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Thread: Morrissey quality control

  1. #1
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    Default Morrissey quality control

    Well it's a simple question what with all the discarded material floating around the internet that was allegedly deemed not good enough for release. Assuming it was Morrissey himself that vetoed the airing of this material initially eg Happy lovers, was he right?

    I have to say as regards happy lovers, an example which I know has know been released and sanctioned so to speak, I love it and he missed a trick there but with other stuff eg November the second he was spot on in my opinion as that version is awful in comparison to what turned out to be November spawned a monster.

    There are numerous other examples and yes I know none of us knows what other stuff was discarded etc but with the knowledge regarding the 'rejected' material that is available and obviously the officially released stuff what is your opinion of Morrissey regards his own quality control so to speak?

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    Senior Member Skylarker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morrissey quality control

    This is a good topic.

    I think that his standards are, or were, simply very high, oftentimes to the point that really great songs were binned. I agree about November the 2nd but that's not really a song, just a remix. I also feel that Striptease, though by no means a "bad song" is one that, had we never heard it, we'd be no worse off.

    But for the most part, the stuff he's shelved is gold. Oh Phoney, Lifeguard, Happy Lovers, Safe Warm Lancashire Home...and a lot of the old b-sides that he's never put on a compilation...that stuff is great; way better than most bands' best songs.

    But maybe as he's aged and he looks back, songs that he once considered "not good enough" now seem more than suitable for release. It could be that he's holding them up against his newer material and suddenly seeing how great those supposedly substandard old songs are in comparison...or it could just be that as he's aging, he wants to open the archives more and more rather than let those songs go forever to waste.

    Sometimes it's hard to see how great something is until you've distanced yourself from it for awhile, and maybe with those old tracks, the other stuff he was doing that did make the albums was simply stronger material...and in that shadow, maybe some songs seemed less significant to him, so he forgot about them...but now, having distanced himself, he looks back and sees their merit more objectively.

    I don't know.

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    Senior Member the raytownian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morrissey quality control

    Quote Originally Posted by salfordladalone View Post
    was he right?
    What do you mean?

    He's wrong about plenty of things... he's a human being, after all.

    Furthermore, can you honestly expect an "absolute" response to something as open and subjective as art? Furthermore, I think it's weird and, like, totally creepy how some folks think disagreeing with or questioning Moz means you like him less or can't possibly be as devoted "as I AM" (as opposed to simply being able to think independently and not being totally psychotic).

    I am insinuating nothing with that, btw. I don't want you to think I am suggesting you fit those characteristics, merely typing out loud.

    I guess my point is that I don't think his opinion matters much to me? I know the feeling's mutual. It's all a matter of taste...

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    Last edited by the raytownian; December 17, 2011 at 11:08 PM.

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    Member mcspyke77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morrissey quality control

    I love Striptease With A Difference.....very witty, catchy totune.

    And "lifeguard, save me from life" is one of my faves...glad it saw the light of day

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    Duck. Duck. Duck. Goose. CrookedLittleVein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morrissey quality control

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylarker View Post
    This is a good topic.

    I think that his standards are, or were, simply very high, oftentimes to the point that really great songs were binned. I agree about November the 2nd but that's not really a song, just a remix. I also feel that Striptease, though by no means a "bad song" is one that, had we never heard it, we'd be no worse off.

    But for the most part, the stuff he's shelved is gold. Oh Phoney, Lifeguard, Happy Lovers, Safe Warm Lancashire Home...and a lot of the old b-sides that he's never put on a compilation...that stuff is great; way better than most bands' best songs.

    But maybe as he's aged and he looks back, songs that he once considered "not good enough" now seem more than suitable for release. It could be that he's holding them up against his newer material and suddenly seeing how great those supposedly substandard old songs are in comparison...or it could just be that as he's aging, he wants to open the archives more and more rather than let those songs go forever to waste.

    Sometimes it's hard to see how great something is until you've distanced yourself from it for awhile, and maybe with those old tracks, the other stuff he was doing that did make the albums was simply stronger material...and in that shadow, maybe some songs seemed less significant to him, so he forgot about them...but now, having distanced himself, he looks back and sees their merit more objectively.

    I don't know.
    I think the distance/objectivity argument is pretty sound. But there's also a strong possibility that these weren't necessarily songs he didn't want released; more likely they were songs he just hadn't quite got round to releasing.

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Morrissey quality control

    Interesting topic. Some of the b-sides circa Viva Hate were top notch, and I'm really glad to see they have seen the light of day. I feel "Lifeguard on Duty" is such a great track, and really does stand up to many of it's other contemporaries. I must confess though, that I found the decision to release the B-sides to Glamorous Glue, which personally I found slightly weak in comparison to a couple of the other never officially released tracks from a similar era. Having said that, it's always nice to hear anything never released before, even if it's not the strongest material.

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    Default Re: Morrissey quality control

    Quote Originally Posted by the raytownian View Post
    What do you mean?

    He's wrong about plenty of things... he's a human being, after all.

    Furthermore, can you honestly expect an "absolute" response to something as open and subjective as art? Furthermore, I think it's weird and, like, totally creepy how some folks think disagreeing with or questioning Moz means you like him less or can't possibly be as devoted "as I AM" (as opposed to simply being able to think independently and not being totally psychotic).

    I am insinuating nothing with that, btw. I don't want you to think I am suggesting you fit those characteristics, merely typing out loud.

    I guess my point is that I don't think his opinion matters much to me? I know the feeling's mutual. It's all a matter of taste...
    Yes I accept that the question was he right seems rather black and white and could have been worded better eg what's your opinion? Your comment about him being wrong about plenty of things is obviously correct but I assumed most people would see that in the context of my original post I was not asking a general sweeping question about him as a person but one relating specifically to
    the quality of his unreleased material when held up against material which was released.

    And an absolute response was not something I ever sought as a thread containing yes or no responses would be a ludicrous and very boring one indeed although I suspect you knew I was attempting to stimulate some interesting debate/discussion?

    And your comments regarding creepy devotion etc baffle me? They are irrelevant to my original post.

    Skylarker you make some very good points.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Morrissey quality control

    who cares?

    Morrissey fans are willfully and gleefully obsessive, and we want EVERYTHING the man commits or has committed to tape. Even his scraps are capable of penetrating the heart and soul of even the most tepid of followers

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Johnny Barleycorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morrissey quality control

    I always assumed Morrissey was infallible, until Kill Uncle anyway. There have been rotten to the core official releases which should never have seen the light of day. Roy's Keen springs to mind. The worst of the unreleased stuff is Striptease and Please Help The Cause Against Loneliness, written originally for Sandie Shaw, which is odd, because I thought he liked her. The gem amongst the recently discovered stuff is Viva Hate era's Treat Me Like A Human Being which is glorious. I suppose it shows just how prolific he was then that it never made it onto the B Side of Everyday Is Like Sunday where it would have shimmered.

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    Senior Member the raytownian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morrissey quality control

    Quote Originally Posted by salfordladalone View Post
    And your comments regarding creepy devotion etc baffle me? They are irrelevant to my original post.
    Hence the disclaimer... I was probably high when I wrote that anyway, but it's still true IMO, even if it is irrelevant.

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    Senior Member Theo's Avatar
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    Default Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does best

    This post is prompted by the news from Stephen Street that Morrissey is releasing a shabby version of "Viva Hate" where not just the font has been messed with (as if that weren't shocking enough) but "The Ordinary Boys" has been deleted and "Late Night, Maudlin Street" has been butchered.

    This impostor must not be allowed to replace the "Viva Hate" we know and love. Do they really believe remastering songs for the shitty equipment we all play our music on means anything to our ears? But, okay, have your fun with that if it's so darned important to audiophiles (though I think it's a scam to get us to buy shit again and again). As long as you don't go too crazy and you understand that we love "Viva Hate" as it is! We have quite enough change in our lives, what with the entire world going down the tubes all around us. We do not need this additional turmoil.

    It's verging on a horrific atrocity that Morrissey is fucking up classic albums instead of focusing like a laser beam on a new masterpiece. The dude owes us a new album (well past due). Instead he's screwing with stuff we already love and want left alone.

    I wish Stephen Street had never woken up in the middle of the night during his mid-life crisis and decided to write Morrissey a letter. And maybe it would've been better had that dog bitten Morrissey in the neck instead of his finger and stopped Morrissey from the ASININE shit he's been doing since "Years of Refusal" (good album - credit where credit is due).

    Asinine: "Swords"
    AsiTEN: Redesigned "Southpaw Grammar"
    AsiELEVEN: Redesigned "Maladjusted"
    AsiTWELVE: Redesigned "Bona Drag"
    AsiTHIRTEEN: "Very Best of Morrissey"
    AsiFOURTEENFIFTEENSIXTEEN: Redesigned "Viva Hate"

    Come on now.

    Perhaps Morrissey's aware folks tend to die shortly after publishing their memoirs. Perhaps this is why he's scrambling to "fix" shit that ain't broke.

    Troubling....

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    Last edited by Theo; February 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM.
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    Deano mbb321's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does b

    Wow, I've logged in to Morrissey-Solo :s

    Fully agree Theo, another nail in the coffin. Let's face it, he should have reviewed his direction after the Alain Whyte departure from the stage. He has recruited poor musicians in Jesse Tobias and the Walker brothers.

    His three new offerings are that poor he has dropped them from the setlist towards the end of the UK tour and fully for the current leg. His voice is on its last legs as shown by the Janice Long sessions (2011) and is milking the dedicated fanbase for everything they can hand over.

    The Morrissey we admired back in the Maladjusted years (10000 sales US) is a lot different to the persona we now see (IMHO).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspendl828 View Post
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    Senior Member Uncleskinny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does b

    Fair play to the guy. His records aren't selling, he hasn't got a deal, the European market has had it - how does he make his money? Touring. Specifically touring where there's a need like a sun-parched flower yearns for a shower (hey, I could be a songwriter). He's wringing more toothpaste out of the tube than you thought was there. Any artist in a similar position would do the same. It's a little sad, but that's life.

    P.

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    Default Re: Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does b

    Quote Originally Posted by mbb321 View Post
    The Morrissey we admired back in the Maladjusted years (10000 sales US) is a lot different to the persona we now see (IMHO).
    Agreed. The Morrissey of the '90s would have thrown up if he was asked to sing over a Jesse Tobias demo back then.

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    Default Re: Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does b

    Quote Originally Posted by MozIsGod View Post
    Agreed. The Morrissey of the '90s would have thrown up if he was asked to sing over a Jesse Tobias demo back then.
    hahahahaha! and the 80s Morrissey would have probably done much worse!

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    Senior Member alabamy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does b

    But what if... what if, for some personal reasons, he really doesn't like "Ordinary Boys" anymore and simply wants to forget it, to erase it? Or what if he really believes that "Late Night, Maudlin Street" is too long and irrelevant in its initial form? I guess that after all he has the right to do what he wants with his past albums, even to butcher them to make room for some obscure tracks, doesn't he? I am being the devil's advocate, I know, but I'm struggling to find a rational explanation. Or maybe he simply likes to create some controversy?

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    Senior Member alabamy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does b

    But does anyone have any idea abot WHY all those reissues are being made? Is there a fresh market for them? Do they sell well, are there any statistics about the actual sales? My question is genuine, because like many others, I'm no fan of vinyls of CDs and If I want an album, I go to iTunes or any other online store and take it in seconds, so nobody can say that the original Viva Hate is impossible to find. Can't he issue a single or an EP if he wants to prop up some unreleased tracks? I know that when artists want to do that, they usually add the unreleased tracks as bonuses, instead of subtracting classic tracks to make room for the new ones. And in all honesty, I doubt that the old albumes need so badly to be remastered so as to be appreciated by new fans. And I doubt that a new fan would necessarily prefer the new, purged Viva Hate over the old one.

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    Wrong species MORRIZSEY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does b

    He's estimated to be worth 32 million dollars, so I find it hard to believe it's motivated by money. Maybe more by boredom if there's no record contract. But either way is not ideal

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    Last edited by MORRIZSEY; February 26, 2012 at 01:51 AM.

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    My secret's my enzyme. CrystalGeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does b

    Quote Originally Posted by MORRIZSEY View Post
    He's estimated to be worth 32 million dollars, so I find it hard to believe it's motivated by money. Maybe more by boredom if there's no record contract. But either way is not ideal
    "The most important person in indie music." I like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by !Viva Hate! View Post
    Maybe Geezer can give us advice seeing as she is an upstanding citizen in her community, trusted confidant to her friends, is extremely intelligent and properly educated, & just generally has her shit together in ways we could never hope to?

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    Senior Member the_kaz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your pleas for Morrissey to stop the insanity and get back to what he does b

    Quote Originally Posted by Theo View Post
    Asinine: "Swords"
    AsiTEN: Redesigned "Southpaw Grammar"
    AsiELEVEN: Redesigned "Maladjusted"
    AsiTWELVE: Redesigned "Bona Drag"
    AsiTHIRTEEN: "Very Best of Morrissey"
    AsiFOURTEENFIFTEENSIXTEEN: Redesigned "Viva Hate"
    Your post makes a lot of good points, but I wonder how you could label Swords as "asinine". IMO, Swords isn't just a great album, but it was also a perfectly reasonable release, and not stupid in the least bit.

    "Expanded editions" of old albums will always be a bone of contention to some, while others, like myself, think that it's a perfectly good idea to re-release albums a few years later, with good remastering and extra tracks. I can see why reshuffling the track order and giving the album a new cover would be seen as sacrilegious to some but, in the case of Southpaw, I think it actually really works (although I love it, Southpaw was always a kind of dodgy album to begin with).

    I also can't see why you would label the new Bona Drag "asinine" (or "asitwelve", as is the case!). Barring the somewhat baffling shorter versions of Suedehead and Ouija Board, Ouija Board (and the new cover, which doesn't mean a thing to me), this is a "re-issue, re-package" in the least controversial way possible. What's "asinine" about remastering a classic album to mark its 20th anniversary, and adding the new tracks the end of the CD, as other artists do all the time? Frankly, I'd be thrilled if Morrissey re-released all of his back catalogue in this vein (minus the pointless shortening of songs, of course).

    Regarding the rest of the albums on your list, however, I can totally agree with you. I sometimes wonder if Morrissey does these things just for the sake of being different or difficult.

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    Last edited by the_kaz; February 26, 2012 at 03:30 AM.

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