Andy Rourke RC interview - April, 2022

Text reproduction of his interview in "Record Collector presents: The Smiths" special (April 21, 2022).

"ACE OF BASS

It all began with a Neil Young badge pinned to his school blazer. In this brand new interview, Andy Rourke tells Lois Wilson about the call from an old mate that would change his life forever...


I met Johnny at school when I was 11. I was really into Neil Young at the time and he was wearing a Neil Young Tonight's The Night lapel badge. This was when everyone else seemed to be into Jethro Tull and heavy metal, so Neil Young was a conversation opener and pretty soon we were spending all our spare time together, either playing music or listening to music or talking about music. We formed a band together, Freak Party. It was me on bass, Johnny on guitar and funky Si Wolstenscroft on drums, and the music did get funky. The Clash's Sandinista! had just come out and we were jumping on that vibe. We rehearsed every night until kicking out time, we got stoned a lot and jammed a lot. They were good days, but we auditioned countless frontmen to no avail and eventually Johnny quit out of frustration as it became clear we weren't going anywhere.

Not long after he quit he called me up. He had a new band called The Smiths. Did I want to join. They'd already played their first gig at the Ritz in Manchester with Dale Hibbert on bass. Some mates of mine had gone along but I hadn't. I met up with Johnny, he said it didn't work out with Dale and he gave me a demo tape which had two songs on it - Suffer Little Children and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. It wasn't what I was expecting but I could hear something great in there, something different and I really liked what Johnny was doing, The first recordings I did with The Smiths were the demos for Handsome Devil and Miserable Lie and these were done in the downstairs of a studio in Chorlton called Drone. That's when I first met Morrissey and Mike. When I got there, Mike was saring up his drums. He was chatty, easy to get on with. Then, as I was setting up Morrissey arrived, he introduced himself as Stephen, shook my hand then shuffled into the corner and started going through his bag of lyrics and sandwiches and stuff. People often called him aloof at that time, but I think he was painfully shy, he just wasn't used to meeting new people. Our first gig was at Manhattan Sound in Manchester (on 25 January 1983) and it was utter chaos. There was no stage, the sound was terrible, the audience were right in your face, virtually touching you and I was so nervous I really didn't enjoy it at all. But we played OK. James Maker introduced us. He was our go-go dancer. I wasn't comfortable with his role and I am pretty sure Mike and Johnny felt the same. It was an unnecessary distraction and I think it cramped Morrissey's style. There wasn't much scope for him when James was jumping around.

Johnny and I used to go to The Hacienda pretty much every night. In those days it was really quiet and it was freezing cold. People sat in their own corner. There was the drug dealing corner, the gay corner, the extrovert corner and when we got a gig there [on 4 February 1983] it felt like a big deal, and in many ways our first proper gig. We had monitors and a stage and a set list and Morrissey ordered a shit load of gladioli and he threw half out to the audience, and half he stuck in his back pocket and that became a thing and the boxes got bigger and bigger and his back pockets got bigger and bigger and eventually he had half a tree in there.

After that Hacienda gig, we really took off, there was no stopping us. We were a had total belief and we had a real "us versus them" attitude. Not being on Factory, there was a sense we stood apart from the other Manchester bands like A Certain Ratio, New Order, Durutti Column. We were our own separate thing.

I don't remember the exact point Steven became Morrissey but I know he first broke the news to Johnny and Johnny gave us the heads up we weren't to call him Steven or, worse still, Steve, which he hated. At first it was really awkward calling him Morrissey, and he'd get embarrassed and then he'd call me Rourke and I wouldn't be sure if we were to revert back to calling him Steven but eventually it became normal and we even got down to just Moz and Mozza.

Going on Top Of The Pops with This Charming Man was another big deal. I'd grown up listening to the Top 20 on the radio with my mum and it had been everything to me so I was overjoyed, we all were, but we were all nervous too. We went down to the studio. It was very surreal and we weren't prepared for the total fakeness of it - the miming, the fake audience dancing (and if they didn't dance they got thrown out). We went into the make-up room and we'd bought Marks & Spencer sweaters for the occasion and they said, "What are you going to be wearing for the show?" and we were like, "This is it." We went on in our black jeans and sweaters. We definitely stood out.

Ironically, Strangeways, Here We Come is my favourite album. It's the one on which we completely gelled. We had come of age and we were in our element and ready to take on the world and then of course we split up. There was no inkling Johnny was going to leave but in hindsight I can see the frustrations, but I was too busy getting on with my own thing to realise the gravity
of the situation. When he left the impact was huge and I think we were all traumatised and probably still are. No one knew how to react. I didn't know whether to call him or leave him alone. It was a really awful time, horrible. for everyone concerned.

Almost immediately after he left, Morrissey asked me and Mike to play on his solo stuff-a big kick in the eye for Johnny and it made me feel even more awkward about speaking to him. I felt like I had betrayed him so it was a long while before we spoke again. We had been best friends and then we weren't talking. I hadn't fallen out with him, but I felt guilty. It's not a time I fondly recall.

In The Smiths when we were getting songs together, Johnny already knew how the music would sound and he would play his guitar part. I would write the bass part and that was as far as my writing went. Morrissey brought out the songwriter in me. He believed I could do it and he made me believe I could do it and we ended up writing together. We started off with a blank page and a blank cassette and from that we wrote Yes, I Am Blind and Girl Least Likely To.

After Morrissey, there was Freebass (with Mani and Peter Hook) and D.A.R.K. I also wrote the music for Anthony Bourdain's Raw Craft TV series and worked with James Franco putting his poems inspired by The Smiths to music. I am currently playing in Blitz Vega with KAV from the Happy Mondays. We've got a single coming out this year called Strong Forever to be followed by an EP."



Regards,
FWD.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
A closer reading of what I wrote might help your understanding. I'm commenting on your interest in the very precise and literal meaning of words, rather than the question of whether somebody can, or cannot, properly be categorised as a "songwriter". Your utterly pointless insistence that only Morrissey "writes songs", whereas Johnny Marr et al don't seems to be a point of interest for you that borders fixation. By contrast, it seems of little obvious interest to anyone else. For me, that's the interesting bit.

Anyway, you seem pretty angry, so I'll let you get on. I'm off to crank out a proper Morrissey banger . . . :guitar:

Night night.

I'm not angry, just amused by your insistence that you're not interested in this subject whilst continuing to post messages about it. That's why I called you a thick dipshit. I look forward to your next post confirming your complete absence of interest in the subject.

By the way, it's not an interest in the precise and literal meaning of words - that notion simply evinces your lack of understanding of what you're reading. It's an interest in giving proper credit where it's due, and not claiming or giving too much credit where it's not due.
 
V

Vegan Cro Spirit 555

Guest
You are right, that info came straight from Marr himself when my husband asked him how he and Morrissey wrote songs, he said Morrissey came up with the melodies

DH Andy requires a bass book to play the dumb bass:blushing:
:handpointright::guardsman::handpointleft: needs a capo to make sure the wrong notes are played🎼
FH Mike can barely get his grubby fingers around the drum stick 🥁
in unison since Moz dissolved the group, they have written all of o melodies, yet according to the spammers here, they are melodic 'arrangers' like little mozarts:crazy:

:hammer:
 
N

No 27

Guest
I'm not angry, just amused by your insistence that you're not interested in this subject whilst continuing to post messages about it. That's why I called you a thick dipshit. I look forward to your next post confirming your complete absence of interest in the subject.

By the way, it's not an interest in the precise and literal meaning of words - that notion simply evinces your lack of understanding of what you're reading. It's an interest in giving proper credit where it's due, and not claiming or giving too much credit where it's not due.
I can see you're still struggling with this. I've yet to comment on the substantive/inconsequential point you're trying to get people to accept, namely that Steve was the best Smith because he's a proper songwriter whereas the others weren't - especially that Johnny Marr.

Credit where it's due, though - which, I know, is important to you - you've been inventive, sidestepping the usual things people say on here to justify their continued love of Morrissey (eg, "He's an Artist!" / "He hasn't been a racist for three years!!!!1!!!" and so on). Instead, you've invoked a new and quite bizarre criterion upon which to judge blindly love him.

For me, though, the best bit is that even his other long-suffering fans don't seem to care very much about whether Morrissey can be accurately categorised as a "songwriter".

And why would they? They like the songs to which he contributed, both in The Smiths and in the various incarnations of his "solo" line-ups. I think that, for nearly all of them, his job-title is isn't of much importance.

I think you're right, though: you're not actually angry with everyone quite yet. "Frustrated", I think, probably best describes what you're feeling? Anyway, I just want you to know that it's lovely to watch. Enjoy.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I can see you're still struggling with this. I've yet to comment on the substantive/inconsequential point you're trying to get people to accept, namely that Steve was the best Smith because he's a proper songwriter whereas the others weren't - especially that Johnny Marr.

Credit where it's due, though - which, I know, is important to you - you've been inventive, sidestepping the usual things people say on here to justify their continued love of Morrissey (eg, "He's an Artist!" / "He hasn't been a racist for three years!!!!1!!!" and so on). Instead, you've invoked a new and quite bizarre criterion upon which to judge blindly love him.

For me, though, the best bit is that even his other long-suffering fans don't seem to care very much about whether Morrissey can be accurately categorised as a "songwriter".

And why would they? They like the songs to which he contributed, both in The Smiths and in the various incarnations of his "solo" line-ups. I think that, for nearly all of them, his job-title is isn't of much importance.

I think you're right, though: you're not actually angry with everyone quite yet. "Frustrated", I think, probably best describes what you're feeling? Anyway, I just want you to know that it's lovely to watch. Enjoy.

Again, your whole tirade here is based on a false premise - that I think Morrissey was the 'best' Smith because he created the songs. To compare the music and the songs (vocal melodies/lyrics) is apples and pears. Take 'This Charming Man' or 'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side' - the music is brilliant and I would credit Marr with creating that music. I just wouldn't give him sole credit. I'd credit Rourke also and, in the case of 'This Charming Man', John Porter.

So the music was as significant an achievement as the songs - give credit where it's due to those who created the music, and credit where it's due to he who created the songs.

I don't know why you feel a need to read emotions into this proposition - I think that says more about you than it does about me.
 

minminmusic

New Member
Except for the fact that that's not the way it works. The guitar intro on "And I Love Her" is all George, no instructions from Paul and John and yet he's not credited as a writer. He contributed his part to the composition written by Lennon and McCartney (most likely a majority composition by Paul but we won't go down that rabbit hole) end of story. It may be your favorite part...heck you could argue that it MADE the whole song, but according to music law there is the top line melody (typically a vocal but Telstar is another example of a topline melody), the lyrics and the musical chord changes that make up the body of the "song" and if the writers who create/write/invent those elements (chords/top melody/lyrics) choose not to credit George for his contribution than he's not, by law, considered a writer. Now...in terms of ARRANGMENT and who contributed what...there is no debate that in almost any band arrangement, the players will certainly bring a ton of their own character, ideas and style to the composition at hand. Most wouldn't doubt Brian Wilson's genius but you'd be daft to think that, regardless of Hal Blaine or Carol Kaye's contributions to Pet Sounds (and they contributed HUGELY) that they'd be listed as writers. And believe me...this is nothing against Rourke. I am a HUGE Andy Rourke fan. I am a HUGE Smiths fan. I have absorbed every last bit that I can and am that nerdy that I got excited for some new sibilance and plosives on the recently remastered versions that I never heard back in the day but, from a writing credit standpoint, Morrissey and Marr decided day one who's names were going to be within the brackets and that's the way it was/is.
 

minminmusic

New Member
Except for the fact that that's not the way it works. The guitar intro on "And I Love Her" is all George, no instructions from Paul and John and yet he's not credited as a writer. He contributed his part to the composition written by Lennon and McCartney (most likely a majority composition by Paul but we won't go down that rabbit hole) end of story. It may be your favorite part...heck you could argue that it MADE the whole song, but according to music law there is the top line melody (typically a vocal but Telstar is another example of a topline melody), the lyrics and the musical chord changes that make up the body of the "song" and if the writers who create/write/invent those elements (chords/top melody/lyrics) choose not to credit George for his contribution than he's not, by law, considered a writer. Now...in terms of ARRANGMENT and who contributed what...there is no debate that in almost any band arrangement, the players will certainly bring a ton of their own character, ideas and style to the composition at hand. Most wouldn't doubt Brian Wilson's genius but you'd be daft to think that, regardless of Hal Blaine or Carol Kaye's contributions to Pet Sounds (and they contributed HUGELY) that they'd be listed as writers. And believe me...this is nothing against Rourke. I am a HUGE Andy Rourke fan. I am a HUGE Smiths fan. I have absorbed every last bit that I can and am that nerdy that I got excited for some new sibilance and plosives on the recently remastered versions that I never heard back in the day but, from a writing credit standpoint, Morrissey and Marr decided day one who's names were going to be within the brackets and that's the way it was/is.
Now to be fair...Morrissey's methods of writing to the song at hand are odd (or at least most who've presented a cassette for consideration consider it odd). Most writers thought the verse might be a bridge and a chorus the verse etc. And the writer...after an idea is submitted might have to shuffle things around. But anyone who's actually collaborated on anything with another individual knows that there has to be some give and take and blacksmithing to make it all work out. It's not unheard of to change a songs key to better suite the vocalist or vocal idea (Marr had to do this for Moz). To extend a section out longer to allow the lyric to fit better within the composition. But, regardless of how the writers get there, it's still chords/top line melody/lyrics. Once that core is roughly sketched out/demo...then comes arrangement. And arrangement can be strongly influenced by the contributors for sure, but can also be influenced by how the original idea is presented/implied (a specific rhythm) or by citing outside influence.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Except for the fact that that's not the way it works. The guitar intro on "And I Love Her" is all George, no instructions from Paul and John and yet he's not credited as a writer. He contributed his part to the composition written by Lennon and McCartney (most likely a majority composition by Paul but we won't go down that rabbit hole) end of story.

Well, obviously that's not the way it works. I'm proposing how things might be done differently and more fairly.

The example you cite here - The Beatles - is a particularly apt demonstration of this.

Let's take another Beatles song - 'Ticket to Ride' written by John Lennon (oh, yes, let's disappear down that rabbit hole).

Lennon wrote the lyrics and created the vocal melody, so it's clearly his song.

But Harrison came up with the distinctive guitar arpeggio. So should he get a credit? No, because that's not the song. The vocal melody and the lyric is the song.

So it's fair then that Harrison gets no credit whatsoever for 'Ticket to Ride', is it? Even though McCartney does!

No, of course it's not fair.

So what would be fair is if Harrison got a musical composition credit. A credit for co-composing the music. 'Song by Lennon'; 'Music by Lennon/Harrison' in recognition of Harrison's exceptional musical contribution to the song. Ditto 'And I Love Here' where, as you point out, that distinctive guitar line was George's creation (except in this case, obviously, it would be 'Song by McCartney').

That would be a fair recognition of credit where it's due.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Now to be fair...Morrissey's methods of writing to the song at hand are odd (or at least most who've presented a cassette for consideration consider it odd). Most writers thought the verse might be a bridge and a chorus the verse etc. And the writer...after an idea is submitted might have to shuffle things around. But anyone who's actually collaborated on anything with another individual knows that there has to be some give and take and blacksmithing to make it all work out. It's not unheard of to change a songs key to better suite the vocalist or vocal idea (Marr had to do this for Moz). To extend a section out longer to allow the lyric to fit better within the composition. But, regardless of how the writers get there, it's still chords/top line melody/lyrics. Once that core is roughly sketched out/demo...then comes arrangement. And arrangement can be strongly influenced by the contributors for sure, but can also be influenced by how the original idea is presented/implied (a specific rhythm) or by citing outside influence.

Ironically, you're actually perfectly illustrating here why the songs are Morrissey's creation. As you yourself point out, the music as it's presented to Morrissey is open to interpretation - were it presented to anyone else, it would become a different song. At this stage, it's just music. It may have some structure, but it's still just music. What it will end up being is the backing track to a song, but the song itself is Morrissey's creation - his lyrics, his vocal melodies. Take away the backing track and you still have the song. Take away the vocal melody/lyrics, and you don't have the song.

So the distinction you're making (and which is legally enforced by the current norm) between 'composition' and 'arrangement' becomes, as it rightly should be, an irrelevance, as all of it basically amounts to the co-creation of the backing music.

That Marr should get a writer credit for his chord sequences, for example (as well as his guitar melodies - but you yourself acknowledge that the original backing track given to Morrissey may have been little more than a chord sequence/riff/basic guitar melody), while Rourke gets no musical composition credit for his incredibly distinctive bass lines, is just absurd and unfair.
 

Ketamine Sun

Now, today, tomorrow and always
'Song' comes from the same root as 'sing' - so the word essentially means a vocal melody/words. And that's why there's a word for music that doesn't have a vocal melody on top of it - 'instrumental'. Pretty simple to grasp. Even for you, I daresay.

And I remember having this discussion with you before, but you're evidently too thick to recollect the explanation. Morrissey doesn't write songs - he writes lyrics. He creates songs by singing a vocal melody over an instrumental. So, although it's more accurate to say that he creates songs, rather than writing them, the answer to your question is basically "No, Morrissey couldn't have created those songs without Marr". That's not the same as saying Marr co-wrote or co-created the songs. He didn't. He co-created the music with Rourke.

Morrissey then used that music, and his lyrics, to create his vocal melodies. The lyrics and the vocal melody are what constitute a song, because they're its only essential components. Take away the music, and you still have the song. Take away the lyrics or the vocal melody, and you no longer have the song. So the song is the lyrics and the vocal melody.

Maybe to you, but if the lyrics and vocal are the songs “only essential components” then why does Morrissey or most pop singers even bother with having musicians backing them?

To me, and it seems to others here also, what actually constitutes a song is the collaboration between the two artists, together they write the songs.

It's not a question of what people remember, it's a question of what they need, in order to perform/cover the song. They need the words and they need the melody, they don't need anything else. They can change the backing music, they can change the chords, they can change the tempo, they can change the instruments, it'll still be the song.

If you change the music, the emotion of the song changes. And so the aim of Morrissey’s
words will change or will contradict his intention and vision. Yes the title will be the same, but the song as a whole will be very different. So no, it will not be the same song if you change the music that originally goes with those words.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Maybe to you, but if the lyrics and vocal are the songs “only essential components” then why does Morrissey or most pop singers even bother with having musicians backing them?

To me, and it seems to others here also, what actually constitutes a song is the collaboration between the two artists, together they write the songs.



If you change the music, the emotion of the song changes. And so the aim of Morrissey’s
words will change or will contradict his intention and vision. Yes the title will be the same, but the song as a whole will be very different. So no, it will not be the same song if you change the music that originally goes with those words.

"Maybe to you, but if the lyrics and vocal are the songs “only essential components” then why does Morrissey or most pop singers even bother with having musicians backing them?"

What an odd question. Because, quite obviously, backing music supports and embellishes the song. That doesn't mean that it is the song - by definition, it means that it's distinct from the song.

"If you change the music, the emotion of the song changes."

No, it doesn't. Emotion is subjective to the listener. The mood of the song will change, of course, but to say that because X can change the mood of Y, then X is the same thing as Y, is simply not true. In fact, the opposite follows from the premise. If X has an effect on Y, then by definition it's something distinct from Y. That different backing music can change the mood of a song is testimony to the fact that song and backing music are not one and the same thing.

"And so the aim of Morrissey’s words will change or will contradict his intention and vision."

No, they won't. Firstly, Morrissey's were often written before he'd even heard the music, and secondly, none of us know what the aim of his words were in any given song"

Yes the title will be the same, but the song as a whole will be very different. So no, it will not be the same song if you change the music that originally goes with those words."

Yes, it will. As long as it has the same vocal melody and lyrics, then it will be the same song. That's kind of how cover versions work. Or are you saying that a cover version is a different song?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Ironically, you're actually perfectly illustrating here why the songs are Morrissey's creation. As you yourself point out, the music as it's presented to Morrissey is open to interpretation - were it presented to anyone else, it would become a different song. At this stage, it's just music. It may have some structure, but it's still just music. What it will end up being is the backing track to a song, but the song itself is Morrissey's creation - his lyrics, his vocal melodies. Take away the backing track and you still have the song. Take away the vocal melody/lyrics, and you don't have the song.

So the distinction you're making (and which is legally enforced by the current norm) between 'composition' and 'arrangement' becomes, as it rightly should be, an irrelevance, as all of it basically amounts to the co-creation of the backing music.

That Marr should get a writer credit for his chord sequences, for example (as well as his guitar melodies - but you yourself acknowledge that the original backing track given to Morrissey may have been little more than a chord sequence/riff/basic guitar melody), while Rourke gets no musical composition credit for his incredibly distinctive bass lines, is just absurd and unfair.
The idea that “the songs are (solely) Morrissey’s creation” is absurd. He didn’t pluck the melodies out of thin air, he was singing to, and embellishing, melodic phrases inherent in Marr’s guitar lines. This wasn’t the case with, say, Captain Beefheart or Jim Morrison, who apparently came up with unaccompanied vocal melodies first, with their bands then finding the chords that would fit the vocal melody. In these cases you could say, yes, they did write the “song.” This isn’t the way Morrissey works - he has always relied on another musician to write the music first, and then he came up with vocal lines that fit around that template. That is the very definition of co-writing, I can’t fathom why you can’t see that...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The idea that “the songs are (solely) Morrissey’s creation” is absurd. He didn’t pluck the melodies out of thin air, he was singing to, and embellishing, melodic phrases inherent in Marr’s guitar lines. This wasn’t the case with, say, Captain Beefheart or Jim Morrison, who apparently came up with unaccompanied vocal melodies first, with their bands then finding the chords that would fit the vocal melody. In these cases you could say, yes, they did write the “song.” This isn’t the way Morrissey works - he has always relied on another musician to write the music first, and then he came up with vocal lines that fit around that template. That is the very definition of co-writing, I can’t fathom why you can’t see that...
it’s because they are a troll 🧌
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The idea that “the songs are (solely) Morrissey’s creation” is absurd. He didn’t pluck the melodies out of thin air, he was singing to, and embellishing, melodic phrases inherent in Marr’s guitar lines. This wasn’t the case with, say, Captain Beefheart or Jim Morrison, who apparently came up with unaccompanied vocal melodies first, with their bands then finding the chords that would fit the vocal melody. In these cases you could say, yes, they did write the “song.” This isn’t the way Morrissey works - he has always relied on another musician to write the music first, and then he came up with vocal lines that fit around that template. That is the very definition of co-writing, I can’t fathom why you can’t see that...

"He didn’t pluck the melodies out of thin air, he was singing to, and embellishing, melodic phrases inherent in Marr’s guitar lines."


You seem to think that saying that he was singing to the accompaniment of a backing track (true) and embellishing melodic phrases in Marr's guitar lines (true) is a refutation of the idea that Morrissey himself was creating the vocal melodies. It's not. Marr did not create those vocal melodies. Morrissey did. And in creating them, he embellished Marr's backing music with his vocal melodies. He also, in the process of creating the vocal melodies, created the song.

Creating vocal melodies that fit backing music is again, not a refutation of the idea that Morrissey created the songs. As I've already pointed out, the song is the vocal melody and lyric. Marr created the music. The music inspired the vocal melody (as well as did the lyrics). Therefore the music partly inspired the song. It doesn't follow that the music is the song.

And why do only the vocal melody and lyrics constitute the song? Because, as I've already explained, take away the backing music and the song still exists - you are left with what a song actually is - lyrics and vocal melody. But take away the lyrics and vocal melody from the backing track and you are left with what a backing track is without a vocal melody and lyrics - not a song, just music.

Therefore Marr created (or co-created, with Rourke) the music. Morrissey created the songs.
 

minminmusic

New Member
The idea that “the songs are (solely) Morrissey’s creation” is absurd. He didn’t pluck the melodies out of thin air, he was singing to, and embellishing, melodic phrases inherent in Marr’s guitar lines. This wasn’t the case with, say, Captain Beefheart or Jim Morrison, who apparently came up with unaccompanied vocal melodies first, with their bands then finding the chords that would fit the vocal melody. In these cases you could say, yes, they did write the “song.” This isn’t the way Morrissey works - he has always relied on another musician to write the music first, and then he came up with vocal lines that fit around that template. That is the very definition of co-writing, I can’t fathom why you can’t see that...
Yes...this whole conversation is nonsense and probably brought up by someone who's not really involved in the mechanics of the writing process.

It's not just laying down a chord progression on a 4 track. As a composer, anytime I was laying down a "demo" it was much more then just a writing chord progression. Yes...that's part of it. First you come up with some interesting CHORDS and create a progression or a series of progressions that demonstrate the structure of the song. But the basic rhythm/feel of a song can be implied by how it's played. Have a distinctive drum part in mind and lay that down as well by drum machine or banging on a wall...you start to imply the basic feel/groove of the song. Back in the old days before I had a bass guitar, I would vari the pitch of the 4 track to get my low E string closer to the sound of a bass and lay down a basic bass line/bottom end. If there was something I felt was a key "hook"...I'd lay it down. Same with guitars or keys as well. If I felt it implied a relevant "hook" to a song...I'd lay it down. At least enough to strongly suggest the flavor of the final songs potential direction yet leaving enough room for the other players to embellish and enhance. But the core of the song is there to serve as a creative springboard for inspiration as well as a rough roadmap. In this stage that's the difference between a composer (how has a set but flexible idea) and a jam band (who throw enough sh*t at the musical wall that something will eventually stick.)

NOW...hand that demo cassette over to someone like Morrissey. He hears something in the vibe of the track, the mood of the track...that inspires him to starting humming along and creating a melody. No doubt he has TONS of snippets of lyrics and ideas laying around himself and starts to graft things over the top to see how words fit until he feels a strong MELODY is taking shape. He now has a rough idea and continues tinkering with the words until he commits' his final set of LYRICS on the recorded version.

This is roughly the process most writing partnerships take place...Bacharach and David, Wilson and Asher. Sometimes the order may be jumbled up...plenty of Brill Building stories of someone coming in with a concept, discussing the concept, scribbling together some phrases that lyrically support the concept then start playing around with chords and melodies and chisel away to a song starts to take shape. Still...the basic components of any song, regardless of the order in which they arrived are CHORDS, MELODY, LYRIC. Morrissey doesn't know chordal theory nor play any instruments so he relies on others to provide the inspirational co-foundation of what both parties in this arrangement need to write a song. Unique as he is...to suggest that Morrissey doesn't rely on the above process to write the songs that served both The Smiths and his solo career is ignorance. You can have a V8 engine but without the body and wheels...the vehicle is going nowhere.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yes...this whole conversation is nonsense and probably brought up by someone who's not really involved in the mechanics of the writing process.

It's not just laying down a chord progression on a 4 track. As a composer, anytime I was laying down a "demo" it was much more then just a writing chord progression. Yes...that's part of it. First you come up with some interesting CHORDS and create a progression or a series of progressions that demonstrate the structure of the song. But the basic rhythm/feel of a song can be implied by how it's played. Have a distinctive drum part in mind and lay that down as well by drum machine or banging on a wall...you start to imply the basic feel/groove of the song. Back in the old days before I had a bass guitar, I would vari the pitch of the 4 track to get my low E string closer to the sound of a bass and lay down a basic bass line/bottom end. If there was something I felt was a key "hook"...I'd lay it down. Same with guitars or keys as well. If I felt it implied a relevant "hook" to a song...I'd lay it down. At least enough to strongly suggest the flavor of the final songs potential direction yet leaving enough room for the other players to embellish and enhance. But the core of the song is there to serve as a creative springboard for inspiration as well as a rough roadmap. In this stage that's the difference between a composer (how has a set but flexible idea) and a jam band (who throw enough sh*t at the musical wall that something will eventually stick.)

NOW...hand that demo cassette over to someone like Morrissey. He hears something in the vibe of the track, the mood of the track...that inspires him to starting humming along and creating a melody. No doubt he has TONS of snippets of lyrics and ideas laying around himself and starts to graft things over the top to see how words fit until he feels a strong MELODY is taking shape. He now has a rough idea and continues tinkering with the words until he commits' his final set of LYRICS on the recorded version.

This is roughly the process most writing partnerships take place...Bacharach and David, Wilson and Asher. Sometimes the order may be jumbled up...plenty of Brill Building stories of someone coming in with a concept, discussing the concept, scribbling together some phrases that lyrically support the concept then start playing around with chords and melodies and chisel away to a song starts to take shape. Still...the basic components of any song, regardless of the order in which they arrived are CHORDS, MELODY, LYRIC. Morrissey doesn't know chordal theory nor play any instruments so he relies on others to provide the inspirational co-foundation of what both parties in this arrangement need to write a song. Unique as he is...to suggest that Morrissey doesn't rely on the above process to write the songs that served both The Smiths and his solo career is ignorance. You can have a V8 engine but without the body and wheels...the vehicle is going nowhere.

Again, this is just a verbose way of saying that you think the music is part of the the song. As I've explained, all a song relies on in order to be a song is vocal melody and words. That's why songs can be sung acapella.

And nothing that you've said here contradicts that. In fact, it underlines it. Though it also underlines that you don't understand the point I'm making.

You seem to think that my argument entails the idea that Morrissey didn't need any inspiration or springboard from which to create his vocal melodies. This is your misconception. Of course he needs music in order to create his songs. And those who create that music should be credited for doing so. But that's all they've done. They've created a music. It's Morrissey the song, by forming the vocal melody and the words - because that's what the song is.

You can do a cover of any song that entails changing, erasing or radically reworking everything you've cited above, that you are claiming is part of the song - drum pattern, hooks, basic rhythm, instrumental melody lines - everything that is, except the vocal melody and lyrics (you can adapt the vocal melody and lyrics, sure, but not out of all recognition). And that's because only the vocal melody and the lyrics really constitute the song.

So it's doesn't matter how complex or complete the music is that inspires the vocal melody, it's still just the backing music.

So my point remains. Credit where it's due. Morrissey devised the vocal melodies and lyrics, so credit him with the songs. Marr co-created the music, so co-credit him with the music. Rourke also has key creative input in the creation, so co-credit him too with the music.
 

Redacted

I think I must be, absolutely, a total sex object.
I thought only melodies and lyrics could be copyrighted, but not chords?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I thought only melodies and lyrics could be copyrighted, but not chords?

I don't know what the copyright of songs refers to, and it's an interesting question - what is Marr actually being credited with in the songwriting credit for Smiths songs?
 
V

Vegan Cro Spirit 555

Guest
o_O
JFC nobody is crediting anything to anyone. Its not like the Sonwriting Pope in the Cloud is crediting :handpointright::guardsman::handpointleft: for the music.doh:
Moz and Pepe had a songwriting agreement where they went 50 50 Moz lyrics and Pepe music. You CANNOT copyright chords FFS
Moz was being nice since he actually made the melody but he didnt
want Pepe to make a hissy fit which he eventually dido_O

DH Andy has to make bass piece to fit the song made by Moz and Pepe. thats why he is getting paid the record royalties for.
the song is there for them all they have to do is DO something WtF?
You want Pepe and Moz to teach DH Andy the bass notes to go with the music?? for free? in that case DH Andy should pay the rec royalties to Moz and Pepe who are doing his job for him.
Maybe FH Mike should maybe then teach Moz the lyrics which Moz made in the first place everyone going round and round like nutters:crazy:
making drum and bass to an established structure IS NOT CONSIDERED writing a song for copyrighting purpose HOLY FLOCK:flamethrow:
DH and FH should go off and make their own songs with lyrics and music
:hammer:
 

Redacted

I think I must be, absolutely, a total sex object.
I don't know what the copyright of songs refers to, and it's an interesting question - what is Marr actually being credited with in the songwriting credit for Smiths songs?
I think it just means that someone can use the exact same chords Marr wrote and not have to pay royalties, the money is in the lyrics and melody, like in sampling, but he still gets a song writing credit anyway which is what he and M agreed to.
 

Redacted

I think I must be, absolutely, a total sex object.
o_O
JFC nobody is crediting anything to anyone. Its not like the Sonwriting Pope in the Cloud is crediting :handpointright::guardsman::handpointleft: for the music.doh:
Moz and Pepe had a songwriting agreement where they went 50 50 Moz lyrics and Pepe music. You CANNOT copyright chords FFS
Moz was being nice since he actually made the melody but he didnt
want Pepe to make a hissy fit which he eventually dido_O

DH Andy has to make bass piece to fit the song made by Moz and Pepe. thats why he is getting paid the record royalties for.
the song is there for them all they have to do is DO something WtF?
You want Pepe and Moz to teach DH Andy the bass notes to go with the music?? for free? in that case DH Andy should pay the rec royalties to Moz and Pepe who are doing his job for him.
Maybe FH Mike should maybe then teach Moz the lyrics which Moz made in the first place everyone going round and round like nutters:crazy:
making drum and bass to an established structure IS NOT CONSIDERED writing a song for copyrighting purpose HOLY FLOCK:flamethrow:
DH and FH should go off and make their own songs with lyrics and music
:hammer:

austin-powers.gif
 

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