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RE: #80: Head in the clouds and a mouthful of pie.

 
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RE: #80: Head in the clouds and a mouthful of pie. - 22/11/2011 2:30:56 PM   
rawlinson

 

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Seems the perfect thread to put a RIP for Shelagh Delaney. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15822806

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RE: #80: Head in the clouds and a mouthful of pie. - 28/11/2011 5:49:02 PM   
Piles


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Yeah, a real shame. Sheila take a bow etc.

Might update this tonight.


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RE: #78: Off the rails I was... - 28/11/2011 6:11:42 PM   
Piles


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78. Piccadilly Palare
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Kevin Armstrong (music).
Year of composition: 1990.
Appearances on official releases: Released as a single in October 1990, and therefore on the 'Bona Drag' compilation. Also appears on the comps 'The Best Of' and 'The HMV/Parlaphone Singles'.


Morrissey isn't exactly shy when it comes to self-praising. When each new studio album comes out, he brazenly heralds it as his best work, often not only amongst his solo albums but also above his Smiths work (he corrected Jonathon Ross when the interviewer claimed 'You are the Quarry' was his best solo album, stating that it's his 'best album ever'). However, when he released 'Piccadilly Palare' back in 1990, the only Armstrong written tune to be released as a single, he stated that it wasn't 'a particularly strong record', and that the subject matter was 'slightly dated'. Needless to say, I disagree; 'Piccadilly Palare' is a very strong early record, both tongue-in-cheek with its lyrics and hard-hitting with its subject matter. Taking inspiration from 1960s BBC radio dramas and documentaries, the song is about young men leaving their northern homes to chase their dreams in London. Morrissey has said, of his own time living as a young Northern gentleman, that 'catching a coach and spending a day in Piccadilly was extraordinary', and that 'it spelt freedom'. However, the song takes a darker turn when the protagonist reaches the capital, drawn into potential prostitution and, via the cut third verse that was re-instated to the 2011 re-release of Bona Drag, confined to a 'cold water room'. The song gets a lot grimmer, with the character whining to his father that he 'won't be home tomorrow', and these actually quite dark lyrics provide a fantastically biting contrast to the quite pleasant, hummable tune provided by Kevin Armstrong. The production is expectedly Madness-esque, like many Moz singles from this era (particularly those produced by Clive Langer), but that's not necessarily a bad thing, with the singer embracing the danceable melodies and delivering a very moving vocal performance. It's a shame that Morrissey wasn't his usual self-loving self when this song was released; with a bit more advertising, some self-publication and a music video to accompany it, 'Piccadilly Palare' could have done a lot better than its #18 chart placing.

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


< Message edited by Piles -- 29/11/2011 5:14:57 PM >


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RE: #77: Scavenging through life's very constant lulls. - 28/11/2011 6:24:30 PM   
Piles


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77. Seasick, Yet Still Docked
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Alain Whyte (music).
Year of composition: 1992.
Appearances on official releases: On the album 'Your Arsenal', as well as the live record 'Beethoven Was Deaf'.


If you ever want a track to show someone in order to dispel the myth that Morrissey is a miserable bastard, then 'Seasick, Yet Still Docked' is certainly not it. There are very few tracks from the singer that are so desperately lonely and so immovably sorrowful as this one, starting out as it means to go on with 'I am a poor freezingly cold soul' and never really letting up on the misery, 'Seasick, Yet Still Docked' is about loneliness, despair, and being on the verge of giving up. The music, just like the lyrics, are desperately drawn out, giving off a feel of this loneliness being eternal and unrelenting, and Morrissey's near-whispering, placated vocal performance implies that he's on the verge of throwing the towel in. It's no coincidence that this song comes directly before 'I Know It's Going To Happen Someday' on the 'Your Arsenal' record; the latter is almost a reply to this song, with Moz finding some much-needed energy and telling the protagonist in this song not to 'lose faith'. This one-two punch, of a man on his knees ready to give in, and a man replying with the simply message of just holding on, is about as breathtaking as any two consecutive tracks on any Morrissey (or The Smiths, for that matter) album. Musically, Alain Whyte's waltzing composition harkens back to Johnny Marr and Morrissey's work with his former band, the languid feel of the ballad reminiscent of 'Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me' and 'Back to the Old House', but creating its own character with the sheer lack of hope that the track (individually) inspires. The line 'scavenging through life's very constant lulls' is enough to bring even the heartiest optimist crashing down to earth.

Listen to the studio version here.
Listen to a live version (from a quite recent radio 2 session) here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 28/11/2011 6:25:31 PM >


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RE: #76: Your mild 'best wishes' they make me suspicious. - 28/11/2011 6:42:24 PM   
Piles


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76. I Don't Mind If You Forget Me
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Stephen Street (music).
Year of composition: 1988.
Appearances on official releases: Viva Hate.


Often marked out as one of the weaker tracks on 'Viva Hate', 'I Don't Mind If You Forget Me' is a buoyant tune that hosts some of the most thinly veiled comments by Morrissey on the break-up of The Smiths. He talks of a partner who wanted him to 'change and move on', and of now being in the cooling period where the 'love' of the past has turned into simple 'regards'. The climax of the song, where the singer warbles that 'rejection is one thing, but rejection from a fool is cruel', also reeks of a hard-faced facade slightly crumbling, leaving only pettiness and a want to right the wrongs in a past relationship. It's difficult to listen to this song without thinking that it must be about Johnny Marr, and that Morrissey genuinely does mind if he is forgotten. The lyrics, then, are confused and they trip over themselves constantly, and the impression left is that the singer is simply forcing himself to attempt to move on, but that is why this song is fantastic. It lets us into Morrissey's mind and study his thoughts more than any other record of this era, and therefore tells us so much about the break-up of the Smiths and the singer's opinions on the fallout than any interview or more frank, balanced account. Musically, it's quite simple; just two guitar notes over a Motown-style rhythm section (the guitar is actually so simple that Vini Reilly refused to play it during the 'Viva Hate' sessions, meaning that Stephen Street had to step in to play his own composition). But this simplicity works, creating a unique sound that Street himself described as Motown meets Buzzcocks. Although probably not the strongest record either musically or lyrically, it's the beauty of Morrissey flailing in the air and accidentally allowing us to study his true feelings that makes this song so essential.

Listen to the studio version here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 28/11/2011 6:43:23 PM >


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RE: #76: Your mild 'best wishes' they make me suspicious. - 29/11/2011 9:48:17 AM   
matty_b


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Picadilly - meh.

Seasick - great.

I Don't Mind - good.


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RE: #76: Your mild 'best wishes' they make me suspicious. - 29/11/2011 4:16:19 PM   
MovieAddict247


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Three of my favourites, great update.

I Don't Mind If You Forget Me is one of the catchiest songs ever written, whilst Piccadilly Palare and Seasick are both fantastic songs.


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RE: #76: Your mild 'best wishes' they make me suspicious. - 29/11/2011 5:42:40 PM   
Piles


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Cheers for the comments fellas. Hopefully there will be more you like in this update.

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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 5:42:58 PM   
Piles


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75. Meat is Murder
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Johnny Marr (music).
Year of composition: 1985.
Appearances on official releases: Title track on the album of the same name. Also appears on the compilation 'The Sound of the Smiths'.


There's a lot of hate for this, The Smiths' most polemic and one-sided song, and I can kind of see why. It's not very nice being confronted about something that, for all intents and purposes, is okay. My own vegetarian beliefs are nowhere near as militant and as unrelenting as Morrissey's, and as such I can listen to 'Meat is Murder' and see that, really, calling people murderers isn't going to get the vast majority of people to change. I say the vast majority because, like me, there are a lot of people whose views on meat eating changed because of this song; Morrissey himself estimates the number of converts he's made is in the thousands. Obviously, no such data exists, and this is probably a case of over exaggeration, but the number is definitely north of 0, and as a result the song's existence is justified. Musically, it's a slow, drawn out piece that is as imposing as it is melodramatic, the use of screaming farm animals for percussion being both highly original and massively affecting. It's odd that the song comes directly after 'Barbarism Comes At Home', which is potentially the funkiest, most danceable song The Smiths have ever made, because this is a track that's as far from funky and danceable as is possible. The lyrics compound this imposing drama, Morrissey pointing his finger at his audience and accusing all meat-eaters of destroying what he sees as 'beautiful creatures'. When I first heard the song, the effect was devastating; Morrissey shuns all economic and religious reasons behind vegetarianism and takes the tact that all life is equal. If you can kind of see where he's coming from there (and a lot of people have done), the rest of the song is a natural progression, and the lyrics – stated as fact rather than exaggeration – are incredibly hard hitting. The most hardened meat eaters will scoff at lines like 'kitchen aromas aren't very homely, it's not comforting, cheery or kind, it's sizzling blood and the unholy stench of MURDER', but – for me – these accusatory lyrics simply state truthful, harsh messages (providing you're willing to go along with 'all life being equal'). I often get annoyed when people say (about random tracks) that 'this song has changed my life', because a lot of the time it simply hasn't, but 'Meat is Murder' changed both my outlook and my habits, and has therefore had a larger effect on my life in general than any other song ever recorded. For that reason, it deserves a spot on this list.

Listen to the studio version here.
Listen to an incredibly powerful live version, from Glastonbury 2011 (!), with added reprise here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 29/11/2011 5:45:58 PM >


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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 5:45:24 PM   
matty_b


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Your personal reasoning for it being in the list is impossible to argue against, and fair enough, but it's one of my least favourite Smiths' tracks.

And putting it above The Queen Is Dead makes me want to drop-kick a kitten.


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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 5:48:34 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

Your personal reasoning for it being in the list is impossible to argue against, and fair enough, but it's one of my least favourite Smiths' tracks.


Yeah, it's a very divisive track I think. Those who it converted will say it's powerful and those who weren't will say it's laughable. I can see both arguments.

quote:



And putting it above The Queen Is Dead makes me want to drop-kick a kitten.



. There's plenty more from the rest of that album to come, don't worry. One of it's tracks is #2!


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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 5:53:29 PM   
matty_b


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Ooh...

Will it the super-obvious song from that album, that's the question.


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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 5:59:57 PM   
rawlinson

 

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I'm just surprised Meat Is Murder is so low.

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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 6:09:28 PM   
Piles


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74. We'll Let You Know
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Alain Whyte (music).
Year of composition: 1992.
Appearances on official releases: On the album 'Your Arsenal', as well as the live record 'Beethoven Was Deaf'. Also appears on the compilation 'The World of Morrissey'.


If you had to hazard a guess as to what Morrissey's favourite track that he's ever recorded was, I doubt you'd guess this one (I certainly wouldn't). But, on several occasions, the singer has claimed that 'We'll Let You Know' is his favourite, and that – looking back - it just about sums everything up. On the surface, the track is about football hooliganism, never condoning the practice but attempting to humanize and sympathize with the protagonist. The song implies that, away from the football pitch, these men who indulge in football-related violence are normal, pleasant, and amiable folk, and that 'it's the turnstiles that make us hostile'. But why? Morrissey never seems to really decide one way or another why these men are the way they are at 3pm on a Saturday, and that's probably for the best; any sort of direct reasoning or justification would probably be a controversial step too far (although that has never been a problem for the singer before). I quite like Simon Goddard's explanation that Morrissey has the (widely-held) view that football hooliganism is a subconscious reaction to the death of the working class, and if you agree with this then the singer's statement that it 'sums everything up' makes more sense. Musically, the song matches the lyrics admirably, the slow and serene tones that accompany the opening two and a half minutes literally ripped apart by a baying mob for the song's climax. It's not Whyte's strongest composition, but it mirrors and even enhances the effect of the lyrics. It's no co-incidence that this track directly precedes 'The National Front Disco' on 'Your Arsenal'; another track that talks about a group of people often seen as the underbelly of society.

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


< Message edited by Piles -- 30/11/2011 8:34:20 PM >


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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 6:10:19 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

Ooh...

Will it the super-obvious song from that album, that's the question.



I can think of 3 tracks that would be super-obvious , but it's none of those.


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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 6:12:51 PM   
rawlinson

 

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Would Cemetry Gates be classed as obvious? Because that'd be my guess.

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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 6:17:19 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

Would Cemetry Gates be classed as obvious? Because that'd be my guess.



That does chart quite highly, but not that highly. The 3 super-obvious ones would be There is A Light, Bigmouth, and Boy With a Thorn. NO MORE CLUES.


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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 6:17:47 PM   
matty_b


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Huh, OK.

We'll Let You Know is terrific. I remember genuinely being taken aback by the lyrics the first time I listened to it.


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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 6:21:56 PM   
rawlinson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

Would Cemetry Gates be classed as obvious? Because that'd be my guess.



That does chart quite highly, but not that highly. The 3 super-obvious ones would be There is A Light, Bigmouth, and Boy With a Thorn. NO MORE CLUES.



I was assuming I Know It's Over would be one of the three super-obvious ones. So I'll guess I know It's Over then.

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RE: #73: Again, I lay awake... - 29/11/2011 6:38:10 PM   
Piles


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73. I'd Love To
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Boz Boorer (music).
Year of composition: 1994.
Appearances on official releases: B-side to 'The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get'. Also appears on the compilations 'My Early Burglary Years' and 'The HMV/Parlaphone Singles', and on the special edition of 'Viva Hate'.


Morrissey's most miserable songs are often quite immovable in their melancholic self-loathing; unnecessarily bleak and almost always without hope. 'I'd Love To' opens with Morrissey proclaiming that 'again, I lay awake, and I cried because of waste', and you just get that feeling that this is going to be another one of 'those Morrissey songs'. But, amazingly, it isn't, and the finished product is extremely hopeful (in the vein of 'I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday') and, shock horror, even a little romantic. The song talks about both love and lust, with Morrissey (tongue firmly in cheek) stating that 'I'd love to, but only with you' – a sly remark about his sexual abstinence that conveys this potential partner's remarkably charming nature (if (s)he can get even Moz's heart racing, she must be something). It's helped along by Boorer's dreamlike music, which takes us along in a trance to the song's incredibly moving instrumental climax. It would have been easy for Morrissey to populate every second of this beautiful, ethereal music with lyrics about an unrequited yet still hopeful love, but he instead takes a step back and allows the song to sweep us away. Fortunately, this has a great effect, as if we're being caught up and pulled along by the Morrissey's longing, words failing to express the beauty that the music sublimely conveys. It's such a shame that this track only ever saw the light of day as a B-side to a song I feel is slightly inferior, because 'I'd Love To' is one of Moz's most affecting and simplistic ballads.

Listen to the studio version here.


< Message edited by Piles -- 30/11/2011 8:34:56 PM >


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RE: #75: MURDERMURDERMURDERMURDER - 29/11/2011 6:38:53 PM   
Piles


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

Would Cemetry Gates be classed as obvious? Because that'd be my guess.



That does chart quite highly, but not that highly. The 3 super-obvious ones would be There is A Light, Bigmouth, and Boy With a Thorn. NO MORE CLUES.



I was assuming I Know It's Over would be one of the three super-obvious ones. So I'll guess I know It's Over then.



I'm not saying nothing. Except you're right.


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RE: #72: Dear God, did this kind of thing happen to you? - 30/11/2011 8:32:54 PM   
Piles


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72. Dear God Please Help Me
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Alain Whyte (music), Ennio Morricone (strings).
Year of composition: 2006.
Appearances on official releases: ‘Ringleader of the Tormentors’.


Often hailed as Morrissey’s ‘coming out’ track (‘coming out?’ the singer remarked, ‘from what? To what?’), ‘Dear God Please Help Me’ is a sensuous track that – if the lyrics are to be read literally – describes a late sexual awakening that leads to a homosexual relationship in Rome. Morrissey walks the streets of the Italian capital, plagued by some sort of spiritual conflict, until he meets a stranger who is just too charming to resist. ‘Now I’m spreading your legs, with mine in-between’ goes the song’s lyrics, both explicit and beautiful, everything accentuated by religious doubt. Indeed, that particular line is followed up with ‘dear God, if I could, I would help you’. After the deed is done, though, this doubt seems to evaporate, with Morrissey warbling that now – at last – ‘the heart feels free’, suggesting some spiritual resolution to go along with the obvious physical satisfaction. Musically, the track is astonishing, Alain Whyte’s organ-based tune capped off by Ennio Morricone’s beautifully heartfelt string arrangement, which piles on the melodrama but, with its uplifting sounds, somehow mirrors the sexual and religious emancipation that the lyrics point to. Morrissey has said in the past that he never ‘mentions’ homosexuality in this song, but it is obviously difficult for him to remain ambiguous after a song like this, although it’s interesting to ponder whether this track is a first hand recount of an actual event, or simply yet another fantasy about unfulfilled longing. I think the presence of ‘At Last I Am Born’, a song that is also ostensibly about a late sexual awakening, on ‘Ringleader of the Tormentors’ implies the former, but the latter explanation gives the song yet another, devastating dimension; Morrissey is left on his haunches again, tearful, longing for a free heart but trapped by both society and his own paranoid self-imprisonment.

Listen to the studio version here.
Listen to a quite beautiful live version here.


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RE: #72: And here's a list of who I slew... - 1/12/2011 5:45:00 PM   
Piles


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72. The Last of the Famous International Playboys
Writers: Morrissey (lyrics), Stephen Street (music).
Year of composition: 1989.
Appearances on official releases: Released as a single. Also appears on the compilations 'Bona Drag', 'The Best Of', 'The HMV/Parlaphone Singles', 'The World of Morrissey', and 'The Very Best Of'.


One of Morrissey's highest charting early singles, 'The Last of the Famous International Playboys' is one of a long line of singles dealing with 'the romance of crime'. Coming after 'Shoplifters of the World' and B-side 'Sister I'm A Poet', but well before the likes of 'First of the Gang to Die' and 'Ganglord', 'Playboys' is a startlingly powerful track about the romanticism of criminal activity set to a simple but incredibly catchy tune by Stephen Street. The former engineer wanted the track to sound like The Fall, and you can see that in the finished product; a chugging, guitar-driven punk-ish record, complete with squealing keyboards. The keyboard element of the song is actually quite odd; the idea of the instrument on 'Kill Uncle' was to try and depart from the Smiths sound, and although it's the widely held view that it failed on that album, popular opinion is quite kind on this track. I think the reason is that, whilst adding enough to depart from the sound that Moz wanted to distance himself from, the keyboards here are nowhere near as intrusive and overwhelming as they are on 'Kill Uncle'. Instead, they compliment and at times enhance that 'Smiths sound' (which is certainly evident here; the band behind the singer consists of Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce, and former Smith #5 Craig Gannon), whilst never detracting from the overall product. The lyrics are generally a love letter to the Kray brothers, a besotted protagonist communicating from his own cell about his time idolizing the notorious villains. Whilst proudly presenting a list of 'who I slew', Morrissey dips in and out of baritone, yelping his way through a thrilling vocal. Funnily enough, Reggie Kray noted in his autobiography that he liked the tune but felt the lyrics were lacking a little. I'm not quite sure what they're lacking; as a track about how media furore and infamy can cause the youth to aspire to criminality, it's peerless.

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

< Message edited by Piles -- 1/12/2011 5:46:50 PM >


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RE: #72: And here's a list of who I slew... - 1/12/2011 6:47:43 PM   
matty_b


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Great song.

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RE: #72: And here's a list of who I slew... - 1/12/2011 7:34:11 PM   
Rhubarb


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I had this in my head today, actually. Its amazing.

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RE: #72: And here's a list of who I slew... - 1/12/2011 8:03:26 PM   
Piles


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Two replys and no 'TOO LOW'? I'm almost disappointed .

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RE: #72: And here's a list of who I slew... - 1/12/2011 8:05:25 PM   
matty_b


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Well, that goes without saying considering we've already had TQID.

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RE: #72: And here's a list of who I slew... - 2/12/2011 12:36:37 AM   
Rhubarb


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

Two replys and no 'TOO LOW'? I'm almost disappointed .



It is too low, I was just giving you a break, bruv.

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(in reply to Piles)
Post #: 148
RE: #70: ... could be the beginning of love ... - 3/12/2011 7:05:36 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range


71. Interlude
Writers: Georges Delerue (music), Hal Shaper (lyrics).
Year of composition: 1968.
Year of Morrissey version release: 1994.
Appearances on official releases: Released as a single (duet with Siouxsie Sioux), and featured on 'The Very Best Of' compilation (solo Morrissey version).


Morrissey had apparently been dying to duet with Siouxsie (of Banshees fame) for years, and the opportunity finally came about during the 1993 'Vauxhall and I' sessions, when the rest of the band was away for a weekend, with guitarist Boz Boorer sticking around to do production work. Originally sang by Timi Yuro for the 1968 film of the same name (which I haven't seen, admittedly), the lyrics tell the story of someone (or, in the duet version, a couple) entering a temporary affair, confident that it is due to end at any second (it's an interlude! Like in the title!), but hopeful – or at least open to the possibility – that it 'could be the beginning of love'. I'm listening to Yuro's version for the first time as I write this, and although Morrissey and Siouxsie's take is mostly faithful, there are key differences that you can't help but notice. The music is a lot more pompous and convoluted (in the original), which probably works against it somewhat, but Yuro's vocal performance is quite astounding, sounding quite placated, even resistant to the possibility of something larger and more meaningful taking place. I think Morrissey's vocal attempts to emulate this, and you get more of a sense of that on the recently released solo version of it, but Siouxsie's version is a little more blusterous. That's not to say that the duet version is bad, far from it, it's a fantastic piece of work from two of alternative music's biggest names, but it kind of loses that resistant, tired element. Morrissey and Siouxsie fell out with each other even before this track was released, mostly because of Moz wanting the accompanying music video to feature a bulldog being led to its hanging and Siouxsie not wanting to be associated with the symbolism that breed of dog brings with it (click for irony), but thankfully the pair are still quite positive about each other's work. It's a shame that Morrissey hasn't done more collaborative work with people like Siouxsie Sioux, because 'Interlude' is certainly an example of when this kind of thing can work.

Listen to the duet version here.
Listen to the Morrissey solo version here.
Listen to the Timi Yuro original here.


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(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 149
RE: #70: ... could be the beginning of love ... - 3/12/2011 7:26:17 PM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
http://www.dianamystery.com/INTERLUDE.htm

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(in reply to Piles)
Post #: 150
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