Billy Bragg: 'Moz doesn't need a record deal'

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2011 (read-only)' started by davidt, Jun 30, 2011.

By davidt on Jun 30, 2011 at 3:29 AM
  1. davidt

    davidt Administrator Staff Member Moderator Premium

    Feb 12, 1997
    John Reed writes:

    Billy Bragg has posted the Guardian's recent non-story regarding Morrissey's lack of record deal on his Facebook page along with the mocking comment: '"England is mine and it owes me a living" Apparently not.'

    After a debate on his page, with most of his fans taking joy in Morrissey's apparent misfortune, Bragg clarified his position:

    "I'm not having a pop at Mozzer, simply want to highlight the situation faced by artists who are lucky enough to have long careers. Fact is we shouldn't rely on record companies to do the work for us. In the world of internet connectivity, we should be getting together to work out a new way of getting our music heard."​
    Last edited: May 15, 2016


Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2011 (read-only)' started by davidt, Jun 30, 2011.

    1. Dave2006
      There is a link from the Guardian page to an interview between Morrissey and Pitchfork that I'd not picked up elsewhere on the site

      My favourite lines:
      The band I have now are exceptional, yet I am only ever linked in the press with the musicians from the Smiths, even though the ex-Smiths and I are absolute strangers to one another. Silly, isn't it.​

      The music press has died because of Internet People Power-- everyone is now their own expert critic. As a consequence there are no risks taken with music anymore-- no social commentary songs, no individualism. This is because everyone is deemed instantly replaceable.​

      U2 have an enormous Star Wars set with drumsticks that light up northern Africa, and a sound system that would drown out an earthquake. I can't compete with that. Not with my post office savings account. All I have to offer the world are songs.​

    2. Johnny Barleycorn
      Johnny Barleycorn
      Lord Bragg of Dorsetshire is very fond of giving his view of the struggles of the working man from his agreeable country pile.

      As to the record label deal thingumy I think Morrissey should release his new stuff over the net.

      There's a fine line between traditionalist and luddite, and sometimes I wonder which side of that divide he is on. Moz's love and support of 7" vinyl by releasing exclusive tracks on that format is highly laudable, for example, but few now have record decks to hear that new stuff, meaning we have to resort to illegal sources.
    3. RJ1981
      I really hope that Morrissey is able to release his next album in the traditional way. I am no luddite, but since my first experience of buying a Morrissey album (I was 11 years old and bought Your Arsenal on cassette in HMV) buying each new album on release day and scurrying home for the very first listen has been a very enjoyable rutual.
      That said, my impatience for the arrival of a new album is only going to increase from hereon, as the Glastonbury performance has allayed any fears I had over the new songs following their initial outing on Janice Long. In particular, I am amazed how much PATSE has grown on me - it is now a firm favourite and deeply entrenched in my mind.
      So, in summary, I hope Moz can keep tradition alive - but I am more concerned that he keeps the music alive, and will be grateful for a new album however it arrives.
    4. Anonymous
      Stop being so fucking pretentious. You could simply say you really like the song and/or that you think it's really good (though, God only knows how it might be possible for anyone to think that). "deeply entrenched in my mind"... Jesus
    5. Anonymous
      Hey, Guy, you criticise someone expressing a passion for music. Really? On a music site? On a Morrissey site?

      Go and improve your mood elsewhere, depresso.
    6. Anonymous
      The criticism was about pretentiousness.
    7. Anonymous
      Bollocks. Music is passion is music. And his/her turn of phrase was hardly flowery or over the top. Who hasn't had a song stuck in their head? And if you don't like music, what are you doing here?
    8. Anonymous
      Demonstrates why this site is getting worse by the day, every topic ends up in personal abuse. Apart from the news the rest of it's just painful to read.
    9. Anonymous
      I'm defending someone expressing an opinion about music on a music site. Its terrible, huh.
    10. RJ1981
      Ha ha! I honestly didn't give the phrase "deeply entrenched in my mind" as much as thought as Anonymous clearly has! Just passing the time at work, offering an opinion... I shall take care to express my views in more neutral language in future.
      So, that was my third, maybe fourth post on this site, and the first (as far as I know) to attract any vitriolic abuse (careful now, that phrase may sound pretentious). Is that about par for the course?
    11. Anonymous
      Not a bad decision really. An album of lossless FLAC files will do.
    12. Junebug09
      Roland , ignore the ignorant .
    13. Anonymous

      Dear Johnny Barleycorn,

      Today singers can only make money by touring, isn’t it? It’s not like it was when Morrissey was younger or when The Smiths were the biggest band in England. Therefore any artist or singer in order to get any money today, has to tour. Why is Morrissey being compared to a symbol for? I actually seen Prince in concert, in college. Well not college per se, in the eighties. I had seen him at MSG. I remember one gig he pulled a fan up on stage (a woman) and she was like so excited. Just like certain other people I know. But then I never got on the stage. Because I don’t like to bother Morrissey.
      Because he isn’t going to get the money he deserves any other way. You know what I’m saying …

      And to the fans and I’m not talking to you Johnny Barleycorn, and to the fans who say Morrissey get off the stage, I have four words for you all ... GET OFF THE SITE.
      How dare any of you things bring up that song, Get Off The Stage and throw it in Morrissey’s face? Just like you do with Paint a Vulgar Picture. The whole music business has changed. Oh has the world changed or have I changed. The world’s changed blatantly. And Morrissey, he is still the same underneath … this you surely knew. I cannot reach you, I cannot reach you anymore. Even now in the final hour of my life, I’m falling in love again.

      Your biggest fan.

      This is Bonnie

      P.S. We should be together too.
    14. The_Myth
      Actually, I am not so sure touring is where the money lies. Have you heard that Lady Gaga is $3mill in debt thanks to her tour? It's never been a money-making business for some artists. Although many artists/bands/singers make tons of money from touring, a lot goes right back out in expenses and debt-repayment to the labels.
    15. wayneclooney
      A long comment, by request from an old 'fan' of my scribblings. Ranges over various recents posts. Anonymous Trolls - you should know the score by now.

      Billy Bragg is right. Of course Morrissey doesn't need a conventional corporate record deal. He just has an 'entitlement mentality' due to his pedigree and genuine past glories. He could sign to the same label as Bragg 'Anti- and trust to the Universe for a slow-burn, slow-build success, but he needs Billboards all over this town....

      Prince had the same problem, expecting lavish corporate funding for rambling triple albums of identikit funk-aerobic-workouts. No one bought it, not surprisingly.

      If Morrissey/Prince are not a profitable proposition, they need to drop their advance/sign-on fee to a level that recognises the risk to the capital that corporate funders would be making. Or Morrissey could put up half the advance/publicity fund/tour support from his own accrued wealth, sharing proportionality in any subsequent profits. If there are any......risk/reward, etc. Capitalism. Which is what modern music production is.

      Or he could organise a 'whip-round' from the fan base to cover costs, a la Marillion and others:

      'Please mind that this album was entirely self-recorded and self-funded. all proceeds go DIRECTLY to the artist, and will help fund the realisation of future productions.
      Buy Now name your price'.

      Instead of bemoaning the lack of traditional/reactionary record deal offers and attendant promotional 'product push', Morrissey could critically reflect on his peers:

      Kate Bush vanishes for 12 years, releases 'Aerial' in 2005, a double-album with birdsong and guest appearance from Rolf Harris. Sells by the truckload. She does perhaps a dozen interviews. Sells over a million copies. No tour. Vanishes.

      Has another hiatus of 6 years, returns with 're-interpreations' old songs: 'The Diector's Cut' in 2011. Video with Robbie Coltrane and Noel Fielding. Of course, Kate doens't appear in the video. Again, minimalist approach to interviews/promotions. Yet the Audience arise en masse to grasp the new artefacts. Kate Bush toured ONCE in 1979/80. Has no intention of becoming a 'tour-whore' for cashflow. Too busy with the old work/life balance, raising her son.

      She does it her way, 'my way': total absolute artistic control and integrity. That's why she is, by a long mile, a more significant and provocative auteur and cultural phenomenon than Morrissey or Prince combined.

      Then there's Sade. Vanishes for 10 years to raise a daughter/organic garden in Stroud with her fire-fighter/SAS beau. Record company have no right to contact her or her band. The band contact them when their ready. From nowhere, releases 'Soldier of Love'. Only publicity is brief appearance on Jonathan Ross. Sells by the truckload. Top American charts. Go figure.

      Ditto Krafwerk.

      Why do these artists have absolute control and confidence to do it 'my way', rather than engage with a collapsing music industry? Why do they have so much power / prestige with corporations?

      Because they produce on a budget and sell at a profit. And it's always rigorous quality, no filler or dross. Their Audience trust them, buy without a twinge of doubt.

      Morrissey's audience is reaching the end of their tether with Dad-rock by numbers, with not even an attempt to produce a challinging sonic landscape. Wasn't Moby meant to be lined up as a producer at one stage? Let's hope Stephen Street is back in the frame!

      Morrissey craves a world that no longer exists (thank God). In a world of multiplicity and fractal diversity, he simply can no longer get his face-time attention whore needs met without resorting to ever more bizarre and ridiculous comments (Ireland/Royal Family, etc)
      He was very good at Glasgo, but he could have splashed out on some fireworks like Beyonce, even if he can't do the U2 Star Wars trip.

      His vexation at being unable to control his 'public image/persona' is indicative of a control-freak, reactionary 'messianic' delusion: banning cameras/social networking from his concerts. Just like Prince banning 'you tube' background music clips. Beyond petulant.

      Oh, for the good old days when all analysis, comment and pronouncements could be solely mediated via the compliant corporate music press (NME, Melody Maker) etc. Morrissey is a 'fish out of water'. He bewails internet nu-tech yet pleads with fans from the stage to download a new single to their mobile phones at Reading Festival! Consistency is not my middle name....

      The really interesting question about the the festival pairing of Morrissey/Prince is if they'll meet and chat. Will Prince challenge Morriseey over his 'half-way house' vegetarianism. Prince is vegan. Now, that's what I call a possible hard-core conversation.

      At Glasto, didn't Moz sing 'the "pleather' runs smooth on the passenger seat"?

      'Action Is My Middle Name' is potentially superb if it moves from a 'four-track demo' to a fully realised production that stretches and amplifies it's many germinal gems of lyric and melody. The other two songs are vapid and desperately obvious re-hashes of past mediocrities. Keep the 'last gang in town': Boz and the lads, but, please: bring in a producer who will stretch you all to the limit and beyond.

      I stil think Morrissey's best days are ahead of him. But only if he genuinely steps outside his 'comfort zone'. The bizarre and unlikely triumph of Beyonce moving from the Vegas patina of her corporate recordings to live mass hysteria / communal ecstasy showed what can happen when an artist is brave enough to face down their own fears and ignore the doubters and haters: something truly wonderful can emerge. Anything that pisses Zane 'smug' Lowe off is a breakthrough.

      Her final orgasmic rendition of 'Halo' was the sight of someone breaking through to an entirely astral level of live genius. If Morrissey really wanted to 'upset the apple carts' he would have duetted with Beyonce instead of Tricky's mumbling rap with her. It's very revealing that Morrissey eulogises female singers of the past yet studiously ignores the incandescent pop divas of today.....

      Morrissey could have been Elvis. Still could be as important, in my opinion. But he doesn't seem to want mass adultation. Yet complains when investors and the Audience tire of his 'victim script' that he is the ignored, alone 'outsider', rejected by a conformist, corporate music cultures. Nonsense. He's become the corporate, conserative conformist. His music is series of nostalgic, conformist templates.

      PS: Zane Lowe - you have revealed yourself to be a real disappointment. Jay-Z vaporised Noel Gallagher. Beyonce vaporised you. Queens Of The Stone Age? More fool you. Why did you sign up to interview Beyonce if you had no intention of watching her performance. Petulant. Futile. Diss yourself. Not her.

      PPS: I wonder what would happen if a 'flash-mob' at a Moz concert took off their shirts to reveal 'Fuck Morrissey' tee-shirts?
      An historic night of riots and mayhem to put the Liverpool Arena kerfuffle to sleep, no doubt...Not that I'm suggesting such an insult. Not that I'm suggesting the Audience rebel against the sheeple compliant 'fans' who seem to think their cultic adoratin of Morrissey precludes intellignent analysis from more discerning Audience members.

      Morrissey attacks, criticizes, even denigrates far and wide -the Morrissey-baby David-handbag quote being the career nadir of his 'raconteurship'. He can dish it out: seems he can't take it....hence 'Fuck Morrisey Solo'.

      This site has very little to do with 'Morrissey'. It's some kind of 'group therapy' for people affected by his alternately healing and poisonous transmissions. And great fun. Thanks to DavidT: don't be intimidated.

      Waynes Rooney (aka: BrummieBoy)
    16. Anonymous
      Wow. Great post mate, ever thought of a job in the record industry/journo?
      You could also mention Moz's pals Sparks as role models, funding their own recordings etc, great tours, doing what they want basically.
      I must say i would have thought Moz tired of all the sycophantic slags etc by now and would be tempted to 'go it alone', he'd get a lot of support/goodwill...but apparently not...
    17. celibate
      I would never DL an album via I -tunes or from Morrissey official site

      I want something in my hand, look at who co wrote the songs, pics, lyricsheet though
      Morrissey released album[]s without

      no he definately needs a deal, Morrissey is not really poor, but can't go on risking
      tours hopes he sold out and maybe earns a few thousand pounds after 20-30 gigs,

      Also a recordcompany finances PR, videoclips for singles [in the future when all's well]
      he can't do that on and on from his own pocket

      Than the final question, how much longer will go on like this, touring,etc,
      me thinks Morrissey won't tour at age 60, so if he want a good life retiring [producing,
      writing for others, writing in general

      so, I hope he finds a label
    18. Anonymous
      sadly, it seems to be par indeed. welcome to the den of vipers that is
    19. Anonymous
      Record companies simple 'loan' money to 'artists' which they hope re-coup ten-fold or more. Moz demands (rightly, because of his stature) more than they can re-coup...sadly, the novelty has worn off and the awe/prestige of 'having' Moz has diminished...strange really when you consider all the young upstarts that consider Moz a God.

      The 'record industry' is no longer interested in fun, great records or progress....they are run by bean counters and the 'larger than life characters' both behind the scenes and on stage are sadly no longer in that industry...

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