Alain Whyte reminisces about "Southpaw Grammar" on Facebook, released 20 years ago (Aug. 28, 1995)

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Anonymous

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I think it would be fun to do a fan submitted album where he picks the best of the bunch to write lyrics and vocals to and have the band and him arrange them. Kinda lime he did with the music videos. That would create a lot of word of mouth and random individuals talking the album up no matter how it sounded because the fans would then be talking themselves up which apparently everyone seems to love to do
 

TheBoyWithTheDragonTattoo

Accountant, rampant.
I divorced my first wife because of Southpaw Grammar. Well, not only because of Southpaw Grammar but that was the straw that broke the camel's back. The day it was released was a special day- I was still high from Vauxhall. The one thing I asked of her was to allow me an hour to myself that evening after work to lay on our bed with my big 1970's headphones and listen to the album from start to finish in the semi-dark. She interrupted my listening session about half a dozen times. My young and very immature self decided, if she couldn't understand this, she had to go. Looking back as a true grown up I understand she was just lonely as I was working a full time job and a part time job and commuting about two hours each day on top of that. I was being truly selfish but that really was the moment I realized she couldn't understand me. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago.
 
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No1uno

Member of the Month™
Subscriber
I divorced my first wife because of Southpaw Grammar. Well, not only because of Southpaw Grammar but that was the straw that broke the camel's back. The day it was released was a special day- I was still high from Vauxhall. The one thing I asked of her was to allow me an hour to myself that evening after work to lay on our bed with my big 1970's headphones and listen to the album from start to finish in the semi-dark. She interrupted my listening session about half a dozen times. My young and very immature self decided, if she couldn't understand this, she had to go. Looking back as a true grown up I understand she was just lonely as I was working a full time job and a part time job and commuting about two hours each day on top of that. I was being truly selfish but that really was the moment I realized she couldn't understand me. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago.

Southpaw has many fine moments, especially after being revisited in a later period of life. I just listened to it again with headphones and found many new layers I hadn't heard before musically.

Thank you for sharing. I think it's nice when we can look back at such times, acknowledging such moments that recognize what place we try to make in the world and how it affects others and the nexus it has with music. It is nice to read this in the forums, which is so often smothered and overlooked.
 
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Anonymous

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Re: Alain Whyte reminisces about Southpaw Grammar, released 20 years ago today

Jack White. He'd be a great shock to the system while not gutting what makes Morrissey Morrissey. He has a history, as a producer, of taking former greats and giving us one last bit of brilliance (Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson.) He's good at wringing out the originality where I think Rick Rubin is more of a polisher and filler (Not that that's a bad thing- I'm thinking specifically of his reworking of the Avett Brothers sound.) And I think Jack White and Morrissey would actually have a lot in common as fans of music/vinyl. If they sat down over drinks and just talked about music they'd either walk away eager to work together or hating each other's guts. I'd love to hear a few songs co-written by White- it would be that stripped down raw rock sound Moz seems to favor. I really think JW could help Morrissey create an album that feels fresh without simply adding flamenco guitar and random sound effects.

I had this thought last night. Jack White is actually a great match. Plus JW's graphics are on a par with the best of The Smiths. And he could release it on the label. A pairing like that would get serious press. Even the country angle could work. Record a new album and the covers album at the same time. The whole concept is sick.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I divorced my first wife because of Southpaw Grammar. Well, not only because of Southpaw Grammar but that was the straw that broke the camel's back. The day it was released was a special day- I was still high from Vauxhall. The one thing I asked of her was to allow me an hour to myself that evening after work to lay on our bed with my big 1970's headphones and listen to the album from start to finish in the semi-dark. She interrupted my listening session about half a dozen times. My young and very immature self decided, if she couldn't understand this, she had to go. Looking back as a true grown up I understand she was just lonely as I was working a full time job and a part time job and commuting about two hours each day on top of that. I was being truly selfish but that really was the moment I realized she couldn't understand me. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago.

sorry to hear that but its nice to see you think back maturely now. is she the one with whom you had your son? at least that way maybe she was or could still have been in your life a bit and you guys could have maybe made amends or expressed regrets. me and rachel also kinda had this period. my background in psychology and conflict resolution funny enough turned out to be a saving grace and a big part of my problem. now we just have an understanding that when it comes to the both of us and music of any kind that itll be my call and she is just gracious to which im just eternally grateful. i had to give up my grilling analysis of everything though after she recorded us having a "debate" once. when i listened i sounded like a lawyer giving a very harsh deposition and i had to realize that sometimes i just had to stop trying to convince her with logic of my correctness even if i still believed i was right. that her state of mind should be more important or at least just as important to me than her acknowledging that i was factually correct and that she was biased or compartmentalized. i say this not to compare or to try and outdo a bad situation only to say that people like us and some here, musical obsessives, only realize this later or under pressure and to not feel to bad about being selfish in your youth when you probably also had a bunch of financial pressure. i had to learn just like you and everyone else. she saved me by not letting me walk out. geeze, i feel middle aged these days
 
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Anonymous

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Re: Alain Whyte reminisces about Southpaw Grammar, released 20 years ago today

If someone can't even leave you alone for a single hour to do something you enjoy, then you were probably well shot of her.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Oh yeah - I think Alain whistles into his guitar pickups during that middle bit in 'Teachers' to get that high bit? A great moment. It just felt like the whole band was on fire during this period, and of equal importance to the singer. Now we are back to Morrissey the front man, with a bunch of faceless, uniform-wearing backing band about 7 miles behind him.

equal importance to the singer? hell naw. I'm not saying that the band at that time wasn't good, but i don't think fans and Moz himself considered them equals :/
 

123xyz

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Was quite surprised to read that Alain felt the title track should have been shortened. At the time of release and still now , it seems like his finest hour and also one of the infrequent tracks where the music's contribution to the song is vastly more significant than Morrissey's ...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
equal importance to the singer? hell naw. I'm not saying that the band at that time wasn't good, but i don't think fans and Moz himself considered them equals :/

'Equal importance' might be overstating it, but what I meant was in terms of the mix of that album Morrissey's vocal wasn't way louder than the band, but nicely equal in the mix. Ditto there were big stretches (huge chunks of 'Teachers', the end of 'Southpaw', the drum solo in 'The Operation', the end of 'Do Your Best and Don't Worry', even the string/guitar break in 'Reader Meet Author') where the band carried the album instrumentally. Add to that the lack of lyric booklet and no Morrissey glowering at you from the cover, and stylistically it *felt* more than Morrissey was just the singer IN a band, rather than a solo frontman with a backing band (even if in reality no-one would have bought it had Morrissey's name not been on the cover ;) )
 
Re: Article: Alain Whyte reminisces about "Southpaw Grammar" on Facebook, released 20 years ago (Aug. 28, 1995)

This is a knock-off of the original I found on the net but it is pretty close to the real thing. View attachment 34552

- - - Updated - - -



Maybe it's my swarthy good looks that go with it :lbf:

ha.
i think my mate Sergie did your arm picture.
at least he has done a drawing just like it
he also drew my dawg

ape.jpg



https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/120...65-signed-and-numbered?ref=shop_home_active_7
 
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Nikita

Senior Member
'Equal importance' might be overstating it, but what I meant was in terms of the mix of that album Morrissey's vocal wasn't way louder than the band, but nicely equal in the mix. Ditto there were big stretches (huge chunks of 'Teachers', the end of 'Southpaw', the drum solo in 'The Operation', the end of 'Do Your Best and Don't Worry', even the string/guitar break in 'Reader Meet Author') where the band carried the album instrumentally. Add to that the lack of lyric booklet and no Morrissey glowering at you from the cover, and stylistically it *felt* more than Morrissey was just the singer IN a band, rather than a solo frontman with a backing band (even if in reality no-one would have bought it had Morrissey's name not been on the cover ;) )

I suggest you listen to Your Arsenal again.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
equal importance to the singer? hell naw. I'm not saying that the band at that time wasn't good, but i don't think fans and Moz himself considered them equals :/

yeah i i agree with this and is probably why i dont like it hardly at all. the band was fine but thats as far as it goes for me. the music itself doesnt really move me emotionally much as it sounds like a bunch of people jamming and just having fun. thats fine but its not what im paying or desiring to hear. cover is excellent though even if its not morrissey on it
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Sad we must discuss on a mediocre album released 20 years ago. Have we lost hope of a new and excellent new studio album soon?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
wow, 20 years, crazy. i didn't love it on first listen, but much more so over time. it's a very mysterious, menacing record on the whole, including the cryptic cover. i love the length of the long songs. if one is in the right mood they're hypnotic. 'dagenham dave' is catchy for sure, and the stacked vocals were an alain signature.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Alain Whyte reminisces about Southpaw Grammar, released 20 years ago today

If someone can't even leave you alone for a single hour to do something you enjoy, then you were probably well shot of her.

I agree. I think your wife was being unfair. If people interrupt my first Moz listening, I want to crush them. No joke.

Btw, the captcha/ad thing is painfully annoying.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
wow, 20 years, crazy. i didn't love it on first listen, but much more so over time. it's a very mysterious, menacing record on the whole, including the cryptic cover. i love the length of the long songs. if one is in the right mood they're hypnotic. 'dagenham dave' is catchy for sure, and the stacked vocals were an alain signature.

It's not Morrissey's best album but it's a bloody great album compared to the absolute drivel bashed out on the radio these days by battery-hen bands who seriously need to be de-beaked and dipped into electrocuted water.
'Reader Meet Author' is a fantastic song and I've always loved 'Southpaw' and 'The Operation' (although I did find the long drum intro a trifle aimless). I like 'Best Friend on the Payroll' too. That album would have greatly benefited from having 'Nobody Loves Us' on it back when it came out originally.
 

Veri Morrissey

New Member
Re: Alain Whyte reminisces about Southpaw Grammar, released 20 years ago today

Southpaw Grammar is the BEST Morrissey album.
Just.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Southpaw Grammar is my favorite album. i love all the tracks except for the song Southpaw. its so sad that we cant get another record like that due to Alains departure. That album left me wanting more back in 1995.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Southpaw Grammar is my favorite album. i love all the tracks except for the song Southpaw. its so sad that we cant get another record like that due to Alains departure. That album left me wanting more back in 1995.

maybe theyll all get together one day and do a band album
 

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