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RE: #89: You have never been in love...

 
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RE: #89: You have never been in love... - 25/10/2011 3:08:40 PM   
matty_b


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The More You Ignore Me... and First of the Gang are brilliant (I also agree with you on the "and he stole from the rich and the poor..." bit being a great vocal part).

That cover version is also well good, innit.

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RE: #89: You have never been in love... - 25/10/2011 11:18:01 PM   
Pigeon Army


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles
I hate you so much.


The more you hate me, the closer I get.

First of the Gang is aces, if it makes you feel any better.

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She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


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RE: #89: You have never been in love... - 26/10/2011 10:20:42 PM   
Rhubarb


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles
(who remembers T4 and June Sapong?!)



I remember always thinking she was always quite drunk.

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RE: #88: Always looking for attention... - 3/11/2011 6:41:55 PM   
Piles


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From: Whalley Range


88. Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Boz Boorer (music).
Year of composition: 1994.
Appearances on official releases: Only available on 'Vauxhall and I'.


If any of Morrissey's songs are obviously and completely influenced by another work of art, it's this one. Strongly reminiscent of Stevie Smith's poem 'Not Waving But Drowning' (find it here), Morrissey's 'Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning' tells the story of a girl who slowly sinks away whilst a mean-spirited lifeguard takes a nap (whilst Smith's poem is of a man who drowns because his friends mistake his flailing arms for the 'larking' that the 'poor chap […] always loved'). Simon Goddard suggests there's more than a hint of black comedy in this song, but I don't really think there is; whether you take the lyrics literally or metaphorically the song is a dark tale of negligence and ignorance. There's mumblings that the song is about an old PA of Morrissey's, who slowly sank away after being ignored by Moz's manager, but more generally the song can apply to most relationships as they reach their final days. You could read the lyrics as one half of the relationship throwing obvious signs out that the thing is coming to an end and the other half simply choosing to ignore it, and that's kind of the reading that I tend to side with; I like Morrissey most when he's at his most general, talking about things that a lot of us can relate to in thinly-veiled metaphors. A cautionary tale on being aware of what your partner is saying before they drift away for good is far more interesting than an obscure Moz history lesson about his PA during the Vauxhall and I tour. Musically, it's fantastic, all clarinets and symbols, feeling somehow continental, and probably the biggest departure of sound for Morrissey up to this point (he'd probably surpass his 'experimentalism' with 'The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils', though, and incidentally both of these were penned by Boorer). The music is capped off by Morrissey's high-pitched whisper, which adds a subtle melodrama to proceedings without ever becoming too contrived. Apparently, it took Moz and producer Steve Lillywhite an uncharacteristically long time to figure out how the singer should approach this vocal, but I think eventually they got it just about perfect.

Listen to the studio version here.
Unfortunately but understandably, there's no live version on YouTube. I wonder if he ever played this one live? I can't find any record of it.


< Message edited by Piles -- 3/11/2011 6:49:44 PM >


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RE: #88: Always looking for attention... - 3/11/2011 6:47:19 PM   
rawlinson

 

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Excellent song. I've been listening to Vauxhall and I quite a bit recently and it's turning into one of my favourite songs on the album. I love your reviews, btw.

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RE: #88: Always looking for attention... - 3/11/2011 7:01:37 PM   
Piles


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Yeah, Vauxhall and I is probably my favourite solo Moz album (maybe, it changes day to day) and I think there are only two more songs from it higher than this one. I might keep an album tally on the first post, V&I could very well win it.

Thanks for the comment about the reviews - I was worried that (a) nobody read them and/or (b) they come accross as the ramblings of a maniach .


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RE: #87: Which set the pace for the rest of your days. - 3/11/2011 7:38:19 PM   
Piles


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87. Southpaw
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Alain Whyte (music).
Year of composition:  1995.
Appearances on official releases: The album ‘Southpaw Grammar’, and its subsequent re-issue (re-package re-package).


The album ‘Southpaw Grammar’ has garnered this reputation for being Morrissey’s most experimental record, with some people going as far as to say it’s the singer’s tepid first step into prog rock. I always found this quite an odd statement, because although it has the most ‘different’ and ‘experimental’ song of Moz’s career, it also has a bunch of quite straightforward, catchy and sprightly pop tunes. Most of the album doesn’t particularly feel ‘prog’ at all, and the only track which is whole-heartedly out there is the opener, ‘The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils’. The other ‘tepid first steps’ towards a prog album come in the form of the (pretty pointless, to be honest) drum solo at the beginning of ‘The Operation’ and this, the epic ten-minute ‘Southpaw’. The weird thing is, after about five minutes, you begin to wonder what is so epic about this song to warrant such an unwieldy length. The music is akin to most of the tracks on the album (‘The Boy Racer’, ‘Dagenham Dave’, ‘Reader Meet Author’, etc), and the lyrics are about as grounded in obvious Moz territory as possible; a boy loses his friends at a young age and is left alone but for ‘the girl of [his] dreams’, who he eventually loses well. However, it’s the five minutes that follows that turns this song from a very good pop tune into an experimental, different, and plainly brilliant ‘epic’. After Morrissey’s vocals end, amidst mumbled cries of ‘help me, help me, help me’, we descend into just over five minutes of instrumental, distorted, snare-driven music from the band. It would have been longer, too, but for the tape running out in the studio after ten minutes. After hearing Morrissey sing about being put to one side by friends (he sings in the second person, but I’m pretty sure that there are autobiographical elements here) and making the mistake of choosing to run ‘back to Ma’ instead of visiting the girl of your dreams, we kind of get swept along in this maelstrom of music and tension. Every note, every passing minute, elevates the tragedy of the situation. And to top it off, there’s the fact that Moz remains silent through all of it, as if he’s accepted his fate and is content to be swept along by the storm of loneliness.

Listen to the studio version here.
Never played live. According to Morrissey, the song belongs ‘only to that moment in 1995, and none other’.


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RE: #87: Which set the pace for the rest of your days. - 4/11/2011 5:09:43 PM   
Piles


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No <3 for Southpaw?

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RE: #87: Which set the pace for the rest of your days. - 4/11/2011 10:24:52 PM   
matty_b


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First time I've heard it. Really good track.

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RE: #87: Which set the pace for the rest of your days. - 5/11/2011 9:14:07 AM   
MovieAddict247


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Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowing is incredible.

Southpaw is great too. Good choices.


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RE: #86: Were you and he lovers? - 5/11/2011 4:18:45 PM   
Piles


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86. Alsatian Cousin
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Stephen Street (music), Vini Reilly (music – uncredited).
Year of composition: 1988.
Appearances on official release: Album opener for 'Viva Hate', a live version formed one of the 4 b-sides to 'We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful'. Also appears on the compilation 'The HMV/Parlaphone Singles' in its live form.


I don't think there are many songs on 'Viva Hate', Morrissey's debut solo album, that don't at times feel like they are dealing with the break-up of The Smiths. Indeed, the fact that this album was released only half a year after 'Strangeways Here We Come' means that the break-up would obviously be massively on Moz's mind, so references to it would make up a portion of 'Viva Hate' even if he did his damnedest to keep them out. This is no truer for any track on the album than 'Alsatian Cousin', the opener, which poses Morrissey as an embittered (former?) lover accusing his partner of infidelity. The song's central refrain is 'were you and he lovers? And would you say so if you were?', which paints quite a stark picture of the singer's paranoia and inability to trust. The 'betrayal' (as Morrissey saw it) of Marr is just another in a long list of events in the singer's life where he's found his faith in human relationships ill-founded, and the lyrics to this song – when taken literally – are about a romantic relationship rather than his musical one with Marr. However, even the songs which seem almost definitely about the guitarist – like 'I Don't Mind If You Forget Me' or the seminal 'I Won't Share You' – read like love songs too, and the rumors of unrequited love on Morrissey's part suggest that 'Alsatian Cousin' could very much be about Marr (interesting aside; the Smiths guitarist had a pair of Alsatians when this song came out, but that's hardly conclusive proof). Musically, this song is one of my favorites on 'Viva Hate', all screeching guitar (provided by 'Durruti Column' alumni Vini Reilly) and driving baseline (provided by Stephen Street). Street wrote a bare bones demo of the track that is almost unrecognizable from the finished product, allowing Reilly to improvise over it and flesh it out to its violent form. There was actually a minor ownership debate between the pair at a later date, but it's probably the case that both had essential contributions in making 'Alsatian Cousin' the perfect opening to Morrissey's solo career.

Listen to the studio version here.
Listen to a fantastic live version from the 'Kill Uncle' tour here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 5/11/2011 4:19:07 PM >


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RE: #86: Were you and he lovers? - 5/11/2011 5:37:42 PM   
rawlinson

 

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I actually expected Alsatian Cousin to be higher for some reason. Good choice. I like Southpaw too.

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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 6/11/2011 10:50:44 AM   
Piles


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I actually listened to it a bunch of times yesterday and thought 'man, this should be a lot higher'. But if I start moving shit around all I have is anarchy.

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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 6/11/2011 1:16:20 PM   
Rhubarb


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

I actually listened to it a bunch of times yesterday and thought 'man, this should be a lot higher'.


But if even you don't agree with the order, what is your list

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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 6/11/2011 3:47:17 PM   
Piles


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Is it even possible to decisively rank your favourite songs from your favourite artist? Are you 100% happy with your top 30 Walker songs? I'm happy with the vast majority of the list. When I listen to one of the songs on it, though, I always think 'this should be higher'... I guess it evens out in the end.

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RE: #85: Life is nothing much to lose. - 12/11/2011 10:28:47 AM   
Piles


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85. Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Alain Whyte (music).
Year of composition: 2009.
Appearances on official releases: Just the album 'Years of Refusal'.


The last two Morrissey albums have been littered with gothic tales (see 'The Father Who Must Be Killed', 'The Youngest Was The Most Loved', etc), and none stick out as finer than 'Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed', track 2 on 2009's 'Years of Refusal'. The narrative here concerns a young boy who is driven to madness and an insatiable yearning for revenge by the suicide of his mother, who was driven to kill herself by 'spare, priggish money men' and 'pigs in grey suits'. Obviously, then, this is yet another song in a long line of Moz tunes about authority figures (see 'Headmaster Ritual', 'How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel', etc), with the singer scathingly lamenting his mother's death whilst pointing the finger at those whose influence and ability to persecute comes naturally because of their high social/occupational standing. The lyric 'life is nothing much to lose' is another return to a favorite topic of Morrissey's, returning to the days of 'Asleep' and such songs, not so much supporting suicide as attempting to understand it. It also sets up the song's brilliant finale, where the boy resolves to kill himself too, as if playing a sick joke on all of those who drove his mother to do the same. Musically, it's one of the most exciting on 'Years of Refusal', with Whyte's central, driving riff dripping with gothic tones, the rhythm section chipping in with something resembling a military march (live versions of the song, like the one listed below, often culminated in Boorer and keyboard player Pooley going loco with snares). Simon Goddard comments on the interesting positioning of this song on the album, directly after 'Something Is Squeezing My Skull', noting how it may bear relevance to Virginia Woolf (obviously somebody Moz is familiar with – the Smiths song 'Shakespeare's Sister' takes her on as a muse) in the fact that she took her own life by stuffing her pockets with stones before jumping into a Sussex river, driven to it by mental illness (the primary theme of 'Something is Squeezing My Skull').

Listen to the studio version here.
Listen to a live version, with a thoroughly unenthused Moz but a brilliantly energetic musical accompaniment, here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 12/11/2011 10:55:39 AM >


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RE: #84: When you cannot stand the real world... - 12/11/2011 11:20:13 AM   
Piles


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84. Art-hounds
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), I don't know who composed the music.
Year of compositions: 2009.
Appearances on official releases: None as of yet.

My highest ranked of the new tracks, despite the fact that it's only thus far been performed once (to the best of my knowledge) at Brixton earlier this year. Listening to the lyrics of this song, it seems at times to incorporate a lot of the best elements of several Morrissey phases/themes of choice; the final line 'I take 15 pills to send me to sleep and 15 pills to shake me awake' an obvious reference to Moz's flirtation with prescription drug addiction (a la 'Something is Squeezing My Skull'), the European landscape and landmark references akin to tracks like 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' or 'Christian Dior', the whimsical line 'but when they can't find a table for their fat Aunt Mable' reminiscent of the best things about 'Kill Uncle'… but overall the song is generally about the critics who mock or slam artists when these writers can't actually make music (or art in general) themselves, an improved update of the best verse in 'You Know I Couldn't Last'. The lyrics are breathtakingly melodramatic, with such lines as 'my life is opera' commenting further on the critics and journalists turning the singer's life (perhaps with a little encouragement by Moz himself) into a narrative to be examined, and the fantastic final refrain of 'when you cannot stand the real world, take my hand' meaning one of two things; a genuinely romantic plea from the singer, or an attack on a critic's self-assumed place as a guide through the avant-garde. It's also the most entertaining new track vocally, with Morrissey flitting in and out of falsetto, displaying a furious energy to match the restrained melancholy of 'Action is My Middle Name' and the ominous, gothic gloom of 'Scandinavia'. His joyful, free-wheeling vocals are matched by an energetic musical arrangement, driven by rolling drums and providing a relentless backdrop for the frenetic, sprawling words.

Listen to the live version with some witty comments preceding the performance here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 12/11/2011 11:21:18 AM >


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RE: #83: I never will, I never will... - 12/11/2011 11:47:36 AM   
Piles


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83. Back to the Old House
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Marr (music).
Year of composition: 1984.
Appearances on Official Releases: B-side to ‘What Difference Does it Make’, on the compilations ‘Hatful of Hollow’, ‘Louder Than Bombs’, and ‘The Sound of the Smiths’.


First premiered on a John Peel session, ‘Back to the Old House’ is a beautiful, melancholic ode to romance lost and the manner in which memories can only amplify the misery that follows. At least that’s how Morrissey saw it; Marr wrote it as an ode to love gained with his then-girlfriend, before the singer penned lyrics that referred to a relationship gone awry, and the protagonist’s refusal to return to the titular house that holds these said memories. You’d think that this would be a sticking point between the creative pair, but on the live version (from the Peel sessions, available on all of the compositions) the beauty and reverse-romanticism is so overpowering that you can easily see why Marr relented. The B-side, released on the ‘What Difference Does it Make’ single, features added bass and drums (which was the version performed live on most occasions), but these added instruments rob the track of its stripped down beauty. Not only do they take away the power of the song, they also distract attention from Marr, who was only 19 years old when he and Morrissey performed ‘Back to the Old House’ as an acoustic duo for John Peel and BBC Radio One listeners. His picking ability here is absolutely incredible, and it’s the best early example (maybe even the best example full stop) of the level of his mastery. Those that doubt Marr’s contribution to The Smiths should be directed to this song instantly, because his contribution doesn’t simply match Morrissey’s here, it far outweighs it. Lyrically, the song’s best moment is where the repeated refrain of ‘I’d rather not go, back to the old house’ flips to ‘I’d love to go, back to the old house, but I never will’. The singer leaves the interpretation up to the listener; is this an instant admittance that the Moz misses the relationship, or has time elapsed, and looking back he’s come to see that the biggest mistake of all was not putting up more of a fight?

Listen to the studio version here.
Listen to a live version, with added bass and drums, here.


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RE: #83: I never will, I never will... - 13/11/2011 1:42:44 PM   
Piles


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I DEMAND COMMENTS MOTHERFUCKERS

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RE: #83: I never will, I never will... - 13/11/2011 1:53:45 PM   
MovieAddict247


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Back to the Old House - good choice, often overlooked (though it's nowhere near my top Smiths tracks)

Art Hounds - with all three of the new tracks, I'd love to hear a proper, studio version. I really like it though.

Mama Lay Softly on the Riverbed - I love it, the drums are fantastic.


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RE: #83: I never will, I never will... - 13/11/2011 1:58:37 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MovieAddict247

Back to the Old House - good choice, often overlooked (though it's nowhere near my top Smiths tracks)


Yeah, there's a huge amount of Smiths tracks left to come, do not fear . The list gets more dense with them the higher up we get.

quote:

Art Hounds - with all three of the new tracks, I'd love to hear a proper, studio version. I really like it though.


Same. Art-hounds is my favourite of the new bunch, can't wait to (hopefully) hear it done in a studio.

quote:

Mama Lay Softly on the Riverbed - I love it, the drums are fantastic.


The drums are indeed magnificent, specifically in live arrangements.


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RE: #83: I never will, I never will... - 13/11/2011 5:02:14 PM   
matty_b


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Mama... is good.

Art Hounds sounds like it could be brilliant on a finished version.

Back to the Old House is decent.


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RE: #97: To be standing by the flag not feeling shamefu... - 13/11/2011 5:43:33 PM   
Rhubarb


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

Is it even possible to decisively rank your favourite songs from your favourite artist? Are you 100% happy with your top 30 Walker songs? I'm happy with the vast majority of the list. When I listen to one of the songs on it, though, I always think 'this should be higher'... I guess it evens out in the end.



I've seen your whole list now so I don't care because its all wrong.

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RE: #83: I never will, I never will... - 13/11/2011 6:13:08 PM   
MovieAddict247


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

quote:

ORIGINAL: MovieAddict247
Art Hounds - with all three of the new tracks, I'd love to hear a proper, studio version. I really like it though.


Same. Art-hounds is my favourite of the new bunch, can't wait to (hopefully) hear it done in a studio.


Out of the new ones, Scandinavia is probably my favourite, but I'd need to here them all done properly.

Is there any news about if/when they'll be officially released? I can't remember reading anything at the time.

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RE: #83: I never will, I never will... - 13/11/2011 6:33:01 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MovieAddict247

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

quote:

ORIGINAL: MovieAddict247
Art Hounds - with all three of the new tracks, I'd love to hear a proper, studio version. I really like it though.


Same. Art-hounds is my favourite of the new bunch, can't wait to (hopefully) hear it done in a studio.


Out of the new ones, Scandinavia is probably my favourite, but I'd need to here them all done properly.

Is there any news about if/when they'll be officially released? I can't remember reading anything at the time.


He was having problems finding a record deal and he announced at Brixton that he simply wasn't interested in getting a new deal for the album. I'm sure it'll work itself out eventually though...


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RE: #83: I never will, I never will... - 13/11/2011 7:02:22 PM   
Rhubarb


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He should just go back to Rough Trade and get it out there.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



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RE: #84: When you cannot stand the real world... - 15/11/2011 11:23:10 AM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

[align=center]



Is Morrissey wearing a frilly lavender codpiece in this picture?

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She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

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Post #: 87
RE: #84: When you cannot stand the real world... - 15/11/2011 2:01:59 PM   
rawlinson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army


quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles





Is Morrissey wearing a frilly lavender codpiece in this picture?




Really glad Back to the Old House made it in. I agree as well that Art Hounds has the potential to be brilliant.

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Post #: 88
RE: #83: So grab we while you still have the time! - 19/11/2011 6:12:50 PM   
Piles


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82. One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Boz Boorer (music).
Year of composition: 2007.
Appearances on official releases: 'Years of Refusal'.


Another song from Morrissey's most recently released studio album (back in 2009), 'One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell' continues in the vein of gutsy, muscular rock songs that make up 'Years of Refusal'. 'Your Arsenal' is often cited as the most overtly 'heavy' of Moz's solo output, but I personally think it's by far eclipsed by this album, and there's no songs on it that are particularly more impressively muscular than this one. The heart of the song is the pumping, bounding music, beginning with a stuttering guitar note, as if the instruments are literally revving up for the onslaught to follow, and then lurching towards its dramatic climax. There are also some fine trumpet sections, which are exaggerated and often implemented into the introduction during live performances, and the whole thing is held together (and driven on) by the fantastically frenetic rhythm section. The lyrics themselves are also worthy of note, potentially telling the story of a lover pleading with his or her partner to appreciate them before the relationship expires. I slightly prefer the reading, though, that this song is a (slightly paranoid, of course) open letter of sorts to the journalists, critics, and potentially even the fans who comment (usually detrimentally, according to Moz) on every aspect of the singer's life. His pleas for them to 'grab me whilst you still have the time' seem like timely requests for his output to be appreciated rather than derided, as if the singer knows that he is entering the twilight years of his career and is tired of fighting petty battles. Both readings are equally valid and equally interesting, and this slight ambiguity – coupled with the thumpingly good musical accompaniment – ensures that 'One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell' is one of the very best songs on the majestic 'Years of Refusal'.

Listen to the studio version here.
Listen to a fantastic live version here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 28/11/2011 5:52:31 PM >


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(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 89
RE: #83: So grab we while you still have the time! - 19/11/2011 6:54:47 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24509
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
I came in to slag your list off but I like One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell

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(in reply to Piles)
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