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

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

  1. rararabbits

    rararabbits Forum Resident

    LA, CA, USA
    Richard Davalos and James Dean, on the set of East of Eden. Davalos popped up on another Smiths cover photo - a German (?) Greatest Hits, again with Dean cropped out (such perversity!).
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  2. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord

    "A Rush and a Push and hte Land Is Ours" is 5/5. Great synth sounds; sounds like 1986. Fantastic vocal performance, good lyrics; strong composition.
    Gavaxeman likes this.
  3. Lamus

    Lamus Forum Resident

    Tempe, Arizona
    Rush and a Push- 4/5

    It’s a departure and they pull it off.

    Agree with others that the cover isn’t my favorite. I think the font is worse than the photo, though.
  4. pwhytey

    pwhytey Forum Resident

    Actually, I tell a lie. It finished level pegging with 'Girlfriend In A Coma'.

    The Smiths - Strangeways Here We Come (1987) favorite song (Round 6)
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  5. octophone

    octophone fit and working again

    Had Marr been allowed to take the 2-3 month holiday he wanted and a new manager agreed upon, this album would be viewed very differently. "ARAAPATLIO" would be a brave departure rather than an eerie and slightly odd way to open your final album.
    I actually dislike parts of the lyric as it makes too much light of suicide in its opening verse. It's not particularly clear what has actually happened either - was "Joe" in a coma rather than dead and we drop in on him post-recovery with everyone's advice as to how he should resume his life clattering around his head? Musically, it's charmingly obtuse and only just holds together, the credit for the latter belonging to Rourke and, especially, Joyce.
    It is their weakest opener but, in fairness - "Reel Around The Fountain", "The Headmaster Ritual" and "The Queen Is Dead" are three of the most striking and devastating openers by anyone ever. And it did, at minimum, grab the attention by dint of its strangeness.

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  6. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Alpine, TX
    Well my guess with both photos is the price or permission to use James Dean in a cover was out of the question. So Moz did it slyly for strangesays - did he do that greatest hits cover? At least that ones better than the Charles Hawtry ‘very best of’ cover!
  7. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Formerly thoutah

    SF Bay Area
    Really happy to see so much love for "A Rush and a Push..."! I really do think it's an incredibly strong and striking album opener.
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  8. spacedyed

    spacedyed Active Member

    Washington DC
    "A Rush and a Push..." is a nice diversion form the usual guitar-driven Smiths sound. Had been a while since I last heard it but now it reminds me a bit of Morrissey's own "Ouija Board." I think it has one onf Morrissey's best melody lines and the kind of singing he did more on his early solo material. 4/5
    pwhytey, The MEZ and George P like this.
  9. George P

    George P Lazy Sunbather

    Good point!
  10. Gavaxeman

    Gavaxeman Take me back to dear old Blighty...

    West Midlands U.K.
    Already used James Dean on the Bigmouth single sleeve
    guidedbyvoices likes this.
  11. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident

    A Rush and Push and the Land Is Ours - Whilst it is not the strongest song on the album it just had to be the opening track because of that great intro with the vocal effects, keyboards/synth strings & drums. Production wise this is different (and a step up sonically) from what they had done before. Hence the modern day Abbey Road comparisons. Not your typical Smiths track by any means, and yet it is easily... 4.0/5
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  12. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    "Davalos" sounds like a good name for a Bond villain.
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  13. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    Or a Dr. Who villain.
    Now, a close-up of him would have made for a hilarious Smiths album cover.
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  14. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The ratings for A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours:

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  15. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Today's song is I Started Something I Couldn't Finish:

    Another single, another terrible review in the NME. :) This song was criticized as, "a fairly pointless bit of whingeing with some horrible guitar playing from Johnny Marr."

    It's a shame Rough Trade felt that Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before couldn't be issued as a single as that would have been a much stronger 45. This is another good, but not great song and again it thematically feels a little throwaway in comparison with their early work. Morrissey's lyrics are amusing, but little more than that.

    I wonder whether there was a rare error in Simon Goddard's book regarding this song. He quotes Morrissey as describing this song as "bumptious", but the person I have seen use that word is Simon Reynolds in an article he wrote when interviewing Morrissey. I'm not sure whether Morrissey coincidentally also used the same description elsewhere or Goddard simply attributed the comment to the wrong person.

    Another stingy 3/5.
  16. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To pretend to be happy could only be idiocy

  17. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To pretend to be happy could only be idiocy



    Strangeways should have opened with this.
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  18. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Formerly thoutah

    SF Bay Area
    "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish": I used to think this song was a little corny and slight, but I came around to it. It's another of their catchy glam-inspired tracks, and while not as great as, say, "Sheila Take a Bow," it's nevertheless a cool song.

    Johnny sounds like he's trying to channel Mick Ronson with that crunchy opening chord, which signals that we're about to hear The Smiths in more of a rock-out mode. But he always has a way of smartening things up, and in this case, I love that clean arpeggiated guitar part he does in the verses, particularly that bit beneath Morrissey singing "The lanes were silent." I love Joyce's cracking snare accent in that crunchy, vocal-less bit in the middle of the verses. And awesome forceful tone and playing from Rourke, as always.

    Great lyrics, superb delivery: I love it when Morrissey sings, "I grabbed you by the gilded beams, uhhhhhhh that's what tradition means." Or, "And now 18 months hard labor seems ... fair enufffff."

    Only complaint: That fake shotgun snare they overdubbed along to Joyce's snare. I wish they could have just doubled up Joyce's snare, or figured out a way to record his snare to give it that extra crack they apparently wanted.

    Otherwise, it's a fun, rollicking song that's well placed on the album following the hazy, eerie majesty of the opening track. (But I agree with Turk Thrust that "Stop Me..." would have been the better single, as it's definitely a superior song.)

    Certainly not top tier for me, and years ago I would've given it a 3, but now 4/5 seems fair enuffff!
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  19. Diego Lucas

    Diego Lucas Forum Resident

    Good track, but not a incredible choice for single

    3 of 5
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  20. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"

    And this is one of those songs on Strangeways that just doesn't appeal to me. They'd already done the early 70s glam thing a couple of times before, and that fake brass/sax sound in the chorus takes this one close to pastiche. Bit of a turgid tune, really, and I don't much like the chord sequence through the chorus either. Morrissey has a lot of fun with the vocal, and that's just enough to keep its head above water with a 3/5.
    Luisboa likes this.
  21. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Formerly thoutah

    SF Bay Area
    I agree - it's yet another example of the band getting it wrong when it comes to picking the singles from their album.
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  22. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Alpine, TX
    I Started something is fun but not essential or one I seek out. 3 out of 5
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  23. Diego Lucas

    Diego Lucas Forum Resident

    USA cover of Best... I

    And USA the complete picture
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  24. TexasBuck

    TexasBuck Forum Resident

    Dallas, TX
    I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish: A bit more typical Smiths than the opener, although am I hearing horns? Great melodies, interesting lyrics. The vocals are delivered with confidence and humor. Just a hair below a classic. 4.5 ranking out of 5
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  25. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account

    Lexington, KY
    I Started Something I Couldn't Finish:

    Pavol continues to be my spokesperson on this thread but I'll double down from here on out.

    I like the vocal styling from Morrisey on this one.

    I don't agree with that NME quote about Marr's guitar. He's got a lot of things going on in this one.

    4/5 because that synth horn line throughout is banal and becomes ridiculous on the fade after the vocals are done.
    The MEZ, Pavol Stromcek and George P like this.

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