"Frankly, Mr. Shankly" live (Milwaukee Performing Arts Center - 16th Aug, '86) - QID promotion on YT

Via:
http://www.officialsmiths.co.uk/tqid/#

Again, doesn't feature on the deluxe edition:
Recorded live at the Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee on 16th August, 1986.

With a link to the full track on YouTube:


Use the hashtag #FranklyMrShankly (Twitter/Instagram) to be included in the 'memories' section.
Regards,
FWD.

(I hope all 550 Smiths Official subscribers appreciate this track! Why this isn't being shared via Rhino and their Twitter acc is still privated is just beyond daft).


Also on Spotify:





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Johnny Barleycorn

Well-Known Member
Well I think since the smiths were such a great band and morrissey such a good lyricist that the songs work on a bunch of levels and that when young Americans heard the song they just took it at face value of a stuffy person trying to act superior by calling out out others. I don't think many thought to look for any more meaning from the name shankly. I personally didn't really think much about they're being British when I first heard them and I don't think many Americans of my time really thought the British very different from us except maybe superficially. I wasn't looking for brittishisms In there music and was looking at it from a universal perspective and of course a personal one as everyone does. It is somewhat true when people say that there's no diffinative American music. We're a huge place with many regional differences and by the eighties were used to hearing a bunch of different sounds and musical personalities so I think people just took British bands in stride without giving it much thought. At least the young average listeners did. As I got older and more into musical in general it was a treat to find the references layered into the music

Interesting. I mentioned Lynyrd Skynrd and NWA, but it could just have easily have been Sigur Ros or the Bhundu Boys. Similarly, as a non-Italian speaker you can listen to a Verdi aria and appreciate it, but again, can you fully embrace it as a native speaker could?

I find it fascinating how a band like the Smiths speaking in and through an authentic northern English voice can rise so spectacularly not just here in Britain but across the globe.

By the way, there's only one Shankly most Brits would identify, albeit a not uncommon surname, and it is Bill Shankly, who in the sixties and early seventies was responsible for turning Liverpool FC from also-rans into one of the most famous club sides in the world.

The song doesn't refer to him, of course. It just scanned better than Enough, Mr, Clough or Steady Mr. Revie.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Interesting. I mentioned Lynyrd Skynrd and NWA, but it could just have easily have been Sigur Ros or the Bhundu Boys. Similarly, as a non-Italian speaker you can listen to a Verdi aria and appreciate it, but again, can you fully embrace it as a native speaker could?

I find it fascinating how a band like the Smiths speaking in and through an authentic northern English voice can rise so spectacularly not just here in Britain but across the globe.

By the way, there's only one Shankly most Brits would identify, albeit a not uncommon surname, and it is Bill Shankly, who in the sixties and early seventies was responsible for turning Liverpool FC from also-rans into one of the most famous club sides in the world.

The song doesn't refer to him, of course. It just scanned better than Enough, Mr, Clough or Steady Mr. Revie.

I would have just assumed he wanted to rhyme frankly and that was the end of it. I don't know if you can fully embrace it but I guess it depends on where you draw a line. with a language barrier it's of course harder but with a cultural barrier being mostly the issue it just depends. Do we enjoy it as much or as thoroughly as the natives would, probably not, but is our difference in enjoyment so significant that it matters to the artists success or conveying there message I don't think so but I guess it depends on where you draw that line. The smiths music was super catchy and it's core themes lyrically were meaningful and successfully emotive enough to move a large number of people obviously so maybe it's not that important. Also America is huge and this effects imo the expectations we have when listening to pop music and probably a reason we just don't put that much significance in it (that level of understanding). We're conditioned to not expect our pop music to be a definitive statements or representation of our American lives in maybe the way British people do. To think it important to enjoying our music in not typical. Average Americans are also not very worldly in mind. We just don't think about the outside world that much (or at least we didn't used to) and so I think look for more universal messages in pop songs rather than specific cultural references. Even if I knew in the back of my mind that they're a British band I don't think I would think a confusing line In a song would be about they're nationality. It just wouldn't be the first thing that came to my mind for an answer. Maybe we're just to trained to not factor in things like nationality, our anti descrimination rhetoric drilled into you as a child at work or maybe because we're just oblivious of other cultures and don't have it in mind, but it wouldn't be what id be looking for in order to understand
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Morrissey's double-edged wit shines in this song. It works perfectly well as a jaunty track with eccentric Moz lyrics, but given it's a giant 'we quit' to Geoff Travis too - the subtext is just classic catty Moz.

From Mozipedia:
"Written when relations between The Smiths and their record company, ROUGH TRADE, were so strained that they’d already begun plotting an exit strategy from their original contract, ‘Frankly, Mr Shankly’ was Morrissey’s thinly veiled resignation letter to his current employer, Rough Trade’s Geoff Travis. The lyrics contained a deliberate dig at Travis with its mention of Shankly’s ‘bloody awful poetry’, in reference to an apocryphal incident where Travis tried to impress Morrissey with his own attempt at verse. ‘That story is true,’ confirms Marr, ‘or at least I believe so. It was told to me at the time by someone at Rough Trade.’

Regards,
FWD.
 

celibate

Forever Ill
I'd be interested to know what some of you overseas types they have these days initially thought when you heard the Smiths for the first time?

Did you "get" it? And who do you think of when you hear the name "Mr. Shankly"?

I was 18 and hearing 'this charming man' in 1983 and was sorta hypnotised, it was as someone knew me, and I was not alone with my feelings and thoughts, it's not gay thing, but depressing, and feeling different, alone...someone who felt the same, and ofcourse the catchy wonderfull sound, life would never be the same again

As for Mr Shankly, and other names used, sometimes heading to the library, as a Dutch young lad, wasn't aware of typical Brittish names, in fact Morrissey inspired me to read and look things up

Sorry for snipping your wonderfull written part Johnny Barleycorn, and about my hearing the Smiths for the first time story have written a lot on here, thanks and waiting till next monday for another Smiths #hastag ,
 

Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
"Frankly, Mister Shankly" is such a great example of a British music hall pastiche it is the one song I thought might slightly baffle non-English listeners in its tone if not tune and lyric. "Shove your job up your arse" is obviously a much loved international theme and there is little to be lost in translation, but it got me wondering...

What did Americans, or any other nationalities for that matter, think when they first heard the Smiths? The Smiths are so resolutely English, and northern English at that, I wonder if they are to you what Lynyrd Skynrd or NWA are to me. Those bands aren't quite as vomit inducing as Huey Lewis & The News and I think I sort of get it, but I'm not entirely sure I really do because I don't live there and I haven't had those experiences growing up.

I'm prompted to asking in part by thinking about Aztec Camera's sterling efforts down the years to claim all the good things about England unto himself while eschewing the bad bits. While named after a Scottish band. Of how he uses our beautiful language gifted to him and my forebears centuries ago to claim we are somehow jealous of Oreos, Twinkies, Type 2 diabetes, Taylor Swift and Maxine Waters.

I speak, by the way, as a lover of America and most things American. Manys the argument I've had with people who claim there is no such thing as American musical culture and been delighted to reply: "Frank Sinatra... Elvis Presley... Maria Callas... Don't talk bollocks."

The Smiths are, perhaps, alongside the Kinks and the Wurzels, the most quintessentially English (as opposed to British) band this country has ever produced. As an Englishman my first reactions to those early singles was for the most part laughter. They were such a fascinating concoction of brand new and old fashioned. Melvyn Bragg summed it up rather well in his introduction to the South Bank Show special in 1987:


I'd be interested to know what some of you overseas types they have these days initially thought when you heard the Smiths for the first time?

Did you "get" it? And who do you think of when you hear the name "Mr. Shankly"?

Hi Johnny, as I sense you are really interested, to know what overseas type of Moz-fans, like I am one, though it's only a small sea dividing us, attracted, I want to say this:

The first song by The Smiths I ever heard on the radio was Bigmouth and it threw all kinds of hooks in my brain, heart and musical feelings. For one reason or another, it got to me.
The melancholy, the guilt, the regret of being once a Bigmouth myself touched me while at the same time I didn't actually regarded myself as one. At the same time I laughed for the lyrics felt hilariously funny.

And, it was, as Brian Eno later said, a hell of a good popsong. Great music and great lyrics. I didn't know anything about them.
First album I bought on vinyl was " The World Won't Listen".
Second one was "Strangeways" and at the time, to get more info I tried to buy the NME as much as I could.
So I knew they split even before "Strangeways" was released.
Then I bought all stuff from The Smiths available on CD.

I think there is a great universal appeal and quality to their music that is still there until this day.
Initially, there were many things in the lyrics I didn't understand completely but that made it even more attractive. The enigmatic thing, the strange persoñality as a pop singer Moz had. He was very different to any other pop singer and The Smiths were too.
It took me many years to understand a bit more and even now I think I am missing some of the meanings of the songs as English is not my first language.

I knew who Bill Shankly was cause though very young, I had seen Ajax beating Liverpool with 5-1 in the fog in Amsterdam and Bill Shankly was manager of Liverpool at that time. The goals were hardly visible.

So I thought WTF was Moz singing about in "Frankly Mr. Shankly".
But I liked the song very much, but didn't get all the references in the song and only very much later found out it was about Geoff Travis, the labelboss of Rough Trade. And the name Mr. Shankly was just a name to rhyme on Frankly, which was quite funny itself.

Due to my interest in The Smiths and Moz I also started to get interested much more in England, the South, the North and I always felt a bigger sympathy for the people from the North of England.
As a child I watched Coronation Street and really liked it very much.
As if it was so much easier to identity with the people being portrayed. I liked Elsie Tanner. I was afraid of Ena Sharples. :brows:

But it was also very, very funny. The way those people had to figh to survive and had a rough time but always had that humour, selfmockery complaints, one time taking things very, very serious and the next time laughing at themselves. I don't know for sure but I always considered that to be very Brittish and I still like that attitude.
:thumb:
 
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