Favourite 'Studio In Session' song?

Favourite 'Studio In Session' song?

  • People Are The Same Everywhere

    Votes: 3 10.0%
  • Scandinavia

    Votes: 9 30.0%
  • Action Is My Middle Name

    Votes: 12 40.0%
  • The Kid's A Looker

    Votes: 5 16.7%
  • none of them

    Votes: 1 3.3%

  • Total voters
    30

mcrickson

Reckless Endangerment
Prior to actually hearing Studio in Session I would've assumed the song that I would've liked the most would've been "Scandinavia." As it turns out, my favorite of these sessions is "The Kid's A Looker," the recording of which I believe has far surpassed that of the Janice Long session. I wonder the precise reason why it disappeared from the live set - along with "Art-hounds," obviously, but I'd like to note how at the end of the Brixton performance he looked (to me at least) quite tellingly disappointed with the performance, so I got the feeling that "Art-hounds" had to go back to the drawing-board, as it were.
The Studio in Session recording of "Scandinavia" left a lot to be desired, although I admittedly was expecting too much to hear something new in the arrangement (additional keyboard overdub / studio sounds or samples), knowing that these recordings were just going to essentially be live run-throughs captured incidentally in a studio.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
No , I can't let that one go , if only because mentions of ear-hacking make me laugh out loud. I'm biased because "Kid" is my favourite but what, more specifically , don't you like about it ? It doesn't seem that different to , say , "What She Said" musically or , lyrically , "Paint A Vulgar ..." or "I Know It Couldn't ..." ...


Yes , I'm ducking for cover after having compared a Marr track to "Kid" ....
*hurls plates at you* :D

I had to listen to the whole thing again, loudly, just to feel that I could reply properly. It's a good job I like you, 123xyz..(!)

Seriously though, "Kid.." is just a mess, musically and lyrically, to my ears. It doesn't seem to have any real cohesion as a song...the only thing holding it together is the drumming and the vocals. It is energetic and quite bouncy, which is why I think people are warming to it, but I can't see past the thrashing and bashing, that dreadful "chorus" and the sheer triteness of the lyrics. It's cack-handed karaoke.

As usual though, the problem isn't primarily with Morrissey himself - he's carrying the band again. The vocal melody for "Kid.." is nothing short of miraculous when you consider what he's having to sing over. I mean...distract yourself from the vocals at 1:49, and just focus on the "music" that he's singing over in that first verse. It's just a barrage of monotonous distortion. It's a wall of musical nothingness, and Moz has to knock a dozen bricks through it to fit in anything resembling a pop melody. It actually reminds of me that "Young the Giant" single he was praising last year - My Body? - except it isn't even that good because the guitar sounds so sloppy.

And no, you heretic, it does not sound anything like this piece of Marr mastery! He plays better when he's pissed up and smoking a joint than Tobias does sober.

 
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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
'The Kid's A Looker'. Morrissey writing lyrics about something other than himself again is nice. The last verse is the only thing that needs to be fixed lyrically. .
Oh God, now I know the world has gone mad...
 

Giselle

wasted 8 of her 9 lives.
I wonder the precise reason why it disappeared from the live set - along with "Art-hounds," obviously, but I'd like to note how at the end of the Brixton performance he looked (to me at least) quite tellingly disappointed with the performance, so I got the feeling that "Art-hounds" had to go back to the drawing-board, as it were.
If I may ask, were you in the audience when he performed it at Brixton, or did you watch his performance on Youtube?
I'd never heard this before- that he seemed disappointed with the performance- and find it an interesting take on why "Art-hounds" disappeared.
My take was that he wanted to release it as the first single from his new album and have it as something really "new" to the public.

Who knows?
 

mcrickson

Reckless Endangerment
If I may ask, were you in the audience when he performed it at Brixton, or did you watch his performance on Youtube?
I'd never heard this before- that he seemed disappointed with the performance- and find it an interesting take on why "Art-hounds" disappeared.
My take was that he wanted to release it as the first single from his new album and have it as something really "new" to the public.

Who knows?
Purely my own speculation. I was not there, but like a lot of people here I have watched the video several times. It could just be M being over-dramatic and me mistaking it for actual disappointment, but I don't know, as much as I want to love most of this song, it seems to me toward the end especially that somewhere the lyrics went a bit off-course, perhaps he mixed them up in his head or flubbed the delivery. It's not really noticeable in his delivery, but just his facial expressions and body language toward the end of the song sort of suggest to me that in his head he was thinking "Wellp, that didn't quite go as planned."


I don't know, to me, the frustrated gesture with his hands around 5:16 seems genuine, not a "Morrissey move." The repeatedly growled "what does it mean?" seems to me particularly forced, as if it was supposed to somehow be different, and the spoken "nobody knows" and his awkward fumbling while explaining the song's title afterward (while perhaps cute to some) just gives me the feeling that he didn't find it a particularly glowing debut for his new song. Again, all my own speculation, and perhaps I'm reading too much into it. But it makes sense to me as an explanation why the song disappeared from the set. If something doesn't work live (a la the one and only performance of "It's Not Your Birthday Anymore" where he was reaching painfully for the high notes), he tends to nix it quickly as opposed to working it out over multiple performances.
 
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MORRIZSEY

Wrong species
Purely my own speculation. I was not there, but like a lot of people here I have watched the video several times. It could just be M being over-dramatic and me mistaking it for actual disappointment, but I don't know, as much as I want to love most of this song, it seems to me toward the end especially that somewhere the lyrics went a bit off-course, perhaps he mixed them up in his head or flubbed the delivery. It's not really noticeable in his delivery, but just his facial expressions and body language toward the end of the song sort of suggest to me that in his head he was thinking "Wellp, that didn't quite go as planned."


I don't know, to me, the frustrated gesture with his hands around 5:16 seems genuine, not a "Morrissey move." The repeatedly growled "what does it mean?" seems to me particularly forced, as if it was supposed to somehow be different, and the spoken "nobody knows" and his awkward fumbling while explaining the song's title afterward (while perhaps cute to some) just gives me the feeling that he didn't find it a particularly glowing debut for his new song. Again, all my own speculation, and perhaps I'm reading too much into it. But it makes sense to me as an explanation why the song disappeared from the set. If something doesn't work live (a la the one and only performance of "It's Not Your Birthday Anymore" where he was reaching painfully for the high notes), he tends to nix it quickly as opposed to working it out over multiple performances.
Good post and insights.

I actually prefer this version of the same song


The distortion and lack of clarity give it a roundness which smooths the edges, in a strange way,
but it doesn't detract from what you have observed
 
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joe frady

Vile Refusenik
Unquestionably, to this mind, 'Scandinavia' is the finest song of the four. Who else but... could come up with a song such as this? A song of hate and of love, of geophagy and of geography, a song of wintered eroticism bursting into violent life. Oh, and some piquerism for good measure; taking a stab at love, quite literally.

I liked it as soon as I heard that first mp3 from Krakow, but when I first heard it live in person it just took my breath away. It is a stunningly powerful song ~ an immediate Morrissey classic, I would venture. To write a love song at this stage in his game that manages to so sharply convey the individual and unique power of a love is quite a feat. The mix of loathing and loving, of violent degradation and human warmth in one three and a half minute song is something I can't conceive anybody else doing. The lyrics are startling enough, but the live delivery took them to a whole other level of sublimity. To go from a seething, spitting out of 'Let the children cry and die in blind asylums' to the soaring ecstacy of 'Uncomplaining/ I die/ In Scandinavia' in one performance is just astonishing. Hate and love are enmeshed together in one song, the better to highlight the power of each, and the thin line between the two. And those drums and strings - gorgeous; haunting and icy top notes laid over a faltering heart beat foundation. Pounding but skewed. Alive but not living.

And yet...as I thought last summer, the only negative I ever felt about the song was that it could only be a disappointment when we heard a studio recorded version. Having seen and heard the darkling ebb and flow of the song live I felt that it could not but be a lesser creature on tape.

And having watched the Temple Lane session, repeatedly, over the last week I feel that that indeed has come to pass. The three other songs have gained in stature from their live iterations whilst 'Scandinavia' has somehow lessened. It's a song that necessitates a strong and subtle production ~ we need to hear those iced strings whilst also feeling that drum beat in our solar plexus. A mix of grand pop bombast and cool euro sheen ~ say Spector via Eno and you'd be part of the way there.

It's a persistent problem with Morrissey songs that are debuted live prior to record. Some of the 'Quarry' recorded songs never matched their live versions from 2 years previously (eg - 'I Like You' on LP, for me, never equalled the manic devotion of it's concert crescendo) So I think it would take something of a production genius to burnish 'Scandinavia' with a sound that matches it's epic live life and do the song true justice.

For the rest, I'm enjoying the fresh sonic details that are revealed in these studio versions - Boz's sprinkling guitar lines on 'Action Is My Middle Name', the hammond spirals on 'People Are The Same Everywhere', and, indeed, Gustavo's keys across all four songs are delightful. (Although, with 'Scandinavia', obviously, I would have preferred a full 60 piece orchestra job.) And I couldn't help but smile at the 'It's their turn' addition in 'Scandinavia', a line I've never heard in any live version

I guess I'm just resigned, now, to the fact that I can't get enough of the way Morrissey sings. Sometimes that may obfuscate occasional musical simplicities ~ so, to take just one example of many, on 'The Kid's A Looker', the moment that Moz holds just too long on the first syllable of 'shoulder' before punching out the second syllable, is, always, an unexpected delight, and transports me above and beyond the somewhat basic warped guitar middle eight. In that song too I enjoyed the dance between Morrissey's voice and Gustavo's keyboards in the 'chorus' ~ a detail pretty much lost in most live versions. The vitality, vigour and precision of the vocals never fail to win me over, even when the chances seem slim (*cough* 'People..' *cough*) The way he slips, slides and scales the 'Action..' vocal is a persistent joy, that, in the end, make that song my favourite of this session.
 
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123xyz

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
*hurls plates at you* :D

I had to listen to the whole thing again, loudly, just to feel that I could reply properly. It's a good job I like you, 123xyz..(!)

Seriously though, "Kid.." is just a mess, musically and lyrically, to my ears. It doesn't seem to have any real cohesion as a song...the only thing holding it together is the drumming and the vocals. It is energetic and quite bouncy, which is why I think people are warming to it, but I can't see past the thrashing and bashing, that dreadful "chorus" and the sheer triteness of the lyrics. It's cack-handed karaoke.

As usual though, the problem isn't primarily with Morrissey himself - he's carrying the band again. The vocal melody for "Kid.." is nothing short of miraculous when you consider what he's having to sing over. I mean...distract yourself from the vocals at 1:49, and just focus on the "music" that he's singing over in that first verse. It's just a barrage of monotonous distortion. It's a wall of musical nothingness, and Moz has to knock a dozen bricks through it to fit in anything resembling a pop melody. It actually reminds of me that "Young the Giant" single he was praising last year - My Body? - except it isn't even that good because the guitar sounds so sloppy.

And no, you heretic, it does not sound anything like this piece of Marr mastery! He plays better when he's pissed up and smoking a joint than Tobias does sober.






To be honest , when I made the "What she said" comparison, I was thinking of the album version . The "Rank" / live version didn't even enter my mind - so , yes, you're definitely right there. The Marr/Gannon version is a triumph.


The "Janice Long" version of "Kid" is the one I want to defend most vociferously. The "Studio session" is too neutered ; it doesn't have enough of that distorted grind which is half the fun. I did , though, listen to the 1.49m mark and imagine it bereft of vocals. I can't share your sense of horror - I like the chords/notes themselves and Morrissey's melody adds to the already palpable excitement.

Oh , and I'll have you know I've been picking shards of shattered crockery from my scalp all day ... :p
 
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