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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 26/8/2011 11:15:31 PM   
Rhubarb


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Only 97th? Really? Ok.

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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 26/8/2011 11:59:40 PM   
FritzlFan


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Good choice bro. I prefer three other songs from the album though, I think.

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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 27/8/2011 12:34:50 AM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

Good choice bro. I prefer three other songs from the album though, I think.


According to the list I prefer 4. What are your 3?


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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 27/8/2011 12:51:44 AM   
FritzlFan


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SPOILERS

Probably I Have Forgiven Jesus, Crashing Bores and First of the Gang.


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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 27/8/2011 3:22:18 AM   
tommyjarvis


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Tune.

The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores is great too.

This was the song that got me into Moz and inspired me to start checking out The Smiths. I think the instrumental rock-out at the end is under-rated, seeing as Morrissey isn't really involved in it; it's one of his heavier efforts.

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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 27/8/2011 7:59:06 PM   
paul.mccluskey


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November Spawned a Monster has to be in the top 20 at least. Listened to the version from Live at Earls Court today, utterly superb.

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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 30/8/2011 12:57:01 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: paul.mccluskey

November Spawned a Monster has to be in the top 20 at least. Listened to the version from Live at Earls Court today, utterly superb.


I won't give away  positioning, but November, of course, will feature in the list at some stage...


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RE: #96: If ever I just wanted to cry, then I will, bec... - 30/8/2011 1:26:34 PM   
Piles


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96. There's A Place in Hell for Me and My Friends
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Mark Nevin (music).
Year of composition: 1991.
Appearances on official releases: Final track on 'Kill Uncle', performed live on the 'KROQ' EP, B-Side to 'My Love Life'. Also appears on the compilation 'The HMV/Parlaphone Singles'.


As much as I will defend 'Kill Uncle' as an underrated album, it has to be said that the songs on it aren't quite up there with Morrissey's best work. It features a bit of filler ('King Leer', 'Driving Your Girlfriend Home') and some plainly bad songs ('Found Found Found' and, on the US release, the dreadful 'Tony the Pony'), but the majority of it I find to be quite good. The best song on the record, by quite a long way, is the finale; the wonderfully subdued and quite tragic 'There's a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends'. The lyrics are up-front and literal (there is talk about the song being about AIDS, but I don't think it is, and Morrissey himself has dismissed the claim but admitted that it's open to that interpretation), marking this out as one of Morrissey's most self-pitying and perhaps paranoid songs, with the singer lamenting his eternal damnation but claiming that he intends to 'forgive' the world for shunning him. It's characteristic of Morrissey songs to have a positive streak touching upon the misery, and although this song seems to imply that forgiveness will only be given because it is the 'norm' or because there's not really any other choice (he follows the 'we will forgive' line with 'we had no choice, we always did'), it also seems to imply that, for all of the people who found it so easy to fit in with society, there are those who are just like the singer who share his ill-fitting character, and the line 'I'm never alone' seems to be meant sincerely. In many ways, it's a song to the fans, who Morrissey knows listen to his music because they have shared many of his experiences. Musically, the original album version is superb, a quiet and subdued piano arrangement of the 'I've Changed My Plea to Guilty' ilk by Mark Nevin. Live versions are accompanied by a slightly heavier guitar composition, which rob the song of a lot of its tragic humbleness, but is obviously more fitting for an on-stage setting. 'Kill Uncle' may be a maligned album, but I don't think many will argue that this song – at least – is an incredibly beautiful ode to the subject that Morrissey has been covering again and again for nearly thirty years.

Listen to the studio version (piano arrangement) here.
Listen to the live version ('heavier', up tempo arrangement) here. (This video also has a good version of 'Sing Your Life', another of 'Kill Uncle''s best tracks, which features Boz Boorer going mental on his guitar. 'There's a Place…' begins at around the five minute mark).

< Message edited by Piles -- 30/8/2011 1:27:38 PM >


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RE: #95: All held together by a management glue. - 30/8/2011 2:21:20 PM   
Piles


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95. What’s the World?
Writers: Jim Glennie/Paul Gilbertson/Gavin Whelan/Tim Booth.
Year of composition: 1983.
Appearances on official (Smiths) releases: B-Side to ‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’, appears on disc two of the compilation ‘The Sound of the Smiths’.


The first of only two songs on this list that weren’t actually written by Morrissey, ‘What’s the World’ was the band James’ first release on Factory Records, shortly before they became one of Morrissey’s favorite bands. James would benefit from the exposure of Morrissey’s favor, and this was cemented by The Smiths covering ‘What’s the World?’ during a few live shows and, eventually, on the ‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’ single. Johnny Marr wasn’t a great fan of the cover (although I think it’s fair to say that he liked it a damn sight more than the later, cataclysmic cover of Cilla Black’s ‘Work is a Four-Letter Word’), stating that it was never truly their own. I think musically he’s probably right, with a rather pedestrian arrangement somewhat brought to life by The Smiths’ incredible on-stage energy, but lyrically this song seems to be tailor fit for Morrissey . I think the reason I like it so much is because it’s a great example of how a cover version can be picked because it fits perfectly with a singer’s outlook rather than just because the band doing the cover just kind of likes the track. In particular, the lyrics ‘I’m looking for some words/To call my own/Worn-out phrases/And a hand me down’ fit with the accusations of plagiarism often leveled against Morrissey and his penchant for borrowing lines from his favorite plays and films. Also, lines like ‘Bits and pieces/Others have worn/All held together by a management glue’, which is probably a comment on the way that studios and managers would try to mould artists into acts that would prove popular (by copying ‘bits and pieces’ from older, popular bands) rather than artistically pleasing, again fits in with Morrissey’s – and The Smiths’ – attitude towards their own record companies. The live version available is quite wonderful, Morrissey shrieking and improvising the delivery at a whim, giving off a feeling of spontaneity and passion. I have a feeling that my inclusion of this song, particularly above renowned Moz classics ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’ and ‘Hairdresser on Fire’, will get some raised eyebrows, but for me it’s a wonderfully energetic song and an example of how cover versions should be chosen.

Interesting tidbit; the later solo Morrissey song ‘We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful’ is partly about James, and how they rose to fame after the success of the single ‘Sit Down’. Morrissey was generally pleased for his former support act, but quipped that when he heard they were doing shows like ‘Wogan’, he almost dropped his teapot in disgust.

Listen to a live version here.


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RE: #95: All held together by a management glue. - 2/9/2011 3:34:30 PM   
Rhubarb


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There's a Place is probs the best song on Kill Uncle, but could I be any more damning with faint praise?

What's The World, its no Sit Down.

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RE: #94: You'll never believe me so... - 5/10/2011 10:00:56 PM   
Piles


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94. Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?

Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Alain Whyte (music).
Year of composition: 1994.
Appearances on official releases: Vauxhall and I.


I think I've stated before that 'Vauxhall and I' is one of the handful of records that is constantly vying for the (much coveted) prize of my favorite Morrissey album, and the fact that this – a song that doesn't instantly stick out as one of the stronger efforts on the album – has still managed to reach the lower echelons of the list shows how much strength in depth the record really has. The music, by probably the best solo Moz composer Alain Whyte, is stripped back and easygoing, the melodic guitar riff backed up with simple percussion and the repeated sound of Boz Boorer clinking a tea spoon against the side of a mug, whilst the lyrics turn this song into a run-of-the-mill album track into quite a sorrowful, introverted look at both the music industry and people, the two things that stick out as Morrissey's favorite subjects (especially around this time period). Primarily the song hits you at a look at the parasites in the music business, those people who leech away all of the money that should really be going to the creative players, and although that does at times seem like a bit of a silly thing for a very rich man to be complaining about, at others you can very much see his point; why should 'some men here' who have a 'special interest in your career', who haven't written or performed these songs, see a chunk of the profits? The song is performed from Morrissey's own perspective, ranting at some poor unfortunate partner who was silly enough to ask his opinion on the subject. As much as I like to listen to Moz's studio-based scorn, I also like the reading of this song as a scornful look at the people (possibly even the singer's own fans) whose opinions on the world is based on the things they hear and the things they read. It could be read as literally as the singer telling us to go out into the world, make our own mistakes, and find out for ourselves, even if we're likely to be a bit upset or distressed by the results we find.

Listen to the studio version here.
Listen to a (particularly scornful and sideburn-filled) live version here.

< Message edited by Piles -- 5/10/2011 10:01:42 PM >


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RE: #94: You'll never believe me so... - 5/10/2011 10:03:53 PM   
rawlinson

 

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Yay! Back from the dead.

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RE: #94: You'll never believe me so... - 5/10/2011 10:08:05 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

Yay! Back from the dead.


Yeah, I moved house and started my new course so didn't have a huge amount of time to write stuff about Moz that no one reads. But the pull to come back was too strong.


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RE: #94: You'll never believe me so... - 5/10/2011 10:12:54 PM   
matty_b


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Good tune.

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RE: #94: You'll never believe me so... - 5/10/2011 10:20:12 PM   
rawlinson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

Yay! Back from the dead.


Yeah, I moved house and started my new course so didn't have a huge amount of time to write stuff about Moz that no one reads. But the pull to come back was too strong.



Good, keep it going.

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RE: #96: I despise each syllable in Scandinavia - 5/10/2011 10:25:37 PM   
Piles


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93. Scandinavia
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), I don't know who composed the music.
Year of composition: 2011.
Appearances on official released: None as of yet.


The first of three of the new batch of Morrissey songs that were released earlier in the year to make my 100 (don't worry, die hards, they're all within the first 15 entries), "Scandinavia” is a thrilling, intense, ominous ballad set in, well, Scandinavia. The lyrics, on first glance (and, I must admit, I've only listened to this song about 20 times, so I haven't delved amongst the lyrics as much as I had with his earlier songs), seem to be about how a romantic relationship or, to be more clichéd, love can change even the darkest opinions on the world and the places around you. As the song opens, Morrissey quite heatedly scolds Scandinavia and the people in it (best line of the song; 'let their children cry and die in blind asylum'), before hitting the central refrain of 'but then you came along', his voice shifting into a smooth, contemplative, melancholic warble. This song was first heard at around the same time as Morrissey made his controversial comments on Norway and the mass murders, and part of me thought that the content of it (condoning the death of kids in Scandinavia, hrm) would mean it would be buried through fears of it fanning the flames of controversy, but that would be a horrible shame because it's a fantastic song. A few more like this (and there are already two 'heard' songs just as good), and the new album could surprise everybody and, well, actually be very good.

Listen to a live version here. This version has surprisingly great quality.


< Message edited by Piles -- 12/11/2011 10:38:19 AM >


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RE: #96: I despise each syllable in Scandinavia - 10/10/2011 8:29:07 PM   
Piles


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No love for Scandinavia?

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RE: #96: I despise each syllable in Scandinavia - 10/10/2011 10:33:06 PM   
MovieAddict247


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Scandinavia is really good - the drums are fantastic.


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RE: #96: I despise each syllable in Scandinavia - 11/10/2011 9:22:56 AM   
matty_b


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Yeah, that's OK.

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RE: #92: I will be at the bar with my head on the bar! - 23/10/2011 5:04:18 PM   
Piles


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92. The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Boz Boorer (music).
Year of composition: 1994.
Appearances on official releases: Originally on 'Vauxhall and I' and released as a single, but also appears in live form on 'Live At Earl's Court'. Also on the compilation's 'The Best Of', 'The HMV/Parlaphone Singles', and 'The Very Best Of'.


When I first listened to 'Vauxhall and I' – an album that I often list as my favorite of Morrissey's solo output – I was quite sure that the best song on that album was 'The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get'. I prefer a handful of others now, but there's no denying that this is a quite brilliant track and a deserved leading single. Apparently, that wasn't always the case; Boorer's original demo was a lot heavier and slower, but producer Steve Lillywhite noticed its potential and brought its gripping guitar riff into prominence, which is really the driving force behind the song's music. Funnily enough, it was the first single produced by Lillywhite and the first one composed by Boorer, relationships which would sustain Morrissey through his two supposedly 'weak' follow-up albums Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted (in Lillywhite's case) and right up to present day (in Boorer's). Lyrically, the song seems to hint at the fabled Mike Joyce court case, despite being written and released a couple of years before the case finally took place. Obviously, Morrissey would've known about the upcoming case, with the feud with Joyce and Rourke running right back to the Smiths' break-up, but there are some lines which either show amazing forethought or are (more likely) a gigantic coincidence, most notably the various legal metaphors such as 'beware! I bear more grudges, than lonely high court judges'. This song is actually a more biting and intimidating summary of the 1996 court case than the quite laughable 'Sorrow Will Come To You In The End' from Maladjusted, despite the fact that the references in this song are surely accidental. The song is probably more realistically about psychologically getting into a lover's (current, ex, or future) head in a manner that can't be ignored. This 'psychological stalking' (as Simon Goddard puts it) is intelligent, humorous, and sometimes a little unsettling, and there's no denying that it's one of Morrissey's superior singles both musically and lyrically.

Listen to the studio version [url= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEUfhBc_RRE]here[/url].
Listen to a live version [url= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwWduSqvqck&feature=related]here[/url].

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RE: #91: Biting my initials, into your neck... - 23/10/2011 5:25:09 PM   
Piles


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91. Action is My Middle Name
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), I don't know who composed the music.
Year of composition: 2011.
Appearances on official releases: None as of yet.


When Morrissey appeared on the Janice Long BBC Radio 2 programme to premier a trio of new songs, I was a little apprehensive. Obviously, this would be a pre-cursor to an album (which we haven't heard yet because of record company issues, i.e. he doesn't have one), but the last time Morrissey premiered new tracks in support of a record the results were a little disappointing. 'That's How People Grow Up' and 'All You Need is Me' are alright, I guess, but they were nowhere near indicative of the generally fantastic quality of 'Years of Refusal'. Much in the same vein, Moz premiered 'People Are the Same Everywhere' and 'The Kid's A Looker' first, which are fine but don't exactly build up much hype for a new record. Thankfully, he then gave us 'Action is My Middle Name', which is frankly fantastic; a melancholic and quite saddening look at his past which, it seems, Morrissey now sees as wasted time. The 'action' of the title doubtlessly refers to things of a sexual nature, and the 'date with an undertaker' that the lyrics refer to seem to refer to Morrissey seeing his past celibacy in a different light; now he's reaching the end of his life he wonders if he could have made more of his past. The lyrics also generally seem to refer to his insecurity and general lack of ability and knowledge when it comes to these carnal inclinations, his old-fashioned tendencies (he sees 'tongue against tongue' when his partner and he have 'only just begun' as 'moving too fast'), and his real, urgent need to make the most of his remaining years ('I can't waste time any more'). 'Ringleaders of the Tormentors' seemed to be a brilliant acceptance of a late sexual awakening (particularly the tracks 'At Last I Am Born' and 'Dear God Please Help Me'), but this is possibly Moz's defining track about this subject. Putting his public persona from nearly three decades ago into perspective, and achingly determining that he should've made the most of it whilst he still could. Fantastic track.

Listen to the Janice Long session here.
Listen to a live (in the 'onstage' sense) here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 23/10/2011 6:23:17 PM >


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RE: #91: Biting my initials, into your neck... - 23/10/2011 5:50:58 PM   
FritzlFan


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Fuck off is Action is My Middle Name better than Hairdresser on Fire.

Also, nice list.


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RE: #91: Biting my initials, into your neck... - 23/10/2011 6:12:06 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

Fuck off is Action is My Middle Name better than Hairdresser on Fire.


. To be honest there's not a huge amount of difference in my eyes between the first 10-20 songs. When ordering these lower ones I fell on list politics; start with a biggie, put the newer lesser known stuff inbetween well known songs. All that jaz.

quote:


Also, nice list.


Aw thanx.


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RE: #91: Biting my initials, into your neck... - 23/10/2011 6:15:03 PM   
rawlinson

 

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The More You Ignore Me is an excellent song. I'll listen to the new one once I break my addiction of the day.

Really glad you're keeping the list going.

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RE: #91: Biting my initials, into your neck... - 23/10/2011 6:24:49 PM   
Piles


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ORIGINAL: rawlinson

I'll listen to the new one once I break my addiction of the day.



Your last.fm doesn't seem to be scrobbling so you're going to have to tell me.

Unless it's crack, which obviously doesn't scrobble without the class a drug scrobbler plug-in.


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RE: #91: Biting my initials, into your neck... - 23/10/2011 6:31:13 PM   
rawlinson

 

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I'm listening to old eps of Jarvis Cocker's radio show. They're just going through the dvd player though.

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RE: #90: Am I Einstein or am I Frankenstein?! - 25/10/2011 2:04:06 PM   
Piles


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90. No One Can Hold A Candle To You
Writers: James Maker and Phil Huish.
Year of composition: 1987.
Appearances on official releases: The B-Side to 'I Have Forgiven Jesus', as well as on the B-Sides compilation 'Swords'. Performed live on the 'Who Put the M in Manchester' DVD.


The second cover to appear on this list, 'No One Can Hold A Candle To You' was originally performed by Raymonde on their album 'Babelogue' (named after a track by Moz-favourite Patti Smith). Their lead singer, James Maker, was a friend of Morrissey's and, as a result, the version that appears on the 'I Have Forgiven Jesus' single is a mostly faithful cover that – for my money at least – exceeds the quality of the original. The lyrics, which concern living a life amongst ruins and the protagonist's struggle to escape with the help of a new partner, seem almost tailor made for Morrissey, and his extravagantly OTT live performances of the song are what earns it a place on this list. I first came familiar with the track (obviously, I heard the Morrissey version before the Raymonde one) on the Roskilde festival performance, which – as the lyrics says – 'blew me away to kingdom come' with its passion, and there are only a handful of better live Morrissey vocal performances available. The best line, surely, concerns Morrissey (via Maker) demanding his counterpart to answer the simple question 'am I Einstein or am I Frankenstein?!' The lyric is not only indicative of Morrissey's paranoid and self-conscious attitude towards relationships, but also a knowing nod to the New York Dolls, and a blunt reference to Shelley's masterpiece, which has the same thematic content as the vast majority of Morrissey's output.

Listen to the studio version here.
Listen to the live version from 'Who Put the M in Manchester?' here.
Listen to the Raymonde original here.


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RE: #90: Am I Einstein or am I Frankenstein?! - 25/10/2011 2:16:48 PM   
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Not Roy's Keen, not worth noting.

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RE: #90: Am I Einstein or am I Frankenstein?! - 25/10/2011 2:19:20 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

Not Roy's Keen, not worth noting.

Your mentor has spoken. Go forth, young roustabout, and preach my wisdom to the world as if it were your own.


I hate you so much.


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RE: #89: You have never been in love... - 25/10/2011 2:43:59 PM   
Piles


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89. First of the Gang to Die
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Alain Whyte (music).
Year of composition: 2002.
Appearances on official releases: On the album 'You Are the Quarry', released as the second single from that album. Performed live on the 'Who Put the M in Manchester' DVD. Appears on the 2008 'Greatest Hits' compilation.


If 'Hairdresser on Fire', 'Irish Blood, English Heart', and 'The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get' got 'too low!' appeals on this list, then I'm sure this track will too. Undoubtedly one of Morrissey's most well-known and most well-loved tracks – especially of the new century (apparently, it's his most performed live track since its inception in 2002) – it was the second of four top ten singles to come from 'You Are the Quarry'; Morrissey's most successful stream of singles that he hasn't beaten before or since. There's no denying the genius of this track (I've even met a load of music fans who generally can't stand Moz's work but love 'First of the Gang To Die'), and I think the main reason it's so adored is just because it's so ridiculous. When you think of the other major Morrissey sing-along tracks, like 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out', 'Everyday is Like Sunday', or 'Please, Please, Please…', there's a very human anthemic aspect that draws people in. With this song, the lyrics are quite brilliantly off-kilter, from naming the gangster protagonist a decidedly upper-class name like Hector (although it's apparently a common name amongst Mexican street criminals, and Moz is huge in Latin America), to gleefully chanting that you don't know love until 'you've seen the sun rise behind the home for the blind', everything about this song is a little bit bizarre. The music is good but at times a little pedestrian, and so it relies on Morrissey's gleeful vocal rendition to pull it through. Thankfully it succeeds, and there are moments in this song which are as good as any other Moz vocal performance (particularly the 'and he stole from the rich, and the poor, and the not very rich and the very poor' section). Thematically, it fits in well with Morrissey's other songs about criminality (see 'The Last of the Famous International Playboys' or 'Sister I'm a Poet') only perhaps more glamorous, but mostly this is a song about dramatic irony. The 'hero' dies after failing so miserably to capture the notions of 'love' that Morrissey talks about, but long after his fall he is seen to have 'stole all hearts away'. It's actually quite beautiful when you think about it.

Listen to a live version (who remembers T4 and June Sapong?!) here.
Listen to the studio version here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 25/10/2011 3:19:58 PM >


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