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

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

  1. inglorious

    inglorious Well-Known Member

    Location:
    England
    Sing Your Life
    The first solo foray into the rockabilly sound , but like lots of that type of music in the studio, it sounds slightly generic and weedy.I much prefer The Loop on the single that was released a month or so later. Even the lyrics sound really lightweight and disappointing. The repetitive “all the things you love/ loathe’ phrase towards the end always annoyed me.
    The radio EP version is much better and shows that that type of music is much more impactful when played live. It was the beginning of a proper energetic, well drilled band behind him, rather than the hired session musicians and he was all the better for it, finally shaking off the Smiths albatross once and for all.
    3/5. One extra point given for the KROQ version.
     
  2. spacedyed

    spacedyed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC
    "Sing Your Life" great lyrics within a slight song -- the KROQ version shows how much potential the song had and how confused KU sounds overall. I want to like it more than I actually do. 3/5
     
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  3. ryno

    ryno Forum Resident

    I just think Your Arsenal was the first step into the dull plodding mid-tempo stuff with very little imagination to it sound that seemed to overwhelm Morrissey's catalogue. There was the odd blip of interesting stuff every now and then (Southpaw Grammer's long tracks, some of Vauxhall & I) but for me most of his tracks seemed to just blend into each other after a while.
     
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  4. pwhytey

    pwhytey Forum Resident

    Location:
    Melbourne
    Forgot about Your Arsenal - that is a great one! The other two aren’t much chop, IMO. Vauxhall is a nice photo, although I reckon the artwork for ‘The More You Ignore Me’ single is more interesting and would’ve been a better choice. Not a fan of Quarry’s cover. He looks a right tosser with that gun.
     
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  5. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    I kinda like the Kill Uncle cover, and the font used for the title. Arsenal, I hate the tongue pose. You know these ae good points, he has very few good solo album covers. I like Ringleader a lot, Viva Hate too, Years of Refusal and Vauxhall arent terrible, the rest are pretty blah to bad.
     
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  6. George P

    George P Sing Your Life

    Location:
    NYC
    Agreed!
     
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  7. StevenC

    StevenC SUEDE > Both Oasis AND Blur.

    KROQ versions were always better... "There Is a Place In Hell" and "My Love Life" and even better than "Sing Your Life" and much better than the original counterparts....
     
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  8. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    My Love Life - the band rushes it, it gets faster the longer it goes which bugs me. And I much prefer the piano version of "there is a place". But Sing your Life from KROQ is perfect.
     
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  9. mooseman

    mooseman Forum Resident

    The new Kill Uncle reissue is much better then the original. The sequence of songs plays out much smoother, it also sounds better. Art work is fine.
     
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  10. Gavaxeman

    Gavaxeman Take me back to dear old Blighty...

    Location:
    West Midlands U.K.
    Except it’s got a b side from 1989 and another from 1992 right in the middle of the album , whilst ignoring the contemporary b sides . So it’s a totally inauthentic listen.

    At least there’s no dodgy demos , although we get a radio session of one track. I really dislike the artwork too.
     
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  11. StevenC

    StevenC SUEDE > Both Oasis AND Blur.

    disagree.
    The fast tempo of THERE IS A PLACE fits the lyric... And the slightly altered lyrics of MY LOVE LIFE are great... one of his worst singles tho
    Well, one of his worst if you don't count the post-Quarry SCHLOCK....
     
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  12. Orson Swells

    Orson Swells Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester
    I don’t mind the new cover so much, but East West and Pashernate Love have no right being there and the alternative There Is a Place doesn’t fit musically at all. I think instead he could have just tweaked the track-listing and legitimately expanded it with I’ve Changed My Plea, My Love Live, Pregnant, Tony The Pony and The Loop. And perhaps even added the unreleased Born To Hang.
     
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  13. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    Apparently Skin Storm, My Love Life, and Guilty were all done before Boz and Alain, so I would've tried slotting those into the reissue running time over Pashernate Love, East West (which makes zero sense) ... or put Tony the Pony back in. and then a bonus LP for the transition stuff - Pregnant, Loop, etc. A smartly curated reissue program could've been really incredible.
     
  14. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.K.
    The ratings for Sing Your Life:

    1-0
    2-1
    3-9
    4-4
    5-5
     
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  15. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.K.
    Today's song is Mute Witness:



    After this the album really starts to go downhill, but Mute Witness is another solid track. An outsider song with similarities to November Spawned a Monster, Clive Langer has acknowledged that he had Sparks in mind when composing the music.

    This is certainly one of the strongest songs on the album even if the production isn't quite as powerful as it might be. I can imagine if Mick Ronson had tackled something like this that I might give it a higher rating.

    I agree with some other fans who have suggested that it would be nice to see Morrissey performing this in concert again.

    3.5/5
     
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  16. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    Mute Witness
    3 of 5.
    It’s a good song but I’m not a fan of the arrangement with the cheesy keyboard part and the choppy drums. Lyrically I find it all darkly funny, kind of bitchy, and much funnier than the juvenile bard punchline of Our Frank

    ‘Still testing the strength of our patience’

    ‘Four A.M. Northside, Clapham Common
    Oh, god, what was she doing there ?
    Will she sketch the answer later ? ‘
     
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  17. rararabbits

    rararabbits Forum Resident

    Location:
    LA, CA, USA
    A pleasingly glammy number. Perhaps I misremember, but wasn’t the tune a Deaf School reject? I wonder if there’s an association of images there, Deaf School > Mute Witness. Perhaps not. It seems to be aiming at a quirky Sparks-esque vignette - what close encounter did she witness on Clapham Common? (ooer) - but the scenario is so vague it doesn’t really land. There’s also the uncomfortable feeling the titular character is being made a figure of fun.
     
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  18. The MEZ

    The MEZ Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    Mute Witness 3 outta 5 yo
     
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  19. Vauxhall

    Vauxhall Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    Another very enjoyable song in my opinion. 3.5/5 for 'Mute Witness.'
     
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  20. George P

    George P Sing Your Life

    Location:
    NYC
    Mute Witness - 3.5/5
     
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  21. markreed

    markreed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Imber
    Absolutely not. Moz's insistence on changing the art and track listings for everything he's released when they get reissued is infuriating and annoying revisionism. Viva Hate shouldn't have a demo in the middle of side 2 instead of "Ordinary Boys". The revised Kill Uncle picks up tracks from years before, and after. Though there's four songs from the Kill Uncle sessions that would make the album much better if they were in the running order. Neither Pregnant For The Last Time, Skin Storm, My Love Life, or Plea were recorded by the 1991 touring band : Moz just left the players credits off the sleeve to give the illusion they did play on them.

    In many ways then, "Your Arsenal" is the debut album by Morrissey (as a band) rather than Morrissey (solo singer). What happened to the band was a tragedy really : Alain Whyte and Boz Boorer were the two players who almost equalled Johnny Marr in combined ability and songwriting chops, making the recordings up to "Ringleader Of The Tormentors" feel like a gradual and normal decline of a band rather than a sudden crash in quality. The albums after "Years of Refusal", where Whyte was not writing any of the songs (and where Boz was allegedly instructed to meet Alain in the carpark of the studio and inform he was no longer required to perform on the recordings of songs he had written, after 18 years of work), becomes a somewhat generic, unexceptional sludge.

    My version of Kill Uncle has the following running order :

    Our Frank / Mute Witness / Pregnant For The Last Time / The Loop / I've Changed My Plea To Guilty
    Sing Your Life / King Leer / Driving Your Girlfriend Home / My Love Life / I'm The End Of The Family Line / There Is A Place In Hell

    It's all 37 minutes, which is five minutes longer than the anorexic original LP.
     
  22. mooseman

    mooseman Forum Resident

    Mute Witness - 4/5
    This one reminds me of a Sparks song, a little glam sounding also. Great track.
    Recap on my previous post concerning the new reissue for Kill Uncle, I forgot that a few of the extra songs were from different years. Sometimes it’s better to just leave well enough alone.
     
  23. mooseman

    mooseman Forum Resident

    That’s much better, I still think the band after Your Arsenal sounds very tight, especially on Southpaw Grammar. I know that album has its issues but I think it rocks harder then any other Morrissey album and its his most experimental record.
     
  24. Luisboa

    Luisboa Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coimbra, Portugal
    Mute Witness is a great song, a solid 4/5 and one of the strongest songs of KU. Now, despite being a great song imo here lies the tragedy of KU: besides not having a choerent feeling like VH, YA, VAI and SG, I cant rate any song above 4.
     
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  25. Gavaxeman

    Gavaxeman Take me back to dear old Blighty...

    Location:
    West Midlands U.K.
    Mute Witness

    Inspired a movie I believe.

    Again it doesn’t quite take off , 3/5.
     

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