Welcome to this knockabout world
Thanks to GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn for reminding me: this should be the first in our Morrissey A-Z discussions. What do you think of ‘Action Is My Middle Name’?
This one's one of my favourite later day Moz songs, I really have a soft spot for it.
Musically I also like the piano intro, but the vocal melody is what makes the song special for me.
I like the lyrics for the exact reason you've mentioned, it's a complete inversion of earlier themes - this time he's the one who's "too rough" and his partner might be "too delicate".
Interesting thought regarding the tattoos. I don't think his "obsession" was that brief at all. I think he's always been fascinated by the aesthetic. It goes back to The Smiths, be it eye-opening experiences with a tattooed boy from Birkenhead or- and this is the thing that the opening line from Action always reminded me of - the scratching of a lover's name on an arm with a fountain pen.
He's been photographed with fake tattoos in The Smiths a couple of times as well and again later in the 90s and one could argue that the glittery decals he loved to wear around Refusal (as seen on the cover) served a similar purpose.
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You're right that there was a surge in the mid-90s of course, possibly sparked by the arrival of Jake and his infamous inner lip BATTERSEA ink?
Johnny Marr also mentioned that Morrissey noticed and liked his tattoos when they met again in 2008.
I digress. Anyway, I love the song and the 25 Live version is a fantastic live recording of it. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be on YouTube, so this fan recording will have to do (sound quality is rather bad though).
Thanks for the info - I never really realised how much he had been interested in tattoos (perhaps because my main source of Moz info is Mozipedia, which doesn’t dive into this extended period that much).
Regards the 25 Live recording: the closest you can get (quality-wise) is the Studio in Session version from the bonus disc, which is on YouTube.
It's certainly a way to start a song!Yes, the vocal melody really makes this song stand out, for me. It's straightforward really but so perfectly suited to his voice. Lyrically it feels like a sketch of a song but somehow it works - perhaps because the biting image right at the start is so startling? So much is conveyed in those few words!
Probably a very accurate analysis this. It’s ok but, distinctly average. It disappeared off the live set for a couple of years, then resurfaced at one of the US dates maybe (can’t recall which) and I stood there thinking “nah, leave it off the set list in future). I wasn’t arsed in the slightest to see it return. As you said; the dire straits of the other 2011 efforts (art-hounds) aside.I think it's a decent enough song, but I think it's a little bit overrated by people on here. I also think it's got an enhanced reputation due to the dire state of the other 2011 Janice Long songs.
Same.I would have preferred to hear their version of Sultans of Swing, rather than Scandinavia actually.
The choice of singles on Spotify/Apple Music/ITunes is somewhat strange. There is one 'Last of the Famous...' on there, but only has 'The Kid’s A Looker' on the B-side.I love the version on the CD single of the Last of the Famous International Playboys single reissue (with Moz and Rick Astley on the cover).
I wish it was on Spotify. But it isn't (at least, not on Spotify UK).
That's because that was the "b-side" of the digital edition.The choice of singles on Spotify/Apple Music/ITunes is somewhat strange. There is one 'Last of the Famous...' on there, but only has 'The Kid’s A Looker' on the B-side.
Yes, I know, but what I wanted to highlight was the unevenness of the singles (i.e. the imbalance between older and newer).That's because that was the "b-side" of the digital edition.
Action is only available on the CD single.