Do you agree with the following statement?

Morrissey's whole career is based on negative comments and singing about he doesn't l

  • Yes, that's why I like him.

    Votes: 2 3.2%
  • Possibly he's partly responsible for projecting his own image in that way.

    Votes: 10 15.9%
  • Mmmm...neither agree nor disagree.

    Votes: 7 11.1%
  • No. C'mon it's an image media has created, he's more than that.

    Votes: 44 69.8%

  • Total voters
    63
  • Poll closed .

nightandday

New Member
But never did he really acknowledge any sort of successful relationship, either in his music or in his interviews, until recently.
Hmm. What makes you think so? I read reviews where people say something similar, but I see no evidence in his lyrics, and even less so in his interviews. Could you show me the interview where he acknowledges a successful relationship? I can only think of a few there he denies there are any and repeats his old attitudes about relationships. While in the past, there were interviews where he has acknowledged some sort of relationships he had had in the distant or recent past (maybe not exactly 'successful', but what's a 'successful relationship' anyway?)

All I see is that his attutides towards life and towards himself have changed (although that's probably the most important change there can be for a person).

I guess I'm not helping the cause of proving that Morrissey is not all 'negative', but the thing is: there is, in fact, nothing substantially new in either Morrissey's lyrics or his interviews that wasn't there before; but what people seem to be missing is that there was a lot more than unfulfilled desire and misery in the old songs as well.

But merely to know that Morrissey has spent a number of nights in some sort of pleasant relationship, no matter how odd it may look to outsiders, validates all his lamentations about empty beds in "I Know It's Over" and "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me".
I think you might have known it since mid-90s, since he said in 1997 that he had had some (pleasant, I assume) relationship for the previous two years, even though he said it was over by then.

His recent solo work, beginning with "Quarry" and especially with "Ringleader", redeems all those early songs because that "could be" has become an "is". (Open to qualification, perhaps-- a Clintonian "is"-- but an "is" nonetheless.) I wouldn't for a moment suggest that Morrissey is riotously happy now, or even that he ever could be happy in the way that many people consider "normal". However, for Morrissey to sing about being in love or having sex has now filled the aforementioned hole-- wink wink-- that had existed since the early days of The Smiths.
Really?

What were these lines about then (--wink wink--):

"My eyes have seen the glory of sacred wunderkind
you took me behind a dis-used railway line
and said: 'I know a place where we can go
where we are not known'
and you gave me something that I won't forget too soon"...

I really don't understand people who seem incredibly surprised that 'oh, Morrissey is singing about sex!!!' I can only laugh at that. Have they missed Reel Around The Fountain, Handsome Devil, These Things Take Time, i Want The One I Can't Have, Alsatian Cousin, Suedehead... etc.? I get a sense of deja vu with people making all the fuss over a few lines in Dear God Please Help Me... 'explosive kegs', wow! 'spreading your legs with mine in between' - wow!... What year was it when people were going nuts over the line
"It was a good lay, it was a good lay"? Oh, yes, it was 1988.

As Morrissey himself has said in recent interviews, his lyrics were always very sexual, but for some reason or other, reviewers have only now decided to take notice. I'm also wondering why.

As for happiness - isn't Cemetry Gates about happiness? Now My Heart Is Full is about being happy. As for being in love - he mentions it a lot of times throughout his career, and it's true that it's mostly in connection with negative emotions, but not always. (I might naming them one by one, for instance, there's an off-remark about love even in Disappointed, he mentions a past love in The Public Image, there is nostalgia connected to a past love in Come Back To Camden, and so on...). Found Found Found - that one was about a (possible) successful relationship (or whatever sort), wasn't it? From his last 2 albums, I'd say the happiest song is I Like You. I don't think that the happiest songs on the new album (which would be, I guess, In The Future When All Is Well... and... well, maybe To Me You Are A Work Of Art, but not entirely) are happier than some of his earlier songs. (I don't consider At Last I Am Born such an incredibly happy song as everyone seems to think.)

You mention There Is A Light That Never Goes Out as an example of a a love that's doomed in some mysterious way. I think of it as a song of hope - just as Ask is. The only thing that prevents the relationship to be fulfilled is narrator's fear ("And a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn't ask"). Songs like Ask and Sheila Take A Bow are basically clarion calls to shed all fears and inhibitions and find love (Stretch Out And Wait expresses the same idea, but in its own detached and passionless way, which makes it less appealing). Actually, we might be agreeing on this point, since you said he has always expressed some sort of hope even in his bleakest moments.
 

Jon

Banned
Well, you are right about that, it really does display retardation of some "fans". You and Jon being prime examples.
I have posted a serious response to this, (please see page 1 of this thread). I don't quite understand your point here. btw I agree with a lot of the things you say in your post further on in this thread. Why do people get their knickers in a twist about such things?
 

nightandday

New Member
OK, I'm sorry, I might have been a bit too harsh on you in my first answer to your post. You're entitled to your opinion, but it's just the negativity in your post that irked me. You seemed to me like one of those Morrissey (ex?)fans who speak about him with so much anger, as if he owes them something and as if it's a crime for him not to be something they want him to be. As if it's his fault that they used to like him so much. When you said you thought he should have shut up, I just couldn't resist telling you to shut up.

But then you replied with this nonsensical statement, which seems like it was intended to be some kind of clever retort (you even put a smiley at the end):

Thanks for the 1980's Pet Shop Boys quote btw, it put into perspective your comments. :)
Now, will you please explain what were you trying to say? I can't figure it out for the life of me. That I'm the one who's bored/boring? Nah, I didn't seem bored, did I, and you are emphasizing '1980s' and 'Pet Shop Boys'. It seems liek you're trying to insinuate something, but I don't know what. That I'm old? That I'm gay? That I'm a dance pop fan? That I'm British? :confused: Whatever it is you were trying to say, there is no way you could have made that conclusion, and I don't see how it would make any difference to this discussion if I were any of these things? How would it put my comments 'into perspective'? :confused: And in any case, whichoever meaning I attach to it, it does not make you look good in my eyes.

But maybe I'm wrong... I'll apologize if you explain what you meant.
 

Electric

New Member
I always thought it was acceptance and irony, rather than negativity. Which, in its turn, makes it so comforting and endearing.
 

JeanneDarc

Senior Member
His lyrics are as close to reality as anyone could get. We hear happy clappy songs on the radio 24/7, it's like eating at MacDonalds, easily forgotten.
 

Danielledelu

girl least likely to
His lyrics are as close to reality as anyone could get. We hear happy clappy songs on the radio 24/7, it's like eating at MacDonalds, easily forgotten.

Wow that comment's kinda confusing to me, but oddly enough I understand what your saying and I agree. I really like your wording.
 

Disappointed

With Everything
This reminds me of something that Bono once said about Morrissey. I don't have the exact quote, but here is a paraphrase:

"I've never understood why so many people insist that Morrissey is a miserable man who writes miserable lyrics. In my opinion, his lyrics have far too much humor in them to be truly miserable. [Bono used "Girlfriend In A Coma" as an example] A truly miserable person could never put such humor and warmth in their music."

I agree with Bono, by the way. Morrissey has quite a sense of humor.:)
 

Danielledelu

girl least likely to
This reminds me of something that Bono once said about Morrissey. I don't have the exact quote, but here is a paraphrase:

"I've never understood why so many people insist that Morrissey is a miserable man who writes miserable lyrics. In my opinion, his lyrics have far too much humor in them to be truly miserable. [Bono used "Girlfriend In A Coma" as an example] A truly miserable person could never put such humor and warmth in their music."

I agree with Bono, by the way. Morrissey has quite a sense of humor.:)
I agree as well, Girlfriend In a Coma and other songs that are supposedly sad have humor or happiness or sarcasm in them.. but on the other hand there is a handful of songs that make me weep
 
I really don't understand people who seem incredibly surprised that 'oh, Morrissey is singing about sex!!!' I can only laugh at that. Have they missed Reel Around The Fountain, Handsome Devil, These Things Take Time, i Want The One I Can't Have, Alsatian Cousin, Suedehead... etc.? I get a sense of deja vu with people making all the fuss over a few lines in Dear God Please Help Me... 'explosive kegs', wow! 'spreading your legs with mine in between' - wow!... What year was it when people were going nuts over the line
"It was a good lay, it was a good lay"? Oh, yes, it was 1988.

As Morrissey himself has said in recent interviews, his lyrics were always very sexual, but for some reason or other, reviewers have only now decided to take notice. I'm also wondering why.
I think one reason for this might be the fact that the lyrics of Dear God, and many of the other songs on ROTT, are easily interpretted as being autobiographical, whereas this is not the case with the Smiths songs. During the early days Morrissey himself said that lyrics concerning sex and relationships were just figments of his imagination since he had no personal experience of such matters.

But I definitely share your incredulity as regards the reactions of many reviewers towards ROTT and its supposedly sexual content. It's really laughable. I mean, ROTT is probably Mozzer's LEAST sexual record to date. The music to Dear God is the very opposite of sexual rock music, it's lofty and ethereal and the infamous line about the "explosive kegs" is probably intended to jar with the pietous note of the music and the rest of the lyrics for comical effect, nothing more. This is miles from the steaming, ominous pornography of songs like Handsome Devil and Alsatian Cousin. And disregarding Dear God, what other sexual references are there on the record? There's that line about being pawed till you can't stand it, of course. And I guess the talk about keys and entering and killing in "You Have Killed Me" are easy to look at as sexual metaphors, even though I don't. But that's pretty much it, isn't it?

But like I said, I think the held breaths and raised eyebrows that was caused by Dear God are explained by the fact that it so obviously speaks about Morrissey himself and his own personal experiences.
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Could you show me the interview where he acknowledges a successful relationship?
You seem intent on fault-finding. If you want to press the point, no, I can't produce a URL to an interview in which he says, "Yes, dear friends, I've recently had a successful relationship". It's a general sense I get from his interviews, interpreting them, as we all must, trying to read between the lines. But when Morrissey sings a line like "I entered no one/And no one entered me/'Til you came/With the key", sings about "explosive kegs", titles a song "At Last I Am Born", and talks about how much Rome has opened him up, I'm guessing he has recently experienced a successful relationship. Perhaps I am using bad terminology. When I say "successful relationship" I mean "successful" relative to his earlier testimonials, in songs and interviews, expressing uneasiness with relationships. You point out he talked about a relationship around 1997 (presumably Jake)-- this is what I am talking about. The relationship ended, yes, but even to have one was a change from previous years. "Quarry" and "Ringleader" don't chronicle totally new events in his life, but the way he is singing and writing about them is new and different.

Edit: Conveniently, someone has just posted a link to a YouTube interview from 1984. (Thank you, ferrell, for posting the video, and to lilybett for linking!). It contains lots of interesting stuff about his sex life or lack thereof.

"I did lose the very idea that any communion between two people could possibly be enjoyable. I did lose that particular thread. And I did become enormously depressed, to the point that I believed that any kind of relationship was almost impossible". (Morrissey, 1984)

what people seem to be missing is that there was a lot more than unfulfilled desire and misery in the old songs as well.
Well, I am not one of those "people". I would never say that there was nothing to his lyrics beyond "unfulfilled desire and misery". I wrote: "I think we all believe that Morrissey's lyrics have a lot of beauty, texture, diversity of themes, and so on." I then wrote: "Many of the most superficially "negative" songs are extremely joyful and affirmative ... The depth and richness of his writing is unmatched in pop music of the last few decades."

there is, in fact, nothing substantially new in either Morrissey's lyrics or his interviews that wasn't there before;
First of all, you wrote: "All I see is that his attutides towards life and towards himself have changed (although that's probably the most important change there can be for a person)." So you acknowledge a change, and even call it "probably the most important change there can be for a person", but I'm somehow obtuse for speaking of his recent change-- in praise of his last two albums, no less?

But of course, you say that Morrissey has always written about sex, and to support your position you quote a line from "These Things Take Time" referring to either a kiss, a blowjob, or a fuck, ripping me with a sarcastic jab that implies you think I know nothing about Morrissey's lyrics. I'm not surprised you don't understand people who "seem incredibly surprised that 'oh, Morrissey is singing about sex!!!'" Who's surprised that he's singing about sex? Not me. The Smiths' first single had a B-side with the line "Let me get my hands on your mammary glands", and Morrissey has found many bracing, original ways to write about sex since then. Sex isn't just another of Morrissey's many themes, it's one of the main themes.

But the fact that he sings about sex is no indication that Morrissey is singing about himself, otherwise we'd be searching hospital records for children he's fathered and girlfriends in comas. When speaking of his writing, it's important to note that, hazards of conflating a writer and his work aside, it seems fair to say that The Smiths contained a great deal of observational songs, whereas Morrissey in his solo career has been much more autobiographical. (To ward off future indignant replies-- "WHAT ABOUT 'GANGLORD', DUDE???-- I probably have to add that I'm talking about percentages here and not absolute categories.) Pointing out that he sang about sex means very little. My apprecation of his recent work comes from what appears to be a dramatic personal change which is now appearing more pointedly in his songs, not some forehead-slapping epiphany that Morrissey is finally singing about sex.

Oh, by the way-- and granted, message boards didn't exist back then, but anyway-- I didn't know anyone going nuts over the lines in "Suedehead". I knew people who asked, "What is he singing?" But even to hear "It was a good lay" is no more a big deal than hearing lines like "I grabbed you by the gilded beams/Errrrrrggh/That's what tradition means"-- another cryptic line to think about, nothing more. Morrissey has always used voices. I believe that on "Quarry" and "Ringleader" he is singing much more directly about his own experiences, which is exactly what all these "people" are talking about to your apparent bewilderment.

for some reason or other, reviewers have only now decided to take notice. I'm also wondering why.
"I think I try to be very unsexual/asexual about the way I write. I haven't pinned any gender on the table and been very forthright. I think by being completely sexless, it has caused some degree of attention, so people believe I'm totally obsessed with sex. It's a strange paradox - if I wrote about breasts, people would probably ask me about The Clash all the time. Because I've said publicly that I'm not interested in sex, people are always asking me about it."

Morrissey, Jamming!, May 6, 1984

As for happiness - isn't Cemetry Gates about happiness?
Are you kidding? "Cemetry Gates" is a song about "happiness"? There is a sense of joy in the song, yes, but front and center the song is about plagiarism. Morrissey was responding to critics who had blasted him for "stealing" lines for his songs (as in the case of "What She Said" for example). Any unimitigated "happiness" in that song is supplied by Marr's arrangement. When Morrissey sings "A dreaded sunny day/So let's go where we're happy", the line is utterly ironic-- finding "happiness" in a cemetery is ghoulish and Morrissey plays that up for humor. Even if you cling to the notion that Morrissey is describing a happy day, the song is still primarily about plagiarism and still doesn't help your case because the song is a negative riposte to his critics and any "happiness" is oriented toward death, which more or less validates the statement at the top of this thread.

And "Now My Heart Is Full" only illustrates the change in his lyrics. You can argue it's a song about "happiness" or "fulfillment" but even so the song is deeply vague-- the persons in the song are disguised by names from Graham Greene's "Brighton Rock" and Morrissey languidly but pointedly refuses to explain why his heart is full! You don't detect a change in that lyric, say, versus the vague but in comparitively explicit songs on "Ringleader"?

"he mentions [love] a lot of times throughout his career, and it's true that it's mostly in connection with negative emotions, but not always."
Okay, right, so doesn't this back up the "Morrissey is negative" claim?

Love, like sex, is a big subject in Morrissey's work. Perhaps the best way to say it is this: "normal", "happy" love affairs are probably impossible for him, but for most of his career he has sung about all the reasons love doesn't work, even going so far as claiming celibacy and singing about giving up on love ("I've Changed My Plea To Guilty"). Recently he has at least acknowledged in his songs some possibility-- based on his own experiences-- that love or at least a good sexual relationship has happened to him, even if we must quickly add that "love" and "good" must be heavily qualified.

"There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", again, bolsters my argument. The person in that song thinks "In a darkened underpass/I thought, 'Oh God, my chance has come at last'/But then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn't ask". Now, "reborn" in Rome, I think Morrissey is distancing himself from that song (among others) by admitting things like "explosive kegs" and singing "I once was a mess of guilt because of the flesh/It’s remarkable what you can learn/Once you are born, born, born". Anyway, TIALTNGO's astonishing poetry comes from the mingling of love and death. The "To die by your side" refrain is precisely what Dazzak complained about-- the one song about a possibly fulfilling romantic relationship swirls with imagery of death in a car wreck! And "Ask"? The specter of nuclear annihilation appears in the middle of the song, in fact punctuated by a "desolate" break in the music!

I don't mean to sound chippy about this. I've been on this forum too long to get bent out of shape. I have argued many times on this board that Morrissey's writing (especially backed by The Smiths) contains tremendous amounts of warmth, humor, hope, and an intelligence that give his songs many sophisticated textures. So much so that listening to The Smiths makes me happier-- not macabre, brooding satisfaction, but simple, jubilant, giddy happiness-- than any other band I have ever heard. I just find it exasperating to take some flak while going out of my way to staunchly deny that Morrissey is a monomaniacal gloom queen, in a thread in which I have written "The negativity in Morrissey's art is overwhelming-- except, taken as a whole, it is an expression of positivity". I mean, come on.
 
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Worm

Taste the diffidence
I think one reason for this might be the fact that the lyrics of Dear God, and many of the other songs on ROTT, are easily interpretted as being autobiographical, whereas this is not the case with the Smiths songs. During the early days Morrissey himself said that lyrics concerning sex and relationships were just figments of his imagination since he had no personal experience of such matters.
Yes. I said the same thing above. I knew I wasn't crazy.

I mean, ROTT is probably Mozzer's LEAST sexual record to date. The music to Dear God is the very opposite of sexual rock music, it's lofty and ethereal
Well, I have to disagree. I don't think the album is awash in tales of hot sex, but in the places he does sing about sex, it's pretty strong. Also, I think there is a spiritual element to the album which explains the "ethereal" sound-- Rome apparently has spiritual as well as sexual meaning for Morrissey.
 

Jon

Banned
You seem intent on fault-finding. If you want to press the point, no, I can't produce a URL to an interview in which he says, "Yes, dear friends, I've recently had a successful relationship". It's a general sense I get from his interviews, interpreting them, as we all must, trying to read between the lines. But when Morrissey sings a line like "I entered no one/And no one entered me/'Til you came/With the key", sings about "explosive kegs", titles a song "At Last I Am Born", and talks about how much Rome has opened him up, I'm guessing he has recently experienced a successful relationship. Perhaps I am using bad terminology. When I say "successful relationship" I mean "successful" relative to his earlier testimonials, in songs and interviews, expressing uneasiness with relationships. You point out he talked about a relationship around 1997 (presumably Jake)-- this is what I am talking about. The relationship ended, yes, but even to have one was a change from previous years. "Quarry" and "Ringleader" don't chronicle totally new events in his life, but the way he is singing and writing about them is new and different.

Edit: Conveniently, someone has just posted a link to a YouTube interview from 1984. (Thank you, ferrell, for posting the video, and to lilybett for linking!). It contains lots of interesting stuff about his sex life or lack thereof.

"I did lose the very idea that any communion between two people could possibly be enjoyable. I did lose that particular thread. And I did become enormously depressed, to the point that I believed that any kind of relationship was almost impossible". (Morrissey, 1984)



Well, I am not one of those "people". I would never say that there was nothing to his lyrics beyond "unfulfilled desire and misery". I wrote: "I think we all believe that Morrissey's lyrics have a lot of beauty, texture, diversity of themes, and so on." I then wrote: "Many of the most superficially "negative" songs are extremely joyful and affirmative ... The depth and richness of his writing is unmatched in pop music of the last few decades."



First of all, you wrote: "All I see is that his attutides towards life and towards himself have changed (although that's probably the most important change there can be for a person)." So you acknowledge a change, and even call it "probably the most important change there can be for a person", but I'm somehow obtuse for speaking of his recent change-- in praise of his last two albums, no less?

But of course, you say that Morrissey has always written about sex, and to support your position you quote a line from "These Things Take Time" referring to either a kiss, a blowjob, or a fuck, ripping me with a sarcastic jab that implies you think I know nothing about Morrissey's lyrics. I'm not surprised you don't understand people who "seem incredibly surprised that 'oh, Morrissey is singing about sex!!!'" Who's surprised that he's singing about sex? Not me. The Smiths' first single had a B-side with the line "Let me get my hands on your mammary glands", and Morrissey has found many bracing, original ways to write about sex since then. Sex isn't just another of Morrissey's many themes, it's one of the main themes.

But the fact that he sings about sex is no indication that Morrissey is singing about himself, otherwise we'd be searching hospital records for children he's fathered and girlfriends in comas. When speaking of his writing, it's important to note that, hazards of conflating a writer and his work aside, it seems fair to say that The Smiths contained a great deal of observational songs, whereas Morrissey in his solo career has been much more autobiographical. (To ward off future indignant replies-- "WHAT ABOUT 'GANGLORD', DUDE???-- I probably have to add that I'm talking about percentages here and not absolute categories.) Pointing out that he sang about sex means very little. My apprecation of his recent work comes from what appears to be a dramatic personal change which is now appearing more pointedly in his songs, not some forehead-slapping epiphany that Morrissey is finally singing about sex.

Oh, by the way-- and granted, message boards didn't exist back then, but anyway-- I didn't know anyone going nuts over the lines in "Suedehead". I knew people who asked, "What is he singing?" But even to hear "It was a good lay" is no more a big deal than hearing lines like "I grabbed you by the gilded beams/Errrrrrggh/That's what tradition means"-- another cryptic line to think about, nothing more. Morrissey has always used voices. I believe that on "Quarry" and "Ringleader" he is singing much more directly about his own experiences, which is exactly what all these "people" are talking about to your apparent bewilderment.



"I think I try to be very unsexual/asexual about the way I write. I haven't pinned any gender on the table and been very forthright. I think by being completely sexless, it has caused some degree of attention, so people believe I'm totally obsessed with sex. It's a strange paradox - if I wrote about breasts, people would probably ask me about The Clash all the time. Because I've said publicly that I'm not interested in sex, people are always asking me about it."

Morrissey, Jamming!, May 6, 1984



Are you kidding? "Cemetry Gates" is a song about "happiness"? There is a sense of joy in the song, yes, but front and center the song is about plagiarism. Morrissey was responding to critics who had blasted him for "stealing" lines for his songs (as in the case of "What She Said" for example). Any unimitigated "happiness" in that song is supplied by Marr's arrangement. When Morrissey sings "A dreaded sunny day/So let's go where we're happy", the line is utterly ironic-- finding "happiness" in a cemetery is ghoulish and Morrissey plays that up for humor. Even if you cling to the notion that Morrissey is describing a happy day, the song is still primarily about plagiarism and still doesn't help your case because the song is a negative riposte to his critics and any "happiness" is oriented toward death, which more or less validates the statement at the top of this thread.

And "Now My Heart Is Full" only illustrates the change in his lyrics. You can argue it's a song about "happiness" or "fulfillment" but even so the song is deeply vague-- the persons in the song are disguised by names from Graham Greene's "Brighton Rock" and Morrissey languidly but pointedly refuses to explain why his heart is full! You don't detect a change in that lyric, say, versus the vague but in comparitively explicit songs on "Ringleader"?



Okay, right, so doesn't this back up the "Morrissey is negative" claim?

Love, like sex, is a big subject in Morrissey's work. Perhaps the best way to say it is this: "normal", "happy" love affairs are probably impossible for him, but for most of his career he has sung about all the reasons love doesn't work, even going so far as claiming celibacy and singing about giving up on love ("I've Changed My Plea To Guilty"). Recently he has at least acknowledged in his songs some possibility-- based on his own experiences-- that love or at least a good sexual relationship has happened to him, even if we must quickly add that "love" and "good" must be heavily qualified.

"There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", again, bolsters my argument. The person in that song thinks "In a darkened underpass/I thought, 'Oh God, my chance has come at last'/But then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn't ask". Now, "reborn" in Rome, I think Morrissey is distancing himself from that song (among others) by admitting things like "explosive kegs" and singing "I once was a mess of guilt because of the flesh/It’s remarkable what you can learn/Once you are born, born, born". Anyway, TIALTNGO's astonishing poetry comes from the mingling of love and death. The "To die by your side" refrain is precisely what Dazzak complained about-- the one song about a possibly fulfilling romantic relationship swirls with imagery of death in a car wreck! And "Ask"? The specter of nuclear annihilation appears in the middle of the song, in fact punctuated by a "desolate" break in the music!

I don't mean to sound chippy about this. I've been on this forum too long to get bent out of shape. I have argued many times on this board that Morrissey's writing (especially backed by The Smiths) contains tremendous amounts of warmth, humor, hope, and an intelligence that give his songs many sophisticated textures. So much so that listening to The Smiths makes me happier-- not macabre, brooding satisfaction, but simple, jubilant, giddy happiness-- than any other band I have ever heard. I just find it exasperating to take some flak while going out of my way to staunchly deny that Morrissey is a monomaniacal gloom queen, in a thread in which I have written "The negativity in Morrissey's art is overwhelming-- except, taken as a whole, it is an expression of positivity". I mean, come on.
I hope you spend as much time on your personal hygiene as you do on your posts on this board. somehow I doubt that though. :)
 
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Jon

Banned
Firstly, apologies for my negativity in the thread about negativity. :) I assure you there is no anger in me. I have no idea if you are old, gay, british, a dance pop fan or bored.

You can attach any meaning you want to the Pet Shop Boys 1980's comment. If you want to call me to discuss it further my tel number is 0161 6675567. Just ask for Big jon when you call.

OK, I'm sorry, I might have been a bit too harsh on you in my first answer to your post. You're entitled to your opinion, but it's just the negativity in your post that irked me. You seemed to me like one of those Morrissey (ex?)fans who speak about him with so much anger, as if he owes them something and as if it's a crime for him not to be something they want him to be. As if it's his fault that they used to like him so much. When you said you thought he should have shut up, I just couldn't resist telling you to shut up.

But then you replied with this nonsensical statement, which seems like it was intended to be some kind of clever retort (you even put a smiley at the end):


Now, will you please explain what were you trying to say? I can't figure it out for the life of me. That I'm the one who's bored/boring? Nah, I didn't seem bored, did I, and you are emphasizing '1980s' and 'Pet Shop Boys'. It seems liek you're trying to insinuate something, but I don't know what. That I'm old? That I'm gay? That I'm a dance pop fan? That I'm British? :confused: Whatever it is you were trying to say, there is no way you could have made that conclusion, and I don't see how it would make any difference to this discussion if I were any of these things? How would it put my comments 'into perspective'? :confused: And in any case, whichoever meaning I attach to it, it does not make you look good in my eyes.

But maybe I'm wrong... I'll apologize if you explain what you meant.
 

Electric

New Member
But like I said, I think the held breaths and raised eyebrows that was caused by Dear God are explained by the fact that it so obviously speaks about Morrissey himself and his own personal experiences.
You've got no evidence of that. It could easily be the direct influence of Pasolini and Visconti.
Having said that, I don't dismiss the idea of it being fully or partially autobiographical, however it may not be that straightforward.
 
You've got no evidence of that. It could easily be the direct influence of Pasolini and Visconti.
Having said that, I don't dismiss the idea of it being fully or partially autobiographical, however it may not be that straightforward.
Evidence, no. But the case for a biographical reading is much stronger for ROTT than for many of his earlier works, especially the Smiths songs. I was just saying I think that is the reason why so many people made such a big deal of the sexual content on the album, even if it in fact is less concerned with sex than other albums have been in the past.
 
Simply because the references in the songs are easy to relate to his personal life, as it is presented by him in interviews etc, and because the overall impression is one of personal experience, at least in my ears. The contents of a song like "At Last I am Born", for instance, bears strong resemblance to what he has said about his own life in interviews lately.

The Smiths lyrics are generally much harder to relate to his own experiences, they rely more heavily on literary references and the overall impression here is one of a person stuck in a bedroom with books and films and loads of creative energy but not much personal experience of life. When Morrissey sang "I crack the whip and you skip but you deserve it" or "when she calls me, I do not walk, I run" about a sadistic woman you just knew he wasn't talking about his own sex life.

On the other hand, though, he did say that being in the Smiths was like putting music to his own private diary and expose it to all the world. But that's because everything is autobiographical on an emotional level and, at the end of the day, it's not really that interesting to determine what is based on personal experience and what is not, is it? What's important is what he is saying about a more universal human condition and how it resonates with you own life. That's why songs like You Know I Couldn't Last tend to get a bit boring, it's very hard to relate to unless you are a wealthy pop star. Not saying that I'm not interested in Morrissey's personal life, though! Unlike a lot of other people on this site I'm not afraid to admit I have a tabloid interest in Morrissey's sex life. I think it's just very natural that you want to find out as much as possible about a person you admire for his art.
 
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