Morrissey A-Z: "Black Cloud"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member

The song for today is "Black Cloud" - a Morrissey/Boorer composition from the Years of Refusal album.

What do we think of this one?
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
A solid album track, but nothing more than that.

The forceful production makes the most of a decent Boz tune, but there is nothing too new or revealing in the lyrics.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 163 of 264 solo songs.
 
J

Janice

Guest
Used to love it. Was up there with my personal faves on Refusal.....in 09. Tapered off slightly the following year. Rekindled affection a couple of years later when it was given a few live outings, but again, fell away. So all in all, not bad.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I like the I can sink much lower than usual line.

There's always something interesting in a Morrissey song.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
It makes me laugh that he gets ROCK LEGEND Jeff Beck to play on this song and you can barely hear it. And this story from Jeff Beck is funny:

Chrissie Hynde was the catalyst between us. I met them at the bar in the Sunset Marquis during cocktail hour. They were shitfaced. Morrissey leant over to Chrissie and I thought he wanted to leave. Chrissie turned to me and said, 'He's too shy to say it, but he would like you to play on a track on his album.' The next day I found a CD under my door with a note from Morrissey saying, 'It was really nice meeting you, would you play on this track?' We knocked it out in a couple of hours. He was charming: I never thought he would even give me the light of day."
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
It makes me laugh that he gets ROCK LEGEND Jeff Beck to play on this song and you can barely hear it. And this story from Jeff Beck is funny:

Chrissie Hynde was the catalyst between us. I met them at the bar in the Sunset Marquis during cocktail hour. They were shitfaced. Morrissey leant over to Chrissie and I thought he wanted to leave. Chrissie turned to me and said, 'He's too shy to say it, but he would like you to play on a track on his album.' The next day I found a CD under my door with a note from Morrissey saying, 'It was really nice meeting you, would you play on this track?' We knocked it out in a couple of hours. He was charming: I never thought he would even give me the light of day."

I don't know how he copes with being that shy AND making the kind of confrontational art that gets negative attention.

I would die of stress.
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
Refusal has grown on me over the years, but this remains the low point of the album. Just a very ordinary and an unmemorable song. Getting Jeff Beck to play and then making him nearly inaudible (like BookishBoy wrote) is of course a classic Morrissey move -- something he does with nearly all his collaborators.
 
T

Trans

Guest
Refusal has grown on me over the years, but this remains the low point of the album. Just a very ordinary and an unmemorable song. Getting Jeff Beck to play and then making him nearly inaudible (like BookishBoy wrote) is of course a classic Morrissey move -- something he does with nearly all his collaborators.

matter with this and others. Nothing wrong with the song but it’s pretty direct and not to much there. Makes for a good album track and keeps the tempo up on the album. I to almost forget becks on here but when I played the song for my mom as I was trying to play her some morrissey instead of her older music that she usually listens to her first question was who’s playing the intro they don’t play like that anymore. Made me mad that even as I was forcing her to listen to morrissey trapped in my car she still had a way to find her own music. I guess he’s still noticeable to some on the track
 

MrShoes

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Refusal has grown on me over the years, but this remains the low point of the album. Just a very ordinary and an unmemorable song. Getting Jeff Beck to play and then making him nearly inaudible (like BookishBoy wrote) is of course a classic Morrissey move -- something he does with nearly all his collaborators.

This entire album is full of songs which seem built up from the song title first. Lot's of squandered opportunities with guest musicians, past/present/future collaborators, and repeat engagements with producers - all failed to keep the momentum going as much as it could have.

While the magazine "Q" is by no means a great voice on the scene, they had this to share about the album:

Q magazine, who gave the album a three star rating, praised and criticized the album saying: "So there is that fabulous voice, the felicitous turn of phrase, the ability to hit universal truths that transcend one middle-aged Mancunian's ingrained sense of being hard-done-by – but there's also too much grudge-bearing, too much self-justification, too much undistinguished guitar thump."

It capturers my feelings regarding the "Black Cloud" track in particular.

MrShoes
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
I love Years Of Refusal, I think there's not one bad or even mediocre song on it.

That being said, Black Cloud is probably one of the weaker tracks on the album but I like the dark mood, the sample at the beginning, the musical chaos that's going on towards the end when the keyboards go bonkers - it's just a very energetic track.

In Morrissey's voice there's again a sense of utter urgency and I've always wondered who the subject of the song might be (if there is one) and if they were possibly rather scared off by this boisterous expression of affection.

I really like this bit, think it's kind of revealing

I play the game of favourites now
I can I must I will I do
And I can please you
Or, I can freeze you out
 
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GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
I don't know how he copes with being that shy AND making the kind of confrontational art that gets negative attention.

I would die of stress.
I don't think it's "shyness", although it seems to be the term he prefers. It's more like a form of social anxiety.
He just can't stand direct interaction in awkward situations or direct confrontation. That's why he prefers writing letters or faxes or e-mails or sending somebody else to speak on his behalf. And it's also the reason why he's rather outgoing in situations where he feels comfortable. His art is just another form of expression he feels comfortable with.
 

Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
Count me in as someone who likes/loved YOR

This a stupid question - what does Jeff Beck actually play on Black Cloud? Is he playing the lead guitar throughout the entire song? So Jesse plays his part live?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
This a stupid question - what does Jeff Beck actually play on Black Cloud?
He plays the opening lead section, ie the first 25 seconds. Also that wobbly lead line right at the end. Not a huge amount, but considering the song is only 2.5 minutes long, it's not too bad. That wobbly tremelo sound of his is pretty unique, so I'm always surprised people can't hear the difference between that and Jesse.

I mean - if we're talking guest turns, then Suggs surely got a shittier deal with 'Piccadilly Palare'.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Refusal has grown on me over the years, but this remains the low point of the album. Just a very ordinary and an unmemorable song. Getting Jeff Beck to play and then making him nearly inaudible (like BookishBoy wrote) is of course a classic Morrissey move -- something he does with nearly all his collaborators.
What ? I can hear Linder loud and clear on ‘Driving your..’
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
I don't know who coined the phrase "chug rock" but this song reminds of me of it. I can see opinions really differ on YOR, but I really didn't care for it, save for "It's Not Your Birthday Anymore." I agree with @MrShoes - interesting titles but the songs don't deliver and mostly feel uninspired. But IDK maybe I didn't give it enough listens for it to grow on me.
 
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Mayfly

Well-Known Member
The best thing about YOR is indeed the strength and power of Morrissey's voice, pretty amazing for a 50-year old man. It also features its fair share of catchy tunes and an overall consistent sound. But take the same tunes with a more average singer, and how many songs would still catch your attention? They would be undistinguishable from the other rock tunes played on American FM rock stations. That being said, I was quite happy with YOR when it came out and I can still listen to it now.

I don't know what we should have expected from Jeff Beck on guitar, but this one sounds so much like Tobias on guitar. What I mean by this, it is the sound that Tobias masters so well.
 
T

The guy

Guest
I love Years Of Refusal, I think there's not one bad or even mediocre song on it.

That being said, Black Cloud is probably one of the weaker tracks on the album but I like the dark mood, the sample at the beginning, the musical chaos that's going on towards the end when the keyboards go bonkers - it's just a very energetic track.

In Morrissey's voice there's again a sense of utter urgency and I've always wondered who the subject of the song might be (if there is one) and if they were possibly rather scared off by this boisterous expression of affection.

I really like this bit, think it's kind of revealing

I play the game of favourites now
I can I must I will I do
And I can please you
Or, I can freeze you out
This is the album he lost me. The single Paris is great. But the last few songs are now what all of his albums sound like. Sadly for me
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
To my ears, at least half of Refusal is excellent or very good - and that's a pretty decent ratio for a Moz album. Skull, Carol, Paris, Birthday - love them all. The rest just merge into each other and there's too much 'chug', but it's an absolute masterpiece next to something like LIHS.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
This is the album he lost me. The single Paris is great. But the last few songs are now what all of his albums sound like. Sadly for me
The album should have ended at track 9. "I'm OK..." is inoffensive mid-tempo Morrissey-by-numbers.. which is actually a huge improvement on some of his recent efforts :lbf:
 
T

Trans

Guest
The three songs that stand out most in my memory from yor are skull, someday and Carol
 
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