March Guardian article on Southpaw and Maladjusted reissues

Qvist

Active Member
I don't think she has much of a point, actually. To be sure, SP and M aren't among Morrissey's best albums - Southpaw may even be his weakest. But it's not as if they are reeking piles of manure - they both have some of his best songs on them. There aren't too many other albums from those years more worthy of reissue. Of course, I'm a Morrissey fan. But so is she, if her own words are to be believed - and the distance from Vauxhall to Southpaw is hardly monumental, but mainly a question of more or fewer great songs. Vauxhall is packed with them from end to end, Southpaw has perhaps 3 or 4, which is the difference between classic and great.

And the "rewriting history" line of reasoning is rather weakly speculative, as is her interpretation of the meaning of Morrissey'¨s statement that he prefers music who makes him feel physical. Did she read the liner notes to Southpaw? I quote: "Ice-cold reviews welcomed Southpaw Grammar into the world". Which is true. And while that might have something to do with following up his best album with possibly his weakest, it might also have quite a lot to do with the general backlash against Morrissey in the British music press at that time. If I were to hazard a guess for the motive behind his involvement with the reissues, it would be that he feels they were not given as much credit as they deserved. And he would be right.
 

Danny_

Forgot my login!
It is his art to do what he wants with. We can make the decision to listen or not but I don't think anyone has the right to tell an artist what to do with their work.

But then an article about how interesting it was that an artist was prepared to play about with their back catalogue and why didn't more artists try it wouldn't have fit with the general Guardian line on Morrissey. I'm sure if Radiohead had done it to The Bends it would have been revolutionary and fascinating! :D
 

Vauxhall95

I Know It's Over...
I thought for an opinion piece it brings up some valid points, "So Morrissey has taken it into his own hands to rewrite his past. He does this not only by flagging up these albums as lost masterpieces, but by changing the order of the tracks and the CD sleeves. That won't convince those previously unconvinced; fans, meanwhile, may wonder if he is doing anything more than diminishing the bond they have made with his music, as well as the value he places on his own work."

I think that is not an outrageous criticism. It seems level headed. She stated she is a fan.

Additionally:

"Maybe this wide-eyed fan should just face facts: in 2009, Morrissey prefers brawny rock'n'roll to the ambivalent tone of his greatest work. He said as much during a recent MTV2 interview with Zane Lowe, enthusing that the music he liked most made him "feel very physical". Perhaps he thinks his fans will respond to this primal pulse in his music more than anything. Sadly, I think something else.

I worry whether Morrissey will lose control of his career as he tries to grip it tight, and will forget that he needs to win over people's hearts and heads, as well as their loins. The best way to do that is not to make your worst albums worse, and then ask people to buy them all over again."

Again, a very accurate portrayal of Morrissey's recent efforts. They are not geared towards, "...people's hearts and heads." She's not bashing him just giving a State of the Union on Morrissey circa 2009. This is where he is at.
 

Qvist

Active Member
I think that is not an outrageous criticism. It seems level headed. She stated she is a fan.
No?

"So Morrissey has taken it into his own hands to rewrite his past.
How can you reasonably describe participating in the reissue of two of your own albums as "taking it into his own hands to rewrite the past", as if that was some sort of conspiracy?

He does this not only by flagging up these albums as lost masterpieces, but by changing the order of the tracks and the CD sleeves.
"lost masterpieces?" They've been available for a decade, to anyone interested - the only way they have been lost is if you've been ignoring them. In the liner notes to SP at least, I dare her to find anything to suggest Morrissey is flagging it up as a masterpiece. If anything the tone of his remarks seem very restrained to me, sometimes even apologetic. Attributing the track changes to such motives is just empty speculation.

That won't convince those previously unconvinced; fans, meanwhile, may wonder if he is doing anything more than diminishing the bond they have made with his music, as well as the value he places on his own work."
Won't it? Will they? How the fuck does she know, has she been calling around polling people? This is crap journalism of the worst sort, in my opinion - she is simply putting a negative spin on it, for no compelling reason, and way beyond what her own dislike of the albums justify.

If she has a point, it is this: Southpaw and Maladjusted were crap. By bringing them up again, he is showing such bad judgment that it's actually an insult to us, for which we'll make him pay (diminishing the bond they have made with his music). If he insists they are not crap, that means he doesn't care about his own music ( diminishing the value he places on his own work).

That is not a reasonable point of view at all - it's a sneaky, underhand, devious smearjob at worst and a stunningly badly thought-through piece at best. Southpaw and Maldjusted were not crap, or so at least many of us think. And even if it was, she would not be justified in the assumptions she makes and the conclusions she draws.
 

Vauxhall95

I Know It's Over...
That is not a reasonable point of view at all - it's a sneaky, underhand, devious smearjob at worst and a stunningly badly thought-through piece at best. Southpaw and Maldjusted were not crap, or so at least many of us think. And even if it was, she would not be justified in the assumptions she makes and the conclusions she draws.
She likes Morrissey and states as much. I don't recall her stating either re-issue was crap, merely questioning the point of it all. Muh like Morrissey did in "Paint a Vulgar Picture." She is confounded by why there is a need to re-issue these two albums. Personally, I think the case for re-issuing "Southpaw" is stronger: it was the only Moz album not to feature him on the cover art, it was also a very brief album. By adding the extra tracks, it really fills out the album and makes it a must buy for fans and worth interest by the semi-serious. "Maladjusted" is another story. What was the purpose of the re-issue? Why is he running away from "Roy's Keen?" By eliminating it from the re-issue is adds a bizarre revisionist history to this time period.

I agree with her that as a fan I did not see a real purpose to re-release "Maladjusted." I think "Southpaw" can be defended. What's wrong with questioning the choice of re-issuing those two albums? Can nothing be done with "Kill Uncle?" Is that not the gaping whole in Moz's legacy? Might that have been more worthy of his time if the point was to "finally get it right?"

It so amuses me that people here cannot accept that if a Morrissey fan does not march in lock goose step to whatever Morrissey says or does they are automatically a bad fan. As far as her opinions on the re-issues their reception was predictable. Just look at the sales data. Neither re-issue garnered much interest apart from the avid collectors.
 
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