The Smiths/Morrissey - song-by-song discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Turk Thrust, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.K.
    I checked the forum and couldn't see any thread to discuss all of the songs of The Smiths and Morrissey. If there is enough interest, I would be happy to list all of the songs from The Smiths through to the present day.

    The rules would be:

    1, One song each day.

    2, Votes to be written in the posts as a poll can't be edited every day.

    3, All studio recordings to be discussed and any live songs unavailable elsewhere (eg. What's the World).

    Obviously there could be lots of discussions about in what order the songs should be discussed and the number of alternate versions available complicates things, but we will see how we go.
     
  2. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.K.
    The Smiths

    Reel Around the Fountain
    You've Got Everything Now
    Miserable Lie
    Pretty Girls Make Graves
    The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
    Still Ill
    Hand in Glove
    What Difference Does it Make?
    I Don't Owe You Anything
    Suffer Little Children

    Non-album tracks

    This Charming Man
    Jeane
    Wonderful Woman
    Accept Yourself
     
  3. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To the Regiment!

    Massive interest. From me at least. I have pretty much the entire official catalogue. Also I know the words to any song off by heart.

    If we are discussing Reel Around The Fountain first then it's the end that is most dear to me from the debut, which wouldn't have been if they hadn't shelved the Troy Tapes of course.

    However, it wasnt my first Smiths grab. I've my cousin Andrew to thank for handing me a copy of Heaven Knows then I went and bought the first album. The unrest is history!
     
  4. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.K.
    Reel Around the Fountain



    Despite the imperfect production, this is still a 5. Great lyrics from Morrissey and I personally enjoy the organ from Paul Carrack. A fine way to start their debut album.
     
  5. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To the Regiment!

    It's your car, you drive it. If I learned anything from the Genesis Album By Album thread chaired by @mark winstanley it's that order needs to come from the OP. Once one song is done IYO announce the next one. Just my two pennyworth.
     
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  6. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I would suggest going song by song in the order they came out. You would have say a single, then its two b sides, then the remainder of the album tracks if it was on an album, then the next non album single and its b-sides, and so on. Which would make the first song “Hand in Glove.”
     
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  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    I am a fan of the smiths, but unforunately only have a couple of compiles.

    @Hollow Horse is right about something here. Only one person can drive the bus.
    If it becomes random with folks posting whatever they like songwise your thread will get out of control.
    Take the wheel and drive sir
     
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  8. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To the Regiment!

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  9. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    I'm down with this! The Smiths are an interesting band for me, in that I only truly love one of their albums, but they're still one of my all-time favourite acts thanks to their non-album tracks and live/BBC work.

    Reel Around The Fountain sort of exemplifies that contradiction for me. The studio version is a serviceable enough performance (ditto for the Troy Tate version), but the BBC version on Hatful Of Hollow is extraordinary. The different key works wonders, as does the lightness of the rhythm - cheers to Joyce and Rourke for the snappiness of their playing, and double-cheers to Marr for the way he latches onto the skippy tempo and injects it with some of the most melodic hooks he ever came up with. Moz's vocal is the best of all, making the somewhat-creepy lyrics sound gloriously romantic.

    It's not necessarily the Smiths performance (certainly not the song) that I respect the most, but it's almost certainly the one that I love the most.
     
  10. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    My favourite band of the '80s!
     
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  11. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.K.
    I am happy to listen to other people's suggestions for how it should go. The order isn't that important imo, but whether the BBC sessions should all be discussed individually is. It might be overkill to discuss Reel Around the Fountain 3 times for example.

    When we settle into it, if people want to post a 1-5 score for each song then I will record them each day before moving on to the next song.
     
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  12. CBS CLASH 3

    CBS CLASH 3 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    I’ve got little interest in Moz solo, but The Smiths are one of the most efficiently awesome bands of all time.
    So many great tunes in so little time. Carry on.
     
  13. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To the Regiment!

    And this is why it will be such a healthy discussion as I will be able to counter such things and say how extraordinarily dreadful I find the BBC version, in fact I'm not sure I care for any of those versions, particularly Still Ill with that lame harmonica making it sound like a poor man's Love Me Do!

    Some people do prefer the rawness of these versions to the studio ones but they don't do anything at all for me I'm afraid. Reel Around The Fountain on the first album is almost studio perfection and I can't imagine the BBC version holding a candle to it or anyone thinking that it could.
     
  14. Pop_Zeus

    Pop_Zeus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southport, UK
    This. I played The Smiths so much back in the day that I hardly ever play them these days. Timeless music though. Louder Than Bombs was my very first CD in the late 80s. I was young and didn't even realise it was a compilation at the time. Their b-sides were absolutely incredible. Another great band to listen to on shuffle, very rarely a poor song. Will Johnny Marr's post-Smiths output be assessed at all? I only checked his solo music out very recently and really enjoy the latest one, Call the Comet. I checked out with Moz after Ringleader of the Tormenters as I'd just had enough of both the man and his music. I still have a lot of time for Johnny Marr though. And what a rhythm section they had in Rourke & Joyce. Its a shame it ended as it did, but it was good while it lasted, and maybe they'd simply gone as far as they could together. Rourke's basslines were what made me learn to play bass.

    So, Reel Around the Fountain. A classic. Great opener to a great album. 5 stars from me
     
  15. Gavaxeman

    Gavaxeman Take me back to dear old Blighty...

    Location:
    West Midlands U.K.
    One of the great bands so happy to chip in
     
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  16. Gavaxeman

    Gavaxeman Take me back to dear old Blighty...

    Location:
    West Midlands U.K.
    Interesting to see the split on the BBC versions .

    My entry point to the smiths was via Hatful of Hollow on release, remember the budget £3.99 price , great primer for the band in 1984.

    Morrissey always places the beeb versions over the debut album , I’m in the middle as I prefer some bbc , (still ill) but also prefer some debut album versions (what difference..)

    So song one and what was considered the first single initially , Reel around the fountain , which is an absolute classic lyrically, creates such a mood , and I prefer the studio version over the session, the added piano , and Hammond , just sweetens the pill a bit, as those wonderful words hint at all kind of dark things , perhaps imaginary , perhaps wishful thinking , or perhaps real.

    It’s time the tale were told .. what an opening line .. his autobiography didn’t go into any details , and I’ve always thought Mozza lived most of his young life in his head, alone with those thoughts ..

    Lovely understated guitar throughout too .. what an introduction for a band
     
  17. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.K.
    Just to say that I think discussing each song only once, but mentioning the BBC sessions, Troy Tate sessions etc. within the same discussion makes sense.

    With that in mind, I personally prefer the John Porter studio version to either of the BBC sessions. Morrissey's vocal is probably more impassioned on those versions, but the music isn't quite as tight. They are all excellent though. I prefer the Jensen version to the Peel session as well.

    And then there is the Troy Tate version. Again Morrissey's vocal was superior, but I think the drums are noticeably sluggish. So pros and cons to all versions.

    By the way, I will keep any discussion of Reel Around the Fountain open until GMT Sunday 22.00 or so as this is a new thread. Then we can move onto a song everyday after that at a similar time.
     
  18. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To the Regiment!

    This.
     
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  19. Alexlotl

    Alexlotl Forum Resident

    Location:
    York, UK
    Much prefer the album version of Reel, the lightness added by the piano makes it. The monotonous, high-in-the-mix bass on the BBC version is like being repeatedly bonked on the head by one of those giant Q-tips they used to try and knock each over with on Gladiators. I write that as an occasional bassist and huge fan of Rourke’s work.

    I haven’t heard the Tate mix, I’ll have a poke around YouTube.

    Lyrically it’s ambiguous whether it’s a story of child abuse or sexual coming of age (both of which are recurring themes on this album), or something somewhere between the two. Quite disquieting as a result, and probably why the BBC banned/avoided it for a while.
     
  20. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.K.
    Here is the Troy Tate version:



    The sound quality is certainly very good. Just not too sure about Mike's drumming at times.
     
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  21. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Reel around the Fountain. 5/5. My first Smiths exposure was a copied memorex tape of Hatful of Hollow. What an amazing introduction. I played that tape to death. So that is the version that I always think of, but I love the dry recording sound of the album version.

    The lyrics and sound are the epitome of The Smiths. A literary vignette with clever wit and coded (and not-so-coded) language. What an incredible debut. Love it.
     
  22. octophone

    octophone fit and working again

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I think opening Side One, Track One, Album One with "It's time the tale were told of how you took a child and you made him old" remains one of the most stunning moves of anyone's career. It set a tone that this was a group for the outsiders, the misfits, the downtrodden. With the knowledge and experience of adulthood, I would now add to that list - the abused. Morrissey's lyrics would have multiple references to physical violence throughout the group's career and it's hard not feel those at times. He was our voice from the edge, the edge of society, the edge of acceptability, the edge of survival.

    For me, one of the first great moments of the group's career is here on the album version - when Morrissey follows the repeating line "People see no worth in you" with just a hushed, simple "I do".
     
  23. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To the Regiment!

    Better than I could imagine or say. Off to Google (other search engines are available) Q-Tips - hope I don't get Paul Young!
     
  24. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To the Regiment!

    Reel Around The Fountain. The lyrics were always controversial. At the time I thought I wasnt sure they would get away with it.

    Both?

    It's time the tale were told
    Of how you took a child
    And you made him old

    It's time the tale were told
    Of how you took a child
    And you made him old
    You made him old


    Reel around the fountain
    Slap me on the patio
    I'll take it now
    Oh...

    Fifteen minutes with you
    Well, I wouldn't say no
    Oh, people said that you were virtually dead
    And they were so wrong

    Fifteen minutes with you
    Oh, well, I wouldn't say no
    Oh, people said that you were easily led
    And they were half-right
    Oh, they ... oh, they were half-right, oh

    It's time the tale were told
    Of how you took a child
    And you made him old

    It's time that the tale were told
    Of how you took a child
    And you made him old
    You made him old

    Oh, reel around the fountain
    Slap me on the patio
    I'll take it now
    Ah... oh...

    Fifteen minutes with you
    Oh, I wouldn't say no
    Oh, people see no worth in you
    Oh, but I do

    Fifteen minutes with you
    Oh, I wouldn't say no
    Oh, people see no worth in you
    I do
    Oh, I ... oh, I do
    Oh ...

    I dreamt about you last night
    And I fell out of bed twice
    You can pin and mount me like a butterfly
    But "take me to the haven of your bed"
    Was something that you never said
    Two lumps, please
    You're the bee's knees
    But so am I

    Oh, meet me at the fountain
    Shove me on the patio
    I'll take it slowly
    Oh ...

    Fifteen minutes with you
    Oh, I wouldn't say no
    Oh, people see no worth in you
    Oh, but I do

    Fifteen minutes with you
    Oh, no, I wouldn't say no
    Oh, people see no worth in you
    I do
    Oh, I ... I do...
    Oh, I do...
    Oh, I do...
    Oh, I do...


    I think of Kate Bush and The Infant Kiss by comparison. Very brave to do.
     
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  25. Pop_Zeus

    Pop_Zeus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southport, UK
    American name for cotton buds. The sticks from Gladiators were called ‘Pugil sticks.’ I loved that show
     

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