "Women's Liberation." He apparently also walked around Manchester with a button reading, "Lesbian Liberation," which could not have gone over well in those days. Morrissey was very influenced by the "Fourth Sex" regarding Jack Nichol's "Men's Liberation" as his Bible. Elizabeth Brownmiller's "Against Our Will" and similar pro-feminist books as Suzy mentioned above were also very influential. "He wanted to get beyond stereotypical male and female roles. I think "Miserable Lie" addresses the futility of relationships in general. The singer said a very interesting thing on the recent doc "Importance of Being Morrissey." This is just a paraphrase, but his interviewer asked him, "Would you ever consider living with somebody?" M.: "No, I can't imagine how that would even happen really." Interview: "Have you ever considered it?" M: "No, I don't think human beings are meant to live together. I don't think people get on really."

Side note: When Marr left the band, the Smiths asked Roddy Frame to replace him. He refused.

Mary (Mary), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 02:27 (11 years ago) Permalink

I was hoping the link led to Smiths action figures.

It is the next logical step.

Larcole (Nicole), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 02:36 (11 years ago) Permalink

Without looking, I knew that both the previous entries were by Mary and Larcole respectively (and they're both brilliant). :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 03:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
Just read this thread, really quite something, anyway there's a couple of question I would like to ask relating to the issues raised in this thread, there is talk of Morrissey and The Smith's "legacy". I was wondering how peoples view had changed taking into account his perhaps nostalgia based comeback and obviously Smiths / Moz indebted yet achingly conservative bands reclaiming the indie / NME world. There's a notion put forward here that provincial Britain as Moz understood no longer exists but these bands seem like a studied attempt to speak to / about provincial Britain in the way Moz did. Though The Libertines who I am thinking of her got derailed by their own myth pretty quickly without bring anything particularly interesting to the table. Whilst perhaps someone like The Streets does talk about provincial Britain in a way that doesn't reek of conservative nostalgia though of course it could be argued he is part of a very different tradition and a completely different vision of Britain. The lyrics of many You Are The Quarry songs suggest that Britain no longer exists for Morrissey as anything but memory and pastiche (Come Back To Camden, Irish Blood, English Heart)? But was it ever anything but that? This is reminding me of the thread on Bob Dylan if Dylan is the link between two eras is Morrissey a sort of link between two significantly different epochs of British cultural history, from mining to malls or something. From tin mines to Tescos? Corner shops to Co-Op?

elwisty (elwisty), Saturday, 19 February 2005 19:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
Perhaps the answers will be found here...

ailsa (ailsa), Monday, 28 March 2005 11:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

More info: http://www.mmu.ac.uk/news/news_item.php?id=251

JoB (JoB), Monday, 28 March 2005 11:34 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Yes, I'm THAT good."

(Actually, regular reader/sometime poster Melinda Mess-Injure is going to be presenting at this!)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 28 March 2005 12:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

3 years pass...

Yes they were a miracle.

I'm gonna have to kick your arses in a minute with Smiths talk. Just warning you.

Get Unbanned (Bimble), Saturday, 7 February 2009 20:37 (5 years ago) Permalink

"The death of a disco dancer
Well, it happens a lot 'round here
And if you think Peace
Is a common goal
That goes to show
How little you know

The death of a disco dancer
Well, I'd rather not get involved
I never talk to my neighbour
I'd rather not get involved "

Prescient, yes?

bidfurd, Sunday, 8 February 2009 20:45 (5 years ago) Permalink

Just read this thread, really quite something, anyway there's a couple of question I would like to ask relating to the issues raised in this thread, there is talk of Morrissey and The Smith's "legacy". I was wondering how peoples view had changed taking into account his perhaps nostalgia based comeback and obviously Smiths / Moz indebted yet achingly conservative bands reclaiming the indie / NME world. There's a notion put forward here that provincial Britain as Moz understood no longer exists but these bands seem like a studied attempt to speak to / about provincial Britain in the way Moz did. Though The Libertines who I am thinking of her got derailed by their own myth pretty quickly without bring anything particularly interesting to the table. Whilst perhaps someone like The Streets does talk about provincial Britain in a way that doesn't reek of conservative nostalgia though of course it could be argued he is part of a very different tradition and a completely different vision of Britain. The lyrics of many You Are The Quarry songs suggest that Britain no longer exists for Morrissey as anything but memory and pastiche (Come Back To Camden, Irish Blood, English Heart)? But was it ever anything but that? This is reminding me of the thread on Bob Dylan if Dylan is the link between two eras is Morrissey a sort of link between two significantly different epochs of British cultural history, from mining to malls or something. From tin mines to Tescos? Corner shops to Co-Op?
― elwisty (elwisty), Saturday, 19 February 2005 19:06 (3 years ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

^so glad this guy stopped posting

Limoncello Carlin (The stickman from the hilarious "xkcd" comics), Sunday, 8 February 2009 21:05 (5 years ago) Permalink

elwisty a villa fan by any chance?

Henry Frog (Frogman Henry), Sunday, 8 February 2009 21:06 (5 years ago) Permalink

It's the other one, but I get them confused all the time as well tbh.

Limoncello Carlin (The stickman from the hilarious "xkcd" comics), Sunday, 8 February 2009 21:11 (5 years ago) Permalink

the miracle of this thread. best ilm thread ever?

alex in mainhattan, Sunday, 8 February 2009 21:41 (5 years ago) Permalink

One of those great old threads where I look through it years later hoping, "Man, I hope I didn't say something really stupid during this terrific discussion." And I didn't say anything at all, thankfully.

Mark, Sunday, 8 February 2009 22:04 (5 years ago) Permalink

TBH I only recently started watching footage of early Smiths concerts. It is kind of incredible that this man was a pop star:

Not even like charmingly Michael Stipe-ish geekiness.

Sundar, Sunday, 8 February 2009 22:09 (5 years ago) Permalink

(Like, speaking as someone who's pretty awkward and unco-ordinated but harbours no ambitions to pop stardom.)

Sundar, Sunday, 8 February 2009 22:13 (5 years ago) Permalink

Just academic stardom.

the pinefox, Monday, 9 February 2009 13:04 (5 years ago) Permalink

This thread was also amazingly self-renewing -- it had Nabisco, Dr C and Carmody writing great screeds early on, but years later the marvellous Mary could still pop up and write an even bigger one.

the pinefox, Monday, 9 February 2009 13:09 (5 years ago) Permalink

I think elwisty got the return and ? keys on his computer confused.

Ozman Bin Laden (Raw Patrick), Monday, 9 February 2009 13:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

lol aspergers

special guest stars mark bronson, Monday, 9 February 2009 13:33 (5 years ago) Permalink

lol you're a dick

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 10 February 2009 00:11 (5 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

Heads up -- from the folks who brought you the New Order/Joy Division Recycle blog:

http://smithsrecycle.blogspot.com/

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 14:29 (4 years ago) Permalink

:D

tylerw, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 15:10 (4 years ago) Permalink

Thanks, Ned.

Un peu d'Eire, ça fait toujours Dublin (Michael White), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 15:46 (4 years ago) Permalink

kewl

peacocks, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 16:19 (4 years ago) Permalink

Bookmarked!

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 18:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

Stoked for this.

more lunacy and witchcraft! (kkvgz), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 18:22 (4 years ago) Permalink

Hope some fans pick up the idea and do this for The Cure too.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 18:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

I know it's in bad taste to go "OMG this thread is so good!!!"

But yeah, OMG this thread is so good!!!

FRESH MEAT (MFB), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 19:44 (4 years ago) Permalink

It is good! (today's stinking it up a bit, though)

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:03 (4 years ago) Permalink

Aw.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:07 (4 years ago) Permalink

it was my emoticon, wasn't it ... :(

tylerw, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:08 (4 years ago) Permalink

Still no Smiths action figures...

Born too beguiled (DavidM), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

Sorry Ned, now I feel bad.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:21 (4 years ago) Permalink


shit just got real

reallysmoothmusic (Jamie_ATP), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:56 (4 years ago) Permalink

actually wait a second, what is andy cairns from therapy and that guy from sum 41 doing in mozza's band?

reallysmoothmusic (Jamie_ATP), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

nooooooooooooo

seger ros (crüt), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 21:00 (4 years ago) Permalink

you know I looked at the name of that URL and still I thought it was going to be of action figures

people are for loving (HI DERE), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 21:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

As for "having a car with *'only'* a tape deck"... jeez. That's what I call living in the World's Only Remaining Superpower.

I still think of this post, often, when driving

Teddybears.SHTML (sic), Wednesday, 11 August 2010 00:07 (4 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

in case you missed this:

Search and Destroy : New Order

Bee OK, Friday, 27 August 2010 04:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

umm, i missed it, but that is one of the most amazing album covers i've ever seen. please let that be real.

a dystopian society awaits if we continue on this path. (contenderizer), Friday, 27 August 2010 04:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

To re-revive:

http://smithsrecycle.blogspot.com/2010/10/updatey-ness.html

Ned Raggett, Friday, 29 October 2010 14:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

Don't like the sound of Wnr Br0$ shutting their blog down. Surely they'd have bigger fish to fry.. ah well let's hope so.

Meanwhile there's a brilliant How To Buy The Smiths article right at the back of MOJO December issue which just came out in the uk. It goes for Hatful.. as the best album, as voted for by writers and members of MOJO forum. I concur!

piscesx, Saturday, 30 October 2010 10:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

Heads up, folks. It's started:

http://smithsrecycle.blogspot.com/2010/10/etaatb-01-rt131-hand-in-glove.html

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 31 October 2010 12:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

didn't really 'get' the smiths until recently - this will be a good way back in. cheers!

dayo, Sunday, 31 October 2010 12:37 (3 years ago) Permalink

i can see just from the first blog post that i'll be learning a few things here. and there was me fancying myself as some kind of Smiths expert!
what was Brixton Ace i wonder? never heard of it before.

piscesx, Sunday, 31 October 2010 19:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

this is going to be fun, those cover scans are incredible.

ILB's biggest fanboy for the SF Giants (Bee OK), Monday, 1 November 2010 01:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

update!

piscesx, Monday, 1 November 2010 02:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

well i didn't think it possible to make the smiths interesting in 2010, but here we are

Sniiiiip! (electricsound), Monday, 1 November 2010 02:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

hand in glove was amazing, thanks for posting the updates about this...would have had no idea.

skip, Monday, 1 November 2010 03:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

shocked by how excited I am for this

Mark, Monday, 1 November 2010 03:30 (3 years ago) Permalink

had no idea about a planned RATF single. Jeane was always a brilliant song. one of the few lesser known B sides thanks to it's exclusion from the 80's era compilations.

piscesx, Monday, 1 November 2010 04:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

I like how dismissive the post is about morrissey

dayo, Monday, 1 November 2010 04:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah I find it weird that someone could be a smiths fanboy w/o being a morrissey fanboy, at least on some level

iatee, Monday, 1 November 2010 05:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

Not really -- I've encountered enough people over time who are very explicitly all about Marr and the music above all else, and who really don't bother with Morrissey solo much. They're a smaller and much less visible group of Smiths fans than the expected norm, but they're there.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 1 November 2010 05:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

well I can understanding not liking his solo career - I personally don't like much beyond the singles - but his persona and lyrics are such a major part of 'the miracle of the smiths'...

iatee, Monday, 1 November 2010 05:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

but yeah, people are weird

iatee, Monday, 1 November 2010 05:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

morrissey as a person does my head in to be honest. that night he flounced offstage last year in Liverpool after 1 song was the last straw for me. The Smiths are still my fave band of the 80s by some distance but his solo career could make a good 6 track mini album at best imho.

piscesx, Monday, 1 November 2010 05:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

Morrissey has evolved an not always in ways I have found satisfying as I, too, have evolved. He has a couple of singles I like but The Smiths was the great musical love of my adolescence and that doesn't mean I have to keep following now. Ned, I love Marr but the last time he was in town fronting his forgettable band, I actually yawned and ended up leaving.

A Reclaimer Hewn With (Michael White), Monday, 1 November 2010 16:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

Haha believe me, I couldn't even muster that level of interest for Marr solo.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 1 November 2010 16:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

one time an old band i was in did a bunch of smiths covers for a cover band contest.

was really interesting learning their material....gave us such an appreciation for them as musicians...marr's parts are incredibly odd and difficult to learn, such a personal style of playing guitar (and frankly or guitarist had to just get it "close" esp on the more picky stuff)...

another thing that really sticks out when you sit down and learn the parts is how amazing rourke and joyce are as a rhythm section....rourke's bass lines are so melodic and invenetive, even if he's not really "showy" in a classic musicianly way....

another weird thing, is that sometimes the parts weren't the "right" number of measures...like in general in rock it will be okay well four bars of this, then sixteen bars of that, then eight bars of the chorus, etc etc...def EVEN numbers

sometimes with the smiths it would be well four bars, then eight, then FIVE, then twelve or something...it was usually apparent that they were conforming the songwriting to whatever lyrics morrissey had and not vice versa...

underrated joe perry project albums i have sold (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 1 November 2010 16:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

My favourite memory was Andy Rourke's remark on Marr singing a melody line along with Morrissey during a session, saying they sounded like Peters and Lee.

(check the harmonies on Electronic's "Get the message")

Mark G, Monday, 1 November 2010 16:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

ah, this stuff sounds great thus far ... deep smiths immersion begins NOW.

tylerw, Monday, 1 November 2010 16:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

Why I am still so geeked to hear this? I should have grown out of this by now.

romoing my damn eyes (Nicole), Monday, 1 November 2010 16:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

drums sound way bigger on this reel around the fountain.

underrated joe perry project albums i have sold (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 1 November 2010 17:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

what was Brixton Ace i wonder? never heard of it before.

I think it's the Fridge now.

a fucking stove just fell on my foot. (Colonel Poo), Monday, 1 November 2010 17:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah, all those troy tate mixes are pretty sweet.

tylerw, Monday, 1 November 2010 17:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

Cannot wait to get home tonight to dl these! Figures that the week I quit obsessively checking the blog every day it would finally launch.

"I am a fairly respected poster." (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 1 November 2010 18:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

never heard the Tate bootleg sound so good as on Accept Yourself here.

piscesx, Monday, 1 November 2010 18:37 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah i actually compared my copy of the tate sessions to the tracks they've posted and it's a huge improvement.

tylerw, Monday, 1 November 2010 18:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

Figures that the week I quit obsessively checking the blog every day it would finally launch.

In 2010 people aren't using RSS feeds?

Google Reader please.

Badmotorfinger Debate Club (MFB), Tuesday, 2 November 2010 00:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

this is from an eno interview i read yesterday...don't know if it had been suggested prior or whether 'pop in 85' really did mean 'them, the smiths', automatically

...What do you think of modern pop music?

I rather like them, The Smiths. I think they're a good band. I think Morrissey is an extraordinarily arrogant person, especially considering that he's probably the most successful tone-deaf singer the world has ever knows. But that being said, I like his singing quite a lot, and I like their records. I could live without some of his studied miserableness, I suppose.

But I don't listen to records much.

Terminal Boredoms (nakhchivan), Tuesday, 2 November 2010 00:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah i actually compared my copy of the tate sessions to the tracks they've posted and it's a huge improvement.

These all sound so much better than the Tate sessions I already had...they're almost unbelievably good.

romoing my damn eyes (Nicole), Tuesday, 2 November 2010 02:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

The most thorough examination of all the various different Tate sessions/ demos i've come across is here. I'm glad somebody went to the trouble of working all this out.
http://tinyurl.com/322arwp

piscesx, Tuesday, 2 November 2010 04:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

This isn't being updated fast enough!
;)

Can you keep up? (Cheetah), Tuesday, 2 November 2010 23:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

I agree. I thought the concern was with it being taken down quickly. Bizarre to post two in a row then nothing for going on 2 days.

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 3 November 2010 00:30 (3 years ago) Permalink

really enjoying the first two singles. finally had a chance to listen to them both in full. hope they end up releasing all of the Troy Tate sessions with this fantastic mastering. Sounds great.

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 3 November 2010 03:37 (3 years ago) Permalink

Oh my, two days, lawdy.

Mark G, Wednesday, 3 November 2010 09:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

The gap between my general indifference towards the Smiths and my love for "Panic" is huge. I actually find "Panic" weirdly moving. Not for any specific sentiment expressed. It's more like being moved by somebody making a perfect, once-in-a-lifetime statement in a two-minute song.

clemenza, Wednesday, 3 November 2010 13:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

panic is music that says something about me and my life. i don't know what though.

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 3 November 2010 17:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

In 2010 people aren't using RSS feeds?

Google Reader please.

Haha, I do use this, but for some reason I've had trouble with blogs I've added in the last 6 months not updating. Think I've fixed it now though.

"I am a fairly respected poster." (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 3 November 2010 17:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

.. throw me a frickin bone here

piscesx, Saturday, 6 November 2010 03:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

was hoping for an update this weekend. not all the interesting in This Charming Man but they may have something interesting. Really interested in Barbarism.

brotherlovesdub, Saturday, 6 November 2010 04:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

It'll be Charming, plus all the remixes...

(there's been a few unreleased ones)

Mark G, Saturday, 6 November 2010 16:37 (3 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

well in the meantime..

piscesx, Tuesday, 30 November 2010 06:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

morrissey is the str8est looking dude in that freezeframe

i'm assuming that it's tity boi, host of the mixtape (sic), Tuesday, 30 November 2010 06:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

A miracle!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 8 December 2010 17:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

british parliament looks like an amazing thing

steendriver DUMB BIG, his HOOS got HOOS (dayo), Wednesday, 8 December 2010 23:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

OTM

EveningStar (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 December 2010 00:43 (3 years ago) Permalink

just turned up on emusic. was their full discography on itunes before? in any event, it appears to be now. if it's new on itunes, also, that's -- to me -- 100X more significant than the beatles arriving on itunes.

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 17 December 2010 22:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

http://smithsrecycle.blogspot.com/

Update of sorts.

piscesx, Monday, 20 December 2010 16:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

That thing that that update is about is a real revelation.

Badmotorfinger Debate Club (MFB), Tuesday, 21 December 2010 13:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

about this Smiths Recycle site: I've downloaded the first two sets of songs. Nice to have one or two things I didn't have digitally - a Troy Tate track, 'hand in glove' live. But not sure I yet get the point of it as a whole. The main 'hand in glove' for instance seems the same as the one on Louder Than Bombs.

can anyone enlighten?

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 10:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

It's supposed to be "Superiorly mastered" versions of the singles' main tracks, from best sources. Plus bonus tracks as apposite.

Mark G, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 10:30 (3 years ago) Permalink

wow, that new update.. never thought we'd ever get to hear Heavy Track and the early run through of There Is A Light.. and suchlike. been waiting for these to leak since i first read Simon Goddard's book in 2002.

piscesx, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 13:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

Well, that's a matter of opinion.

Mark G, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 13:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

pretty sure it's a statement.

Stay J0rdan Fresh (sic), Wednesday, 22 December 2010 13:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

...easily the most mind-blowing was the discovery of a never-before-mentioned Morrissey/Marr song from 1982 called A Matter Of Opinion.

"Musically, it's very much in the same R 'n' B vein as What Difference Does It Make? while the lyrics are typical Morrissey and quite cynical."

It's not yet known whether the track will be released.
---
Update: 05/25 00:48 GMT: An anonymous person adds details from the print NME:
...while the lyrics are typical Morrissey and quite cynical. The opening line is - "Sit by the fire with your books and pretend that you're active"

But they never played it live and there's just the one copy on a rehearsal tape. It's been kept quiet for nearly 20 years so from a fan's perspective this is sensational news."

...Simon Goddard's The Smiths - Songs That Saved Your Life will be published in November by Reynolds & Hearn
---

Mark G, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 13:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

i dunno what's more baffling; these unreleased tracks not leaking years back or Marr and Mozza not putting a proper box set out sooner that had them all on.
either way it's amazing to have them out at last.

piscesx, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 14:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

Selling the music to a major label that's unbothered about legacy editions until US Rock radio do a legacy retrospective, can do that.

Mark G, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 14:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

i dunno what's more baffling; these unreleased tracks not leaking years back or Marr and Mozza not putting a proper box set out sooner that had them all on.
either way it's amazing to have them out at last.

I agree.

THX THO... (Nicole), Wednesday, 22 December 2010 14:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

i'm ecstatic with this version of the queen is dead, which i always wanted to be longer than it is.

can anyone explain me

"and so i broke into the palace
with a sponge and a rusty spanner"

why those two things?

jed_, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 14:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

spanner: clobber her over the head, sponge: to wipe up after. also because spanner reminds with 'piana'.

piscesx, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 14:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

of course!

i was in London a few months back and i saw Morrissey on Brompton Road. my head was swimming with shock for about five minutes afterwards.

jed_, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 14:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

*rhymes with.

heck this new Smiths bootleg excitement has played havoc with my spelling.

piscesx, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 14:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

does anyone need/want to hear the francois kervorkian remixes of "this charming man"? i have them here. vocal and dub.

jed_, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 14:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

"i broke into the palace with a sponge and a rusty spanner" is a reference to Michael Fagan whose encounter with the Queen was notable for its mundane elements.

fit and working again, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 17:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

From the sources i've read Sony are totally into getting the rare stuff out there, its Morrissey/Marr who can't get their acts together.

reallysmoothmusic (Jamie_ATP), Wednesday, 22 December 2010 17:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

I wrote to Johnny Rogan in 1992 and asked him about that verse.

He replied, in a fairly long handwritten letter, that the sponge and spanner were, he supposed, emblems of the proletariat.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

I just hear it as two pathetic items with which to attempt a break-in. Whimsy. pathos and a nice turn of phrase seemed enough.

Alba, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 22:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

A great big LOLWUT at the sitar on Sheila Take a Bow.

THX THO... (Nicole), Thursday, 23 December 2010 07:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah amazingly incongruous! kinda like it though.

best bits of the nu boot IMHO: the proper This Night Has Opened My Eyes and There Is A Light.. with new words! already a lot of Smiths types seem to be saying they *prefer* it to the original. strange to hear the american-ised "because i wanna see people and i wanna see life" instead of the traditional 'wanT To'.

can't quite see the fuss over the reggae-fied Girlfriend In A Coma mind.

piscesx, Thursday, 23 December 2010 08:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

I thought the sponge was to deaden the sound of the spanner hitting the Queen's skull...

Mark G, Thursday, 23 December 2010 09:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

A potted history of the end of The Smiths:

Marr: Let's try a sitar on Sheila Take a Bow
Morrissey: Let's do a Cilla Black cover

Exeunt

Alba, Thursday, 23 December 2010 09:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

Interesting: Janice Whaley covers the complete Smiths discography, 71 tracks, with only her voice (and ProTools) : http://janice.bandcamp.com/

StanM, Friday, 24 December 2010 16:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

These unreleased versions are not so mind-blowing imo. There's nothing here better than the released version, except probably 'This Night Has Opened My Eyes' which sounds nice and clean, and possibly 'Frankly Mr Shankly' whose trumpet line is very pleasing. 'Death of A Disco Dancer' might be quite engaging too but I need to give it a while to bed in. Otherwise Morrissey's an erratic enough vocalist that the alternate takes make for an interesting listen, but there isn't really much new here.

Mostly I was left marvelling at how surprisingly flabby their early stuff could be - 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle' meanders forever, and 'Reel Around The Fountain' has no business being six minutes long. I'm sure they run through 'Rusholme Ruffians' twice.

The two new instrumentals are terrific though, great to hear the band heads-down and going at it. And 'Heavy Track' keeps up a proud tradition whereby every indie track that's ever been described as 'like Led Zeppelin' in no way sounds like Led Zeppelin.

Ismael Klata, Friday, 24 December 2010 18:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

I love the disgusted growl of JM's guitar on Paint a Vulgar Picture.

Alba, Friday, 24 December 2010 18:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

'Reel Around The Fountain' has no business being six minutes long

using the 'repeat' button on my old Technics CD player, I made this song 600 minutes long

I am a man and I use the typewriter method (rip van wanko), Friday, 24 December 2010 23:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

That's more like it.

Alba, Saturday, 25 December 2010 00:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

updated!

EZ Snappin, Monday, 27 December 2010 15:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

In re the recent bootleg -- the Smiths Recycle folks gave it the treatment, and got it in stereo:

http://thepowerofindependenttrucking.blogspot.com/2011/01/mastered-smiths-stereo-demos-outtakes.html

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 13 January 2011 05:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

http://smithsrecycle.blogspot.com/

There's been a few updates of late.

piscesx, Saturday, 12 February 2011 06:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" posted last weekend.

skip, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 18:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

Going back a bit, I think Rollins hated the Smiths b/c he didn't want to admit to himself that they really did ROCK pretty damn hard. ANy decent live recording of "Queen is Dead" will bear that out

Franklin_The_Turtle, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 19:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

and i like the smiths btw

Damn this thread seems so....different without ilxor (ilxor), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 20:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

The Miracle of the Smiths: The Indie Tribute Album to the Smiths - ft. Belle & Sebastian, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Jens Lekman, the Magnetic Fields, Andrew Bird, of Montreal, Bon Iver & many more!

Damn this thread seems so....different without ilxor (ilxor), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 20:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

like, can't you just picture that shit??? (sorry lol)

Damn this thread seems so....different without ilxor (ilxor), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 20:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

Ease up on the caffeine.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 20:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

More like The Miracle of Morrissey's Continued Popularity.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 20:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

Ease up on the caffeine.

had a double iced coffee w/ extra espresso shot this morn :(

Damn this thread seems so....different without ilxor (ilxor), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 20:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'm quite grateful for this effort, as well as the Joy Division one, but honestly my ears can't hear any sonic improvement. The really rare live/alt versions are fun but not critical. Still, it's a good excuse to listen to it all again.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 20:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

"William" up, look look it's the italian how soon!!

Mark G, Thursday, 10 March 2011 16:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

I do hear some improvements in the introductions. Once the full band gets going there isn't much difference though.

skip, Thursday, 10 March 2011 16:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
3 months pass...

http://smithsrecycle.blogspot.com/

lots of new updates and such.

piscesx, Monday, 25 July 2011 05:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

Did something get removed? Those last two posts are a month old.

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 25 July 2011 06:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

they weren't published when i checked the site a week or two ago..

Who? Well, I've never heard of Mogwai. (electricsound), Monday, 25 July 2011 06:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

I think pisces was just bumping bcz it's been four months since anyone noted new posts. I have seen those posts before.

Booger T. Jones (sic), Monday, 25 July 2011 06:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

Anybody going to fork out for the Rhino box set of remastered albums and singles?

http://pitchfork.com/news/43343-massive-smiths-box-set-on-the-way/

Beating up the Ritz (DavidM), Thursday, 28 July 2011 23:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

if they're the same remasters as the recycle ones then i'd consider it, otherwise no way

Who? Well, I've never heard of Mogwai. (electricsound), Thursday, 28 July 2011 23:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

reissue repackage repackage...

koogs, Friday, 29 July 2011 09:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

hoping they please the press in Belgium too.

Neil S, Friday, 29 July 2011 09:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...
3 weeks pass...

did they stop updating the blog in light of the official remasters coming out?

http://smithsrecycle.blogspot.com/

piscesx, Monday, 12 September 2011 16:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

Comments in the last post say no.

challopian rubes (sic), Monday, 12 September 2011 21:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

j marr on the radio just this very minute talking about the remasters. they've gone back to the master tapes and redone them (some needed baking but apparently they sound good). he also made it obvious he's not a fan of the loudness war and there won't be any of that.

sounds promising.

koogs, Wednesday, 28 September 2011 13:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

Let's just hope the rest of the key members involved aren't fans of the loudness war either. Sadly Morrissey will probably someone crank everything to the red just out of spite.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Wednesday, 28 September 2011 19:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

Morrissey is not involved in the remasters at all.

Badmotorfinger Debate Club (MFB), Wednesday, 28 September 2011 19:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

Didn't figure he would be, and thank god, was just being silly.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Wednesday, 28 September 2011 19:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

Is marr actually doing the remasters or just overseeing it? Because him actually doing them make me nervous

the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 28 September 2011 19:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

says that he "supervised" the remastering, so he's probably got a team of pros handling it.
Marr said of the reissues, which will be released on both CD and 12" vinyl, "I'm very happy that the remastered versions of The Smiths albums are finally coming out. I wanted to get them sounding right and remove any processing so that they now sound as they did when they were originally made. I'm pleased with the results."

tylerw, Wednesday, 28 September 2011 20:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

My hearing just isn't good enough to benefit from the improved sound. And how silly is it that they're including "Louder Than Bombs" AND "World Won't Listen"?? So much overlap. Why not include a new disc of stuff that HASN'T been compiled?

Extra track and a tacky badge, indeed.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 28 September 2011 20:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah that is odd. the smiths recycle thing has been fun for all the random edits/remixes/alternates. some of them are not the most amazing thing musically, but they're cool to hear.

tylerw, Wednesday, 28 September 2011 20:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

only realised last night that these are already out (and reasonable at £30 for 8 cds). no pigs over battersea for the smiths reissues...

koogs, Thursday, 29 September 2011 06:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

on Spotify too (all 106 tracks!).

piscesx, Thursday, 29 September 2011 07:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

Really? Where? I couldn't find it.

Pollabo Bryson (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 29 September 2011 18:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

Assuming that was a put-on

Pollabo Bryson (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 29 September 2011 18:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

Shakespears Sister posted to smithsrecycle

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 29 September 2011 19:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

a put-on? heavens no! Smiths Complete box right here (only available in UK maybe?)
http://open.spotify.com/album/30g571JKoxs8AnsgAViV2J

interestingly that's the whole 106 track super collector box too, not just the 8 album CD set, because Jeane is on there. although Wonderful Woman isn't. hm. anyway it's gratis.

piscesx, Thursday, 29 September 2011 20:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

looks like it's UK only boooooo

tylerw, Thursday, 29 September 2011 20:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

first post: Never thought about Alan Bennett and Moz being kindred. (I mostly know A.B. from a handful of his films and TV plays.)

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 29 September 2011 20:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

The Smiths box drops in mid-October in the states.

The Man With The Flavored Toothpick (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 29 September 2011 20:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

brilliant pics here: http://www.superdeluxeedition.com/picture-gallery/exclusive-the-smiths-complete-box-set-the-first-pictures/
never seen such attention to detail on a remasters set; the multi-format box version going so far as to reproduce the original sleeve stickers that came on the initial pressings:

even the steve hoffman forum has given them a thumbs up. shame there's no 'extras' and some of the B sides are missing but hey.

piscesx, Saturday, 1 October 2011 18:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

i don't understand the basis for the new smiths box-set. hasn't every shred of their material been released; is there any real reason for a new box-set?

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 1 October 2011 18:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

Really? Oh. It's for money. They are releasing a box set to make money.

chromecassettes, Saturday, 1 October 2011 18:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'm happy they're doing it because the cds sound like ass when compared to original vinyl.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 1 October 2011 18:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

...whilst they still can. everything will be 0s and 1s in the cloud soon.

have just ordered the cds. 3rd time for some of them (and the last).

koogs, Saturday, 1 October 2011 18:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

no different to The Beatles set really. the same in fact; shitty quality 80s CDs weren't cutting it any more. the CD box set is only £30 too, which for a fancy package of 8 CDs seems very reasonable indeed.

piscesx, Saturday, 1 October 2011 19:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

a put-on? heavens no! Smiths Complete box right here (only available in UK maybe?)
Yeah, most of it is grayed out over here except "Jeane" and a few others.

So. Central Mayne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 October 2011 19:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

it's a right pain in the arse this whole US/UK Spotify divide hoo ha.

piscesx, Saturday, 1 October 2011 20:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

Really? Oh. It's for money. They are releasing a box set to make money.

wow, you don't say? people do things for money. that's a fucking brilliant notion.

I'm happy they're doing it because the cds sound like ass when compared to original vinyl.

this makes sense. as much as i loved the smiths, tho, i can't imagine wanting the new set (unless there's worthwhile unreleased material on it).

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 1 October 2011 21:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

wow, you don't say? people do things for money. that's a fucking brilliant notion.
You asked.

chromecassettes, Saturday, 1 October 2011 21:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

piscesx, Sunday, 2 October 2011 02:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

the packaging them together is a bit of a cheek, i think, especially with World Won't Listen and Louder Than Bombs. but at £30 i will excuse them

(new this mortal coil box containing 4cds is £106...)

koogs, Sunday, 2 October 2011 15:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

(might be able to sort you out a copy of that Mortal Coil box if you'd like it, koogs)

Stevie T, Sunday, 2 October 2011 16:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

(i'd like to see one, see what the fuss is about, but i don't feel the need to actually own a copy, thanks stevie. besides, i still have half those mary chain and all these smiths reissues to get through...)

koogs, Sunday, 2 October 2011 17:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

The This Mortal Coil box is amazing. Been delayed for more than a year because of Ivo's insane attention to detail, I was told. All the CDs are facsimilies of those Japanese CDs that are themselves facsimiles of the original album sleeves and inner sleeves, down to the stupidly heavy card. All have those Japanese language slips round each individual sleeve.

On listening to the Smiths reissues, I didn't in all honesty hear the evidence for the claims that some reviewers made about the difference from the original records.

Viva Brother Beyond (ithappens), Sunday, 2 October 2011 19:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

Johnny Marr sings "What difference does it make" now.

Mark G, Monday, 3 October 2011 08:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

they arrived. nicely packaged, tiny recreations of the sleeves (and stickers). (what looks like the back of the box on the amazon pictures is just stuck on with a couple of sticky labels but is easily removed.)

but they are louder and more trebly. i'm not sure i like that. (ok, have only listened to Hatful so far, and only then on the laptop)

koogs, Wednesday, 5 October 2011 19:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

what does that picture tell you?

the pinefox, Thursday, 6 October 2011 23:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

btw I didn't really know you liked the Smiths.

the pinefox, Thursday, 6 October 2011 23:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

it tells me that they're louder but it doesn't look brickwalled at all really imo. rhino vinyl released tQiD a awhile back and it sounds sublime

epigram addict (outdoor_miner), Friday, 7 October 2011 00:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

well these sound amazing. warmer, more treble definitely; best remasters since The Beatles.

piscesx, Sunday, 9 October 2011 23:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'll be happily surprised if they come close to the recently released Pink Floyd remasters. I think those are on par with (or maybe even slightly better than) The Beatles reissues.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 10 October 2011 00:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

which ones EZ? the 'immersion' Dark Side tracks i've heard sound fantastic.

piscesx, Monday, 10 October 2011 00:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

I bought the remasters of Dark Side, Animals and Meddle and they are all amazing. I've heard the same about the clarity and dynamism of The Wall and Wish You Were Here. I'd love to hear the Immersion set but I don't have that kind of cash.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 10 October 2011 01:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

Oh, am I on the Pink Floyd thread?

No I Am Not.

Mark G, Monday, 10 October 2011 09:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

I think I'm going to have to wait for Christmas for these, but I'm excited.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 10 October 2011 13:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

Mike Joyce playing 2 hours of Smiths songs:
http://www.eastvillageradio.com/content/content.php?id=2257

john. a resident of chicago., Thursday, 13 October 2011 17:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

thanks for the link. listening now. his commentary is great.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 13 October 2011 18:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

It's here:

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011

Alba, Friday, 11 November 2011 13:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

404 not found on that link, somehow

koogs, Friday, 11 November 2011 13:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

That has got to be the best advert I have ever seen!...will stay with me for a long time. Very well done J.L

PATROLMAN2056 1 hour ago 7 thumbs up

DavidM, Friday, 11 November 2011 18:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Holy crap! That melted my Grinchy heart!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 11 November 2011 19:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

I totally thought he was getting the Smiths box set.

Fastnbulbous, Friday, 11 November 2011 21:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ha. Me too.

Miss Piggy and Frodo in Hull (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 11 November 2011 21:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

ugh

jed_, Friday, 11 November 2011 23:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

bad

conrad, Friday, 11 November 2011 23:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

would be so much better if it was the original. fuck you sensitive female slow cover version women.

but still, the enjoyment of angry indies being annoyed about this keeps on giving.

Jamie_ATP, Friday, 11 November 2011 23:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

The horrible plinky cover version is the least of its crimes. I could even stand the shitty payoff, but the way it channels some kind of ghastly pastiche of every twee/innocent/nu-indie/mumblecore/shane meadows advert conceit into 90 creatively bereft seconds brakes my hart. Fuck's sake grossly overpaid ad agency, just *try* to do something original.

that mustardless plate (Bill A), Saturday, 12 November 2011 00:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm seriously surprised there haven't been any adverts with slow females covering anything from 69 love songs yet

Jamie_ATP, Saturday, 12 November 2011 00:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

How long will it be before The Smiths become sufficiently retro and neutral that it would be OK for a firm like John Lewis to use the original in an ad? The people I know who do most of their Christmas shopping there (i.e. my mum and the like) still hate Morrissey: "Eh, I know you and you cannot sing" etc.

Still surprised that Morrissey/Marr agreed to this (and the This Charming Man intro earlier this year). Don't think they've ever explicitly said they wouldn't let their music be in ads, but I always thought that was implied. At the very least I would've expected Morrissey in his weird way to say no because JL sell leather coats/sofas and Waitrose sell meat.

Eyeball Kicks, Saturday, 12 November 2011 00:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

Not understanding the hate here, maybe it's a UK thing where Morrissey's been overexposed. I quite liked that cover.

And, hey, Marr's gotta eat, given the blazing unsuccess of his solo album.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh i think he's probably doing alright

jed_, Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

how can you believe that, he's only been a full-time touring-and-recording member of three or four internationally successful bands since that solo album

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Saturday, 12 November 2011 05:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Marr might not be the draw he was 20 years ago but I'm sure he's living comfortably enough. As for Mike Joyce...

The multi-talented F.R. David (Billy Dods), Saturday, 12 November 2011 10:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

Morrissey has apparently been bankrupt for the last four years so presumably needs the money. Also has to finance a daft libel action, atm, and they can get expensive.

Mohombi Khush Hua (ShariVari), Saturday, 12 November 2011 11:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

Morrissey has apparently been bankrupt for the last four years

I think that's just in respect to his songwriting...

Mark G, Monday, 14 November 2011 10:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

Didn’t cry at the advert.

The visuals are OK but the song doesn’t sit comfortably alongside them (since it’s not about Christmas or consumerism) and enough please-hit-me wispy cover versions please. Apparently John Lewis are planning a whole album of this muck for the season.

The ad would have been much better if Morrissey and Marr had turned up at the end as Santa and his helper. You decide who would play whom.

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Monday, 14 November 2011 10:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

singing "You just haven't earned it yet, Baby!"

Mark G, Monday, 14 November 2011 10:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

"How Soon Is Noël"

R. Stornoway (Tom D.), Monday, 14 November 2011 11:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

"I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"

... we've all experienced that at Xmas dinner, eh?

R. Stornoway (Tom D.), Monday, 14 November 2011 11:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Still Ill"

... Boxingdayamirite?

R. Stornoway (Tom D.), Monday, 14 November 2011 11:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Pretty Girls Make Gravies"

Tim, Monday, 14 November 2011 11:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

"How Soon is Now" was used on a jeans advert YEARS ago, iirc

bham, Monday, 14 November 2011 11:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, and come-on you remember "This Charming Man" soundtracking some indie lad making a mixtape, for some product I forget.

Mark G, Monday, 14 November 2011 11:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

Was that not John Lewis as well?

ailsa, Monday, 14 November 2011 11:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

prob.

Mark G, Monday, 14 November 2011 12:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

yes, this one

koogs, Monday, 14 November 2011 12:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

xxxxpost "Paint a Vulgar Picture" (You could've said no if you'd wanted to...)

Daniel Giraffe, Monday, 14 November 2011 12:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

shoplifters of the world unite.

jed_, Monday, 14 November 2011 13:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Hang the tinsel, hang the tinsel/Hang the tinsel, hang the tinsel/Hang the tinsel hang the tinsel hang the tinsel" etc.

Race Against Rockism (Myonga Vön Bontee), Tuesday, 15 November 2011 18:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

"There have been better bands than the Smiths"

outrageous.

OUTRAGEOUS

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 18 November 2011 12:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

" There have been better bands than the Smiths, but there has never been a more perfect band, in the sense of having a distinct, deliberate, powerful aesthetic shaped by the tensions of collaboration, combined with the ability to articulate that aesthetic."

Context, dude!

Mark G, Friday, 18 November 2011 12:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

hm. can't get past outrageousness of the first part.

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 18 November 2011 12:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Hang the tinsel, hang the tinsel/Hang the tinsel, hang the tinsel/Hang the tinsel hang the tinsel hang the tinsel" etc.

― Race Against Rockism (Myonga Vön Bontee), Tuesday, November 15, 2011 6:31 PM (3 days ago)

^ May never get this out of my head.

john. a resident of chicago., Friday, 18 November 2011 13:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

That's a really good review by Douglas Wolk. I've always liked his reviews of James Brown's singles volumes for P4k and his review of The Fall's Peel Sessions (for Believer) was great.

Kind of shocked that they didn't include 'Jeane' in the complete box set. That's insane.

righteousmaelstrom, Friday, 18 November 2011 18:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha, it really is. wonder if there's some kinda rarities comp in the works?

tylerw, Friday, 18 November 2011 18:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

less insane to leave shit out than to include some stuff twice and not remaster all of it

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Friday, 18 November 2011 22:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

3 new entries on tacky badge up btw

tubbs farkas (electricsound), Saturday, 19 November 2011 00:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

mostly on account of that blog i think the smiths are my most listened to band this year. that single version of "the boy with the thorn in his side" (prolly my fave tune of theirs) is flippin' brilliant

epigram addict (outdoor_miner), Saturday, 19 November 2011 02:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

8.1? get tae fuck.

piscesx, Saturday, 19 November 2011 07:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, the rating is a joke. never trust ratings, esp. from s&p and pitchfork. the article is good though.

alex in mainhattan, Saturday, 19 November 2011 08:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm finding the drums and other percussive elements on some tracks of these remasters a little hard to take. far too foregrounded for my taste, i think i'll stick with my old versions.

jed_, Saturday, 19 November 2011 17:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

many updates on the smiths 'extra track and a tacky badge' blog since we last revived this
http://smithsrecycle.blogspot.com/
they've still got a fair few singles to go mind..

piscesx, Tuesday, 6 March 2012 04:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

more updates.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 12 March 2012 00:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

yep!

these make a great listen as a whole

Flat Of NAGLs (sleeve), Monday, 12 March 2012 02:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

Xpost*2 - It looks to me they only have one single left to do.

Mark G, Monday, 12 March 2012 09:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

well, that makes six at the time pisces said it.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 12 March 2012 11:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh right.

They've been 'becalmed' for ages, fair enough.

Mark G, Monday, 12 March 2012 12:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

terrible piece

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 01:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

The last single was posted earlier, the next recycled project is REM! Excited for that one!

nate woolls, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 17:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Nitzer Ebb singles one sounds cool too.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 17:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

crisply denied by Marr

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 April 2012 16:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

tylerw, Thursday, 26 April 2012 16:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

It is never going to happen.

Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

seems like the best anyone could hope for is a marr/morrissey collab sometime in the future. but even that is unlikely, I think.

tylerw, Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

in the long run all bands reunite one day...

in the berlin program magazine tip there was a page announcing concerts of bands where i didn't even know that they still had living members. like bad company, mötley crüe, beach boys, blue öyster cult, lynyrd skynyrd, bachman turner overdrive. i was also surprised to hear that roger chapman and james taylor still have to tour...

alex in mainhattan, Saturday, 28 April 2012 17:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

But... The Smiths reunion with a Morrissey hologram! $$$$ £££ amirite?

StanM, Saturday, 28 April 2012 18:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

in the long run all bands reunite one day...

Yeah that Beatles tour was something.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 28 April 2012 20:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

the beatles would have toured if only there hadn't been this crazy psychopath...

alex in mainhattan, Saturday, 28 April 2012 21:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ringo?

StanM, Saturday, 28 April 2012 21:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

the one that shot john lennon, i meant.

alex in mainhattan, Saturday, 28 April 2012 21:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

I know, sorry :-(

StanM, Saturday, 28 April 2012 21:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

i know that you knew, so that's ok ;-)

alex in mainhattan, Saturday, 28 April 2012 21:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

I appreciate the bands that reunite every once in a while but don't tour, like zep.

Ccr hasn't reunited yet, but could. Same with husker du, but they're far less likely than Smiths.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 28 April 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

still baffled that the so called Complete box set is missing not only 5 of the original non album single tracks but that there is STILL after 3 decades no complete BBC/ Peel session stuff available. it's the 21st century, The Smiths are regarded as the 2nd best UK band since The Beatles yet there's a Smiths *Peel session* of How Soon Is Now that isn't on CD. i mean.. words fail me.

piscesx, Saturday, 28 April 2012 23:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

What are the 5 tracks?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 29 April 2012 01:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

Wonderful Woman
Work Is A Four Letter Word
Jeanne
I Keep Mine Hidden
The Draize Train

plus if one wanted a *complete* catalogue in the box you really ought to have the Kervorkian 'New York Mix' of This Charming Man, the live James cover of What's The World (from the B side of the CD EP of I Started Something..) and the alt version of Accept Yourself.

piscesx, Sunday, 29 April 2012 07:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Jeane", "Wonderful Woman", and the NY "This Charming Man" are on the deluxe The Sound Of The Smiths, along with "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" at its original speed.

Leslie Mann: Boner Machine (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 29 April 2012 07:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

indeed. remastered too. makes the exclusion even more baffling.

piscesx, Sunday, 29 April 2012 09:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

the only things I possibly do not know from this are

alt 'accept yourself'
Peel 'how soon is now?' - I don't think I had any idea that existed.

but I have feeling there might be one or two other Peel tracks?

once you start including live tracks, well how about
the very early 'handsome devil'
the late 'some girls are bigger than others' with alt lyrics
the Oxford Road Show tracks from 'that joke'

and what was it they contributed to that NME tape in 1985 ... was it just a live take of 'nowhere fast' or something?

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 09:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

According to Discogs they didn't contribute to an NME tape but a live version of 'What She Said ' featured on a 7" EP which was given away with poll winners issue.

fun loving and xtremely tolrant (Billy Dods), Sunday, 29 April 2012 09:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Peel session versions of London and Half A Person are better than the studio versions, and (as far as I know) are unreleased.

Ian Edmond, Sunday, 29 April 2012 11:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah the Peel London *flattens* the original and that's unreleased. the Nowhere Fast BBC sesh is also killer
there's a pretty neat summing up of all the Jensen/ Peel sessions, which ones were released and the differences between them on the Hatful.. Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatful_of_Hollow

there was also this if we're getting *mega* completist re sessions; the Sandie Shaw BBC sesh of Jeanne and I Don't Owe You Anythng which i don't even think i've ever heard
http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1408587/a/Cool+About+You%3A+Bbc+Sessions.htm
amazing that somehow *that* is on CD and some Smiths ones aren't.

piscesx, Sunday, 29 April 2012 12:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

Has anyone ever found anything much to redeem 'Never Nad No-One Ever'?

the pinefox, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 13:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

Dods, yes, I have that 7-inch - it also has a U2 'Wire' remix

the pinefox, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 13:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's best to think of it as a parody of a Smiths song. xp

Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 13:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's a highly enjoyable prime slab of desperate melodrama served with just a hint of stalkery horseradish

Roberto Spiralli, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 13:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but sequenced right after the similarly paced (and far superior) "I Know It's Over," it really stops that album dead in its tracks.

buh, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 13:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's starts again when you flip it over ;)

although i don't like cemetry gates much either. actually considering what a formative record this was for me there are rather a lot of songs that i dislike.

jed_, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 14:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

Never Had No One Ever is not really a song, it's basically a vamp. Its position immediately after I Know It's Over is usually considered a sequencing mistake, but I think it's probably deliberate - the similarity of keys and tempos mean I hear it as I Know It's Over's looser, offhand coda. In this way, it has the same function as the similarly paced (and similarly placed) ending to Death of a Disco Dancer on Strangeways. I enjoy myself listening to it, but I am easily pleased by this kind of thing (I could listen to someone going between Am and Dm all day).

While I'm here, I want to mention another good Smiths site that I haven't seen mentioned here; Smiths on Guitar. Here is the page for Never Had No One Ever. For some songs, the site has little more than the chords scanned from the sheet music, but for others it has some fascinating videos and quotes.

Eyeball Kicks, Wednesday, 16 May 2012 08:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...

reunion is GO! .. allegedly.

first heard this from a pretty reliable source some months back, raised a quizzical eyebrow. seems like it could be on the cards after all (no Mike Joyce though).

piscesx, Monday, 1 October 2012 15:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

hmmm...

There was a Rockpalast show broadcast on SkyArts recently but I watched skinny young ,orrissey dancing like a fawn in front of his admiring audience and thought to myself, he's not that guy anymore.

Johnny is still Johnny, sure.

but.

Mark G, Monday, 1 October 2012 17:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

no mike joyce no creditbility

gesange der yuengling (crüt), Monday, 1 October 2012 17:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

54321 til morrissey denies all this?

tylerw, Monday, 1 October 2012 19:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

really hope they don't do it

farte blanche (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 1 October 2012 19:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

I hope not either. I don't like the idea of reunions, especially this one because it is solely motivated by money.

controversial cabaret roommate (Nicole), Monday, 1 October 2012 19:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

feel like if morrissey was actually desperate for $$$$ he'd do a "morrissey sings the smiths" tour w/o any of them before he'd do a reunion. could be wrong!

tylerw, Monday, 1 October 2012 20:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

funny that it is like the holy grail of reunions. is anyone offering a bazillion dollars to talking heads to reunite?

tylerw, Monday, 1 October 2012 20:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't see how morrissey could possibly be hurting for money though?

farte blanche (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 1 October 2012 20:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

if the smiths reunite i would sell my firstborn child to go see the show. not even joking

heiswagger (rennavate), Monday, 1 October 2012 20:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp i dunno, maybe he invested heavy in some really sketchy vegan smoothie stands and lost it all?

tylerw, Monday, 1 October 2012 20:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

"leafy, succulents and gruel"

goole, Monday, 1 October 2012 20:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

(i got the quote wrong! shit)

goole, Monday, 1 October 2012 20:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

There's been so much animosity on all sides I don't really see a good reason for them to reunite aside from money. Morrissey & Marr had always been vehement against the idea of a reunion until now. I could be wrong, but I don't understand the sudden change of heart.

controversial cabaret roommate (Nicole), Monday, 1 October 2012 20:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Stone Roses were at each other's throats for years prior so i guess it could mean they could still.. forgive and forget.
although finding it hard to imagine a Smiths-y equivalent of this photo

piscesx, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

Isn't/Wasn't the Roses tour kind of a clusterfuck, though?

Johnny Fever, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

After a reunion by The Police, I'm not ruling anything out. However, I don't see what possible good could come of a Smiths reunion either for the band themselves or the fans.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

something about the smiths still feels special because they never did a reunion. i'd hate for them to muck up the purity of their brief almost-perfect career just because morrissey and marr decide they can tolerate each other long enough to make a few extra bucks.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't want them to reunite because the last thing they did before they broke up sucks super hard and directly informed the direction Morrissey went with his solo career; no one wants to here Strangeways-ified versions of TQID songs

set me on fire RAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

mm i'd wager Pink Floyd doing it means anyone can, although Moz's "The Smiths will end in murder" soundbite from around the mid 00's always kinda raised the bar for hateful
'it won't happen' band quotes.

interestingly the final time Joyce and Rourke played with Moz (at the one-off Wolves Civic Hall gig in 88) they were suing him *already*.

piscesx, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

'strangeways' is amazing! their second-best after 'TQID.'

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

no it isnt

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hasn't Marr been getting less and less interesting since the first electronic album though? I'd be more worried about them thrashing through stuff that was never meant to be thrashed; turning every song into 'London'.

Ismael Klata, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, nothing I've heard by Marr post-Smiths even resembles Smiths-era Marr. Even if he just got up there and accompanied Morrissey Boz Boorer-style, it wouldn't be as good as Boz.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

actually if they "London"-ified everything I'd be interested but I assume they'd actually "Girlfriend In A Coma"-fy everything

set me on fire RAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

Boz Boorer has the best name

Ismael Klata, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'll never understand ppl hating on strageways. it's good!

goole, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

I was about to say I feel like I've been arguing with DJP for 10 years about the merits of Strangeways, but then I remembered that's because I have.

Alba, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

strangeways is incredible wtffff also admittedly it's my least favorite smiths record. still a classic tho

heiswagger (rennavate), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh jeez, what if they write some new stuff?

Ismael Klata, Monday, 1 October 2012 21:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol Alba

set me on fire RAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't consider it the smiths w/o rourke, his bass playing was crucial to the band!!

farte blanche (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

I hope they reunite to play "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" then promptly leave the stage.

the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'd say that 'girlfriend in a coma' is one of their best singles but i fear the inevitable 'no it isnt' response

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

hating Strangeways is maybe DJPs most befuddling opinion, at least for me

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 1 October 2012 21:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

Maybe they'll get Flea to dep?

Pat Ast vs Jean Arp (MaresNest), Monday, 1 October 2012 22:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

lord probably just pisses me off...a band is a band!

farte blanche (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 1 October 2012 22:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

Why would it 'not be Rourke'?

I can understand why it might 'not be Joyce'...

Anyways, at some point they are going to get so bored with denying rumours that they will stop doing it, then it'll be all 'ooh it's imminent' sigh..

Mark G, Monday, 1 October 2012 22:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

hope this doesn't happen.

also rourke and joyce are one of the best ever rock rhythm sections and it would be megashit if they weren't both involved.

Jamie_ATP, Monday, 1 October 2012 22:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

hating Strangeways "Domino Dancing" is maybe DJPs most befuddling opinion, at least for me

the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 1 October 2012 23:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hasn't Marr been getting less and less interesting since the first electronic album though

you mad, Dusk was after Electronic

Of course this is a terrible idea though

┐(´ー`)┌ (sic), Monday, 1 October 2012 23:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

the ways of DJP are strange

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 1 October 2012 23:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

?? dan loves domino dancing! he always says its the piper at the gates of dawn of the pet shop boys

farte blanche (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 1 October 2012 23:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

The problem isn't so much that they'll thrash through songs or Strangeways-ify them so much as they will play them exactly as they were. As a young Smiths fanatic, I heard enough bootlegs to know that the bootlegs weren't worth hearing: the songs were played professionally and identically every time, wherever they were (the only variation came with the freedom Marr got with the inclusion of Craig Gannon, who I guess will not be invited). That said, this would be the only reunion I'd pay to see (while knowing I was getting fleeced).

Eyeball Kicks, Monday, 1 October 2012 23:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

i was wondering why the Smiths thread was so busy today. i hope this doesn't happen as i have already seen the Smiths twice before, selfish i know.

Bee OK, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 05:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

i really don't care if they do this or not. we already know they're civil enough to plausibly pull the big cash grab, and none are above hawking the smiths songbook when they perform in their own combos. i love a lot of smiths stuff, but not romantically enough that mozz doing "there's a light" at the end of a show with marr would be sadder for me than mozz doing "there's a light" at the end of a show with anyone else. if anything i approve of morrissey not being able to perform new originals between smiths numbers.

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 05:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

Not happening, apparently.

daavid, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 05:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

breaking news from 1991 there

┐(´ー`)┌ (sic), Tuesday, 2 October 2012 06:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's dated 1-oct-2012 so heyz.

Mark G, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 06:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean it's been no more likely now than at any time since the court case

┐(´ー`)┌ (sic), Tuesday, 2 October 2012 06:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

It can't be for the money, La Mozzer has sold out both his Sydney shows in a couple of days. And tickets were over $100!!

Don't Go Home With Your Hadron Collider (King Boy Pato), Tuesday, 2 October 2012 10:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

That's the thing, if he's making a fortune singing smiths songs now why bother inviting anyone on stage who thinks their opinion matters?

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 13:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

funny that i heard this whole rumour story first on Stuart Maconie's show on bbc 6 this week, he wrote what is still still one of my fave quotes about them in 1993;

"It must be funny being U2. Imagine. You're the world's biggest group. Your every move receives the full glare of popular scrutiny, your every utterance is scanned for meaning and import, you can sell-out concerts across the globe, get world leaders on the phone and have million queue to buy your records. And yet in your heart of hearts you know that you weren't a patch on The Smiths. And this doesn't only apply to U2. It goes for Guns 'N' Roses, Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen and every other colossus of modern rock. Each in their own way have good things to offer but, let's be serious, they weren't The Smiths, were they?"

piscesx, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 15:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

I like that quote too, but at the same time it makes me squirm a little in the same way that the title of this thread does. I don't believe that in the hearts of Axl, Bruce or even Bono there has even been trace of regret that they weren't the Smiths.

Eyeball Kicks, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 15:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd've agreed with it, once

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 17:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

maybe Bono, wrt Ian Mac

Mark G, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 18:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't really get what people think they'd see or experience that's more than the sum of Morrissey singing Smiths songs (as he's done over the past decade or more), plus Johnny Marr playing the songs in his sleep, looking up and smiling every few songs. Crowd cheers as if it's a moment. The whole live Smiths thing once relied on the nervous energy of those two secretly digging each other musically and stylistically, pleased to be friends...

Then again, I feel that way about all reunions. Pixies the worst example. I find the whole authenticity thing for audiences - *these* are the people in the flesh that once made this music - a bit depressing vis a vis people (young or old) that really want to be on stage together, making new music, liking each other, having fun, no heavy history hanging over it all...

paulhw, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 23:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

Amen.

Alba, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 23:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Not happening, apparently.

Craig Gannon switches his mobile phone alert back to "silent"

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 3 October 2012 00:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

Craig Cannon rues paying £10 top-up mobile phone credit.

Don't Go Home With Your Hadron Collider (King Boy Pato), Wednesday, 3 October 2012 09:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

If anyone is actually interested, this is what Craig Gannon's up to nowadays.

Eyeball Kicks, Wednesday, 3 October 2012 10:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://oticons.com/roster/92-craig-gannon

koogs, Wednesday, 3 October 2012 10:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

he was known as 'the 5th Smith'

Selling himself a bit short there!

Also, he looks like Luis Suarez.

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 3 October 2012 10:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

New Smiths demo tape unearthed and online

the pinefox, Monday, 18 March 2013 19:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

i have had major smiths fever the last few weeks, brought upon by snagging nice copies of the S/T and Louder Than Bombs LPs. looking forward to going back through this thread and understanding the miracle a little better.

( ( ( ( ( ( ( (Z S), Monday, 18 March 2013 19:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

oh man, a vintage nabisco OTM within one post of the OP, this is great

( ( ( ( ( ( ( (Z S), Monday, 18 March 2013 19:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

(I should have said 'rehearsal tape', not demo, I think)

the pinefox, Monday, 18 March 2013 19:29 (1 year ago) Permalink

did you post a link there, pinefox? i can't see it, maybe because i'm in germany where 90% of music on youtube is blocked?

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 18 March 2013 21:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

i have had major smiths fever the last few weeks, brought upon by snagging nice copies of the S/T and Louder Than Bombs LPs

this pretty much describes my week as well!

sleeve, Monday, 18 March 2013 21:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

thanks, nice rehearsal tape which beams me back almost 30 years. i think i heard them first in 1986. this sounds pretty mellow compared to the hatful of hollow versions. in may 1983 i had just started my military service. does morrissey sing reel around the mountain there? that's a very nice version of it, lovely guitar.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 18 March 2013 21:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

I think what made The Smiths so unique more than anything, was Morrissey's voice, how he had such a melodramatic way of singing and at times almost sounded like an opera singer which was pretty unusual in mid 80s Indie. That, and his unique style of lyric writing.

That said, Johnny Marr was a top guitarist. Maybe not the most original, as mentioned he wasn't the first to do that whole jangly style, but he still wrote some pretty damn memorable riffs, and some which are very intricate. There's a video somewhere of James Dean Bradfield from the Manics, a very skilled guitarist himself, attempting to play This Charming Man and getting frustrated over constantly fucking it up.

Slash N Burn, Monday, 18 March 2013 22:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

at times almost sounded like an opera singer

lol, what operatic tradition is this?

Heyman (crüt), Monday, 18 March 2013 22:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

<I>lol, what operatic tradition is this?</I>

When I first heard The Smiths at the age of thirteen the first thought that came to mind was that "this guy sounds like an opera singer." I dunno, maybe it's something that's stuck with me since.

That said, when I heard the singer's name was Morrissey I first thought that it was Neil Morrissey of Bob The Builder and Men Behaving Badly fame.

Slash N Burn, Monday, 18 March 2013 22:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

on the rehearsal tape he is less of an opera singer, less histrionic than on the albums i find but he uses his falsetto a lot.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 18 March 2013 22:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

C'mon he's Rocky from Boon

OutdoorFish, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 01:18 (1 year ago) Permalink

has morrissey ever talked about the singers who influenced him? i can't think of a single male vocalist who really sounds much like him.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 19 March 2013 01:29 (1 year ago) Permalink

I always used to think there are male vocalists and there is Morrissey

OutdoorFish, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 01:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

I get proto-Morrissey vibes from Billy Fury:

Heyman (crüt), Tuesday, 19 March 2013 01:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

Yeah he loves Billy Fury

OutdoorFish, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 01:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

starting in on Fletcher's "There is a Light That Never Goes Out"

four Marxes plus four Obamas plus four Bin Ladens (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 1 April 2013 17:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

I see Morrissey is due to appear on a documentary about cups of tea, interviewed by Victoria Wood.

djh, Sunday, 7 April 2013 18:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

from a great post by dr. c 12 years ago:

By all accounts Morrissey's words would often appear in different places in the arrangement to where Marr had expected (verses became middle 8's, or Moz would sing across a transition...etc). This may account for the way that many Smiths songs don't have a normal structure or easily identifiable chorus, especially the earlier material. This lack of concern for (or lack of knowledge of..) conventional forms (on the part of Morrissey) helped a great deal to set them apart from the rest.

if i'm not mistaken this is very similar to how things worked, and/or didn't work, between michael stipe and peter buck.

fact checking cuz, Sunday, 7 April 2013 19:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

That'd explain how "Call me when you try to wake her up" fits into 4 beats..

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 April 2013 09:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

I must confess I was disappointed by his Thatcher quote. He must have spent half a life time preparing for that moment and it just wasn't as powerful as it needed to be.

djh, Tuesday, 9 April 2013 20:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

The widely reported quote was apparently cobbled together by the press from a recent interview. Here is his actual statement (djh's point still stands):

The difficulty with giving a comment on Margaret Thatcher's death to the British tabloids is that, no matter how calmly and measuredly you speak, the comment must be reported as an "outburst" or an "explosive attack" if your view is not pro-establishment. If you reference "the Malvinas", it will be switched to "the Falklands", and your "Thatcher" will be softened to a "Maggie." This is generally how things are structured in a non-democratic society. Thatcher's name must be protected not because of all the wrong that she had done, but because the people around her allowed her to do it, and therefore any criticism of Thatcher throws a dangerously absurd light on the entire machinery of British politics. Thatcher was not a strong or formidable leader. She simply did not give a shit about people, and this coarseness has been neatly transformed into bravery by the British press who are attempting to re-write history in order to protect patriotism. As a result, any opposing view is stifled or ridiculed, whereas we must all endure the obligatory praise for Thatcher from David Cameron without any suggestion from the BBC that his praise just might be an outburst of pro-Thatcher extremism from someone whose praise might possibly protect his own current interests. The fact that Thatcher ignited the British public into street-riots, violent demonstrations and a social disorder previously unseen in British history is completely ignored by David Cameron in 2013. In truth, of course, no British politician has ever been more despised by the British people than Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher's funeral on Wednesday will be heavily policed for fear that the British tax-payer will want to finally express their view of Thatcher. They are certain to be tear-gassed out of sight by the police.

United Kingdom? Syria? China? What's the difference?

Morrissey
9 April 2013

Eyeball Kicks, Tuesday, 9 April 2013 22:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

the new smiths book is fantastic, loving it so far

ums (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 22:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

funny how the original 'outraged' interview quote is more OTM and less insane than his sober, considered quote!

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 22:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

tho tbh even most of that quote isn't really wrong, except for 'unseen in british history' and 'syria, china.'

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 22:29 (1 year ago) Permalink

the new smiths book is fantastic, loving it so far

yeah I'm digging it, it has made me notice all sorts of details in the songs that I had previously glossed over or never bothered to dissect (ie, anything referencing Manchester geography lol)

four Marxes plus four Obamas plus four Bin Ladens (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 22:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

You guys are talking about A Light That Never Goes Out right? What about the book called Songs That Saved Your Life?

What About The Half That's Never Been POLLed (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 22:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

yes, the former. I dunno that latter.

four Marxes plus four Obamas plus four Bin Ladens (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 22:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

Still gotta read my copy of that guy's All Hopped Up And Ready To Go.

What About The Half That's Never Been POLLed (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 22:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah light that never goes out!

so many cool details in the early days, johnny marr liked tom petty and rory gallagher! the smiths 4th gig was opening for richard hell & the voidoids!

ums (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 23:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

first gig was the same night as a WS Burroughs reading at the Hacienda etc

four Marxes plus four Obamas plus four Bin Ladens (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 23:12 (1 year ago) Permalink

songs that saved your life is the one that's modeled on ian macdonald's beatles book, right? would love to read something like that about the smiths.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 23:21 (1 year ago) Permalink

OK, guess I gotta start reading before you guys post any more spoilers.

What About The Half That's Never Been POLLed (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 10 April 2013 00:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

tho tbh even most of that quote isn't really wrong, except for 'unseen in british history' and 'syria, china.'

― (The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 9 April 2013 22:29 (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yes,

also:

Thatcher's name must be protected not because of all the wrong that she had done, but because the people around her allowed her to do it, and therefore any criticism of Thatcher throws a dangerously absurd light on the entire machinery of British politics.

is very otm indeed. And, of course, will remain unremarked upon. (in favour of the syria/etc quote, and somthing added on about animal welfare or some such)

Mark G, Wednesday, 10 April 2013 09:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

complete 1985 Madrid show taped for spanish TV

ums (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 12 April 2013 14:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

rockpalast show in germany, a bit more low end on the sound here vox a little low but not bad

ums (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 12 April 2013 15:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

Morrissey's Wolverhampton 88 show has leaked in glorious soundboard quality. Check it out on Morrissey-Solo.

brotherlovesdub, Friday, 12 April 2013 16:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

thanks for the heads up re the 88 gig; very interesting recording! band sound way tighter than i'd have thought for their first gig. well ONLY gig i suppose with that line up.

piscesx, Saturday, 13 April 2013 04:12 (1 year ago) Permalink

http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/why-i-still-hate-the-smiths-and-myself/ This is one of the worst pieces of music writing I have come across.

"bath salts" should have been my username (Pat Finn), Saturday, 13 April 2013 05:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

got the light that never goes out book at the library -- really a great rock bio so far. i'm not even a smiths die-hard (i think they're awesome, don't get me wrong), but it's just packed with good stuff.

tylerw, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 15:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

kind of astonishing how fast everything went for them once marr and morrissey partnered up.

tylerw, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 15:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah the speed of it is crazy

also realizing that the legendary "manchester scene" was soooo small really

ums (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 15:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/why-i-still-hate-the-smiths-and-myself/ This is one of the worst pieces of music writing I have come across.

The writer comes across as a misogynist cretin.

The last of the famous international Greyjoys (Nicole), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 16:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

Anyway, like any good adolescent boy, I wanted in her skinny jeans so damn bad.

'any'

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 21:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

pretty much every sentence of that article is horribly worded, it reads like a fake piece by that onion guy.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 21:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

i have read much worse reviews, the guy dos not follow the cult of the smiths and tries to explain why. his arguments are not very convincing but still.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 21:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

How the Guardian covered the Smiths in the early 80s

With a terrible review (in both senses) from Mary Harron and an interview that misspells Morrissey's name …

Alba, Friday, 17 May 2013 13:40 (1 year ago) Permalink

The interview is terrific. Morrisey a prick in a good way. I tried to read it imagining I had never heard The Smiths. What would the music this man makes be like? Something like Savages.

Eyeball Kicks, Friday, 17 May 2013 14:24 (1 year ago) Permalink

Just realised that the Mary Harron who wrote the "nurd" review is the director of American Psycho (and ex-girlfriend of Tony Blair)

Alba, Saturday, 18 May 2013 10:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

and ex-girlfriend of Tony Blair

Uhhhhhhhh, what?!?!?!?

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Saturday, 18 May 2013 10:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

wow, small world.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 18 May 2013 12:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

she also went out with Chris Huhne, an Oxford contemporary of Blair, who last week was tipped in the polls as the most likely contender to take over from Charles Kennedy as Liberal Democrat leader.

LOLz

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Saturday, 18 May 2013 12:24 (1 year ago) Permalink

just plowed through the fletcher bio in a couple of days - a really great read as stated above by others. i'm a little surprised at absolutely no mention of the byrds among marr's influences/interests.

sleepingsignal, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 07:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

I read the book last week and it has quite re-invigorated my love for the music, and watching YouTube videos of their early gigs at the Hacienda really helps underscore the notion that they seemed to emerge fully formed. Lyrically and musically, some of their earliest songs are still amongst their strongest and most affecting, imo. But reading of how they pretty much hit the ground running made me wonder if they don't dispel Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000-hour rule (ie the amount of time required practicing something before you can master it). I mean, yeah, Marr played in other bands before the Smiths, and there's Morrissey's fevered letter-writing activities, but it doesn't seem to be the equivalent of, say, the Beatles slog through the Hamburg and Cavern years. I dunno.

hewing to the status quo with great zealotry (DavidM), Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

If I've read The Severed Alliance, should I pick up this Fletcher Bio?

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

xp yeah The Smiths are the all time great example of where the Outliers theory doesn't work. Marr says they never even rehearsed.

piscesx, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:14 (1 year ago) Permalink

according to the book they rehearsed plenty. also they specifically played small out-of-the-spotlight venues to hone the songs.

sleepingsignal, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 17:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah, and there's that tape of them rehearsing!
http://www.slicingupeyeballs.com/2013/03/19/smiths-rehearsal-tape-may-1983/
[maybe he meant they didn't rehearse much]

tylerw, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 18:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

they rehearsed mostly daily early on, and did so to get better between their first appearance and subsequent gigs.

sleepingsignal, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 18:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

Also Gladwell's theory is bullshit.

everything, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 19:18 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

http://thischarmingcharlie.tumblr.com/

TRENDING: Peanuts strips w/Smiths-Moz lyrics. The Lucy ones are all great, but this one is perfection:

Uncle Cyril O'Boogie (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 19:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

ha ha just posted that here

Morrissey's Smiths Lyrics: Are they 'in character', or from his own viewpoint?

so much to love!

reggie (qualmsley), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 20:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Johnny Marr on the process of writing with Marr.

I didn't know that Half a Person was the one song they wrote together together

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/sep/05/british-songwriter-interviews-secrets

Alba, Thursday, 5 September 2013 13:15 (1 year ago) Permalink

Writing with Morrissey, rather.

Alba, Thursday, 5 September 2013 13:15 (1 year ago) Permalink

i forgot You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby was meant to be a single. it's way more Radio friendly than many of their actual singles.

piscesx, Thursday, 5 September 2013 13:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

Yes, but it's also kind of awful.

Eyeball Kicks, Thursday, 5 September 2013 13:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah it kind of is, it's in that rubbishy Smiths mini cannon. Golden Lights, Girlfriend In A Coma, Work Is A 4 Letter word,
I Keep Mine Hidden.. i guess that's it. oh and maybe Ask.

piscesx, Thursday, 5 September 2013 13:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Enjoyed reading those "Smiths fan" stories upthread! This and "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" poll revived my memories... of 80s turntables and the crackle of vinyl, autumn nights and pots of peppermint tea! Too busy at the time feeling dismissed by stupid and xenophobic American writers to be truly depressed.
Like, I listened to the vinyl albums with folk and oldies. After reading that stuff, I stopped reading any and all press about British bands.

Anyway, I listen to them on mp3 now but it's not the same! I guess the music doesn't go with office culture as well as it does dorm rooms and study. Morrissey dresses great and is a good entertainer. Also read he likes Buffy Saint-Marie! Honor the campfire!

Also I have my own Smiths story, but it's funny rather than sincere : this was another "not-shit" guitar band being passed around via tapes in my teenage circle....sat at party at some friend's house and we wondered what the singer looked like. "He sounds fat!" Not in an anti-fat people way, either. Like - how cool that fat people are fronting fashionable British rock bands! How punk! So we were a little disappointed.

I don't know how someone can "sound fat" but when I listen to early Smiths now I can't shake the false memories I have of fat Morrissey and smile.

Sweetfrosti (I M Losted), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 02:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

He's a bit thicker now tbh

lorde willin' (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 02:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

Yes, I noticed - but he has aged well IMO!

Sweetfrosti (I M Losted), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 14:40 (1 year ago) Permalink

He has, and that's one reason why a Smiths reunion would look wrong. The other 3 are all variations of "young lads, but older"

Mark G, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 14:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

Eh, he went from handsome Irish man to every old-looking Irish man ever with that brief period where he looked like Tony Blair in the middle. He looks his age I think.

yeah it kind of is, it's in that rubbishy Smiths mini cannon. Golden Lights, Girlfriend In A Coma, Work Is A 4 Letter word,
I Keep Mine Hidden.. i guess that's it. oh and maybe Ask.

How does Girlfriend In A Coma merit inclusion with the rest of this list?!

gyac, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 14:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

because it's a terrible, horrible song that should really be forgotten?

smang culture (DJP), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 15:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

it's serious

I'm not a rockist, I just hate Rap-A-Lot (sic), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 16:24 (1 year ago) Permalink

It's no Death At One's Elbow.

Alba, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 18:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

well no, I agree that "Death At One's Elbow" is a more atrocious song

smang culture (DJP), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 18:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

i like all the smiths' fake rockabilly songs and i like all of strangeways

goole, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 18:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

i'll never understand ppl hating on strageways. it's good!

― goole, Monday, October 1, 2012 4:32 PM (1 year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

goole, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 18:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

holy shit, 1 year to the day ahahahahaaa

goole, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 18:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

Strangeways is one of a very small number of albums (possibly the only album) I've ever started out liking but then began to despise as I went further back into the band's catalog and discovered how great they used to be before that album. The entire thing screams of a band that wasn't in sync and couldn't agree on a musical direction and there are only two songs on it that I think are even worth listening to: "A Rush and A Push..." and "Stop Me..." Everything else should be erased from history.

xp: woah

smang culture (DJP), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 19:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

don't forget to update your calendar for next year

smang culture (DJP), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 19:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

and try not to be 2 1/2 hours late yeah?

Mark G, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 19:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

both marr and morrissey have said that Stangeways is their favourite

koogs, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 19:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

That doesn't mean I have to agree with them!

smang culture (DJP), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 19:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

the new smiths book said it pretty well i thought, which was that strangeways feels like a "transitional" album, the smiths awkward evolution from what they were to what they would have become, except they break up so it's not a transitional album but a sort of weird last album

lorde willin' (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 19:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

Morrissey always comes off worst in discussions about the end of The Smiths - Cilla Black covers, him being a stick-in-the-mud and an asshole to boot - but honestly nowadays I'm glad we got Viva Hate/Bona Drag than a Smiths albums sounding like Electronic or The The.

Eyeball Kicks, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 22:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah for all the talk of how it was marr's band and marr was the musical genius he hasn't seemed to be able to do that much w/o morrissey (which i don't really count The The or Modest Mouse as those were pretty fully formed things already)

lorde willin' (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 22:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

Strangeways is divisive, even down to the tracks themselves. I've always felt ambivalent about Paint a Vulgar Picture: Beautiful guitar, but lyrically barren. Record company execs? Isn't that what bloated rock stars sing about?

Dr X O'Skeleton, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 23:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

that bloated Geoff Travis, what a fat bastard

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 23:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

(I love that song btw)

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 23:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

Strangeways is the only one I bought originally on vinyl and it has always seemed special to me for that reason -- I also continue to have strong love feelings for Rush/Push, Stop Me, and I Won't Share You. Vulgar Picture is boring, agree. Lots of boring songs on this album, but my three favorites are not among them. lol/obvs.

Untt (La Lechera), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 23:15 (1 year ago) Permalink

Love Paint A Vulgar Picture. Lyrically, yeah you can mock Morrissey for some of the sentiments now, but the fan perspective has always been my favourite part of that song. Something about the way he sings this

I touched you at the soundcheck
You had no real way of knowing
In my heart I begged "Take me with you ...
I don't care where you're going..."

always gets me.

gyac, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 23:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah the POV turnabout is what makes it

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 23:45 (1 year ago) Permalink

Yes.

Mark G, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 23:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

interesting interview (from a Strangeways EPK?) with Marr just a short time before the whole thing went tits up

piscesx, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 00:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

'vulgar picture' sank in as brilliant only after a long time. it is a little bit leaden and herky-jerky, but that sax part is gorgeous and moving

goole, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 00:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

what the hell is marr on about when he says strangeways is more brutal, harder and mre discordant? maybe the guitar on a song like i started something is rawer than on a usual smiths song but over-all i find strangeways not discordant at all. for me it has got this slightly mystical, misty feel especially a rush and a push which is such an amazing starter wth morrissey's rising voice in the beginning which mutes mysteriously into the tune. probably my favourite ten seconds of morrissey. and he doesn't even sing something...

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 2 October 2013 18:52 (1 year ago) Permalink

Death of a Disco Dancer, with all that Aladdin Sane piano clashing? I don't get any of that from Strangeways either, it feels more wistful to me.

gyac, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 18:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

well he was talking about the record before it was finished so maybe he intended to do that but didn't manage it. there's certainly nothing as hard as the title track of TQID on strangeways.

i lost my shoes on acid (jed_), Wednesday, 2 October 2013 19:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

nowadays I'm glad we got Viva Hate/Bona Drag than a Smiths albums sounding like Electronic or The The.

I <3 a lot of early solo Moz (discovered The Smiths through Last Of The Famous International Playboys!) but Getting Away With It / Electronic / Disappointed and Mind Bomb / Dusk >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Viva Hate

(and the difference between those two bands suggests that any further Morrissey/Marr work wouldn't have sounded anything like either)

I'm not a rockist, I just hate Rap-A-Lot (sic), Wednesday, 2 October 2013 22:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

(discovered The Smiths through Last Of The Famous International Playboys!)
me too!!!
i bought the cassingle and my mom thought i was crazy because i kept going around the house singing "have i faaaaaaaaaiiiiiled" and she was like yes, you have please stop singing that song immediately

Untt (La Lechera), Wednesday, 2 October 2013 23:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

The Smiths took a lot of stick in the 80s music press for their classicist approach, which is understandable, even though, as Taylor Parkes pointed out, their records sounded terribly of their time. But I am glad that they didn't add a fifth album with more blatantly 1989 indie-dance sounds.

Eyeball Kicks, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 23:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

Last of the Famous Int. playboys is totally baggy!

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 3 October 2013 00:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

I think you mean Interesting Drug (or November Spawned A Monster), but I take your point.

Eyeball Kicks, Thursday, 3 October 2013 07:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

yes, interesting drug, you're right.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 3 October 2013 07:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

I remember really loving "November Spawned A Monster" at the time and wishing Moz would do more songs like that.

Recently, I played the song again and found the lyrics incredibly cringeworthy and awful, the wordless shrieking in the bridge representing the "monster" flat-out reprehensible, and Moz's singing to be outrageously constipated and forced.

At this point, the only Moz songs from that era I have any time for are "Alsatian Cousin", "Little Man, What Now?" and "Late Night, Maudlin Street" and that's partially because I haven't gone back to them in about a decade to see if I still like them.

smang culture (DJP), Thursday, 3 October 2013 14:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

Alsatian Cousin is amazing.

What about Disappointed?

gyac, Thursday, 3 October 2013 15:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

zero memory of it; generally speaking I would like to set Bona Drag on fire

smang culture (DJP), Thursday, 3 October 2013 15:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

(one minute in and I vastly prefer Electronic's song)

smang culture (DJP), Thursday, 3 October 2013 15:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

woah....bona drag is like moz's hatful imo

that's a crazy opinion bro

lorde willin' (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 3 October 2013 17:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

when you consider that this was all right at the beginning of Moz's "I'm gonna be a spiteful bigot for a hot minute" phase, it's less crazy

smang culture (DJP), Thursday, 3 October 2013 17:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah but then i guess there's no morrissey you would like right?

just feel like the early singles and viva hate are pretty great as a period for him

lorde willin' (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 3 October 2013 18:11 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah but then i guess there's no morrissey you would like right?

a few exceptions aside, this is a very accurate description of my position on Morrissey

smang culture (DJP), Thursday, 3 October 2013 18:13 (1 year ago) Permalink

Had a discussion about the Smiths with my girlfriend, who now rates them as duds. Her reason is that "Marr's guitar playing sounds like a machine." I can actually see her point, although I still love them.

Dr X O'Skeleton, Thursday, 3 October 2013 18:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

kinda surprised we never did a Bona Drag poll.

piscesx, Thursday, 3 October 2013 19:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

I'd love to hear working versions of Viva Hate songs, particularly the ones with more Vini Reilly.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 3 October 2013 19:16 (1 year ago) Permalink

Meanwhile, looks like Morrissey's book is actually coming out in a couple of weeks: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Autobiography-Morrissey/dp/0141394811/.

Eyeball Kicks, Thursday, 3 October 2013 22:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

Hmmm, it's not listed on Penguin's site.

gyac, Thursday, 3 October 2013 22:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

"Full confirmation is expected from Penguin Books within the next 24 hours" it says on Morrissey Solo, so we'll see.

Eyeball Kicks, Thursday, 3 October 2013 23:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol does this ever happen with books? like a book with a very major publisher may or may not exist at all?

lorde willin' (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 4 October 2013 01:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

Autobiography covers Morrissey's life from his birth until the present day.

fit and working again, Friday, 4 October 2013 03:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

well tbh Penguin's site has always been a fucking mess. You can now pre-order it from Amazon!

gyac, Friday, 4 October 2013 10:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24396482

and everywhere, it seems, by mid oct.

Mark G, Friday, 4 October 2013 11:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

Ha yes of course - I only mentioned that as I went to the link to look up the ISBN.

gyac, Friday, 4 October 2013 11:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

Jon Savage (or a sub editor) has swiped the thread title!
http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/oct/16/morrissey-autobiography-smiths

piscesx, Thursday, 17 October 2013 01:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

I swiped the thread title for Jon's piece. Seemed perfectly apposite.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Thursday, 17 October 2013 12:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

hahaha

ᶓ͠סּᴥ͠סּᶔ ᶓͼ᷆ₓͼ᷇ᶔ (gr8080), Thursday, 17 October 2013 12:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

Why didn't you just call it "Morrissey: Why Is He So Bad And Hated?"

Boards of Komeda (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 17 October 2013 14:15 (1 year ago) Permalink

cos he has a terribly annoying writing style. music and lyrical work was definitely the right option.

OutdoorFish, Thursday, 17 October 2013 21:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

LOL . . .

rip van wanko, Friday, 17 January 2014 15:27 (9 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

!!! official remasters of the troy tate shit??? damn

sXe & the banshees (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 19 February 2014 19:41 (8 months ago) Permalink

I'm not buying all of these again. Sorry, Smiths.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 19:47 (8 months ago) Permalink

It's fake I think. An early April Fools thing or something.

Eyeball Kicks, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 19:56 (8 months ago) Permalink

no Golden Lights?

mahb, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 20:12 (8 months ago) Permalink

Wow :-/

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 19 February 2014 20:22 (8 months ago) Permalink

My other half works back catalogue at Warner Music, I'll ask her if she knows anything about it when she gets home.

MaresNest, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 20:50 (8 months ago) Permalink

somehow i can't look at morrissey without thinking of kramer from seinfeld

Poliopolice, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 20:59 (8 months ago) Permalink

UPDATE Feb. 18:
As noted by several people in the comments, the release is an early April Fools' Day joke.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Legacy Reissues (via PJLM) started by Ryan. View original post
http://www.morrissey-solo.com/content/1665-The-Smiths-And-Morrissey-Legacy-Reissue-Series-(April-2014-via-Passions-Just-Like-Mine)

Eyeball Kicks, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 21:03 (8 months ago) Permalink

comedy genius!

Isaiah "Ice" McAdams (cajunsunday), Wednesday, 19 February 2014 21:05 (8 months ago) Permalink


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