Morrissey A-Z: "Days of Decision"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member


Today's A-Z entry is "Days of Decision" from the California Son album.

The original was by Phil Ochs, from his 1965 album I Ain't Marching Any More.



What do we think of Morrissey's version?
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
I don't much care for California Son (even the pun in the title is tired from overuse), but musically this might be prettiest song on the album. The vocal melody is lovely. It would be nice to hear why Morrissey has chosen each of the songs covered on the album. Lyrically this sixties protest song could nowadays be interpreted in a rather sinister fashion and I find it rather depressing that Morrissey is probably well aware of it.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I don't much care for California Son (even the pun in the title is tired from overuse), but musically this might be prettiest song on the album. The vocal melody is lovely. It would be nice to hear why Morrissey has chosen each of the songs covered on the album. Lyrically this sixties protest song could nowadays be interpreted in a rather sinister fashion and I find it rather depressing that Morrissey is probably well aware of it.
I probably like this album a bit more than you do but agree with most of this. This song is very pretty indeed and his voice is gorgeous here - as it is on the whole album. I really enjoy listening to this song.

But yes, I feel slightly uneasy at the idea of taking a protest song like this and - given his stated views on certain topics - giving the lyrics (perhaps) a somewhat different meaning. All of which is down to our own interpretation, of course and perhaps (if we're being charitable) that's what Morrissey was doing with this song: flagging up how "meaning" can shift over time...

Or, just trolling.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
A very Dylan-esque song to cover.

I am one of those who don't care much for Morrissey to cover songs. I'd rather embrace his originality in general. Having said that however, I am pleasantly surprised at the sincerity of his effort and quality of his voice with many of the songs of this album.

Before CA Son, I wouldn't have believed Moz would want to create a whole album of covers. But its clear he has considered the entirety of his musical efforts and felt strongly enough that he could challenge himself and add his own take to these songs for another generation.

So while not a big fan, writ large, I appreciate that he's taken on something different overall. I mean, they all can't be Dagenham Dave!

MrShoes
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
A very Dylan-esque song to cover.

I am one of those who don't care much for Morrissey to cover songs. I'd rather embrace his originality in general. Having said that however, I am pleasantly surprised at the sincerity of his effort and quality of his voice with many of the songs of this album.

Before CA Son, I wouldn't have believed Moz would want to create a whole album of covers. But its clear he has considered the entirety of his musical efforts and felt strongly enough that he could challenge himself and add his own take to these songs for another generation.

So while not a big fan, writ large, I appreciate that he's taken on something different overall. I mean, they all can't be Dagenham Dave!

MrShoes
"These are the Daves of decision"...
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
I probably like this album a bit more than you do but agree with most of this. This song is very pretty indeed and his voice is gorgeous here - as it is on the whole album. I really enjoy listening to this song.

But yes, I feel slightly uneasy at the idea of taking a protest song like this and - given his stated views on certain topics - giving the lyrics (perhaps) a somewhat different meaning. All of which is down to our own interpretation, of course and perhaps (if we're being charitable) that's what Morrissey was doing with this song: flagging up how "meaning" can shift over time...

Or, just trolling.

Can't wait for his rendition of, "All Along the Watchtower", with Jesse tearing up his axe in his effort to duplicate Hendrix. Well, not really.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Dull. I tried, but I could not get through this whole song. Have attempted several times to listen to this album, but physically cannot make myself.
 

gordyboy9

its not me its you.
the sixties were all about protest songs and yet the uk had very few,voice is great on this,i think every artist wants to have a go at singing their favourite songs when growing up.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I don't have an issue with California Son as it didn't come in place of an original album, it came in addition to an original album. Talking purely about the music, I can't see too much to complain about regarding Morrissey releasing 2 albums in successive years at this stage of his career.

I don't judge the covers in comparison with Morrissey originals, and they are mostly fine compositions well sung. I am glad that he opted to generally choose songs from respected songwriters, and avoided recording either kitschy tunes or things by his mates as he had at the start of his career.

I think this is one of the strongest tracks and he gives a great vocal performance. Morrissey also made several slight lyrical changes, and I think he tailored it to suit his voice. It's only a small point, but I enjoy his use of, "Mhm, decision" as it offers some variety.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 63rd from 264 solo tracks.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Like many have said before me, a very sweet vocal melody and the voice is strong. I rarely listen to CS, as it doesn’t do much for me (I’m not big on protest songs and was hoping he would go full on crooner and/or Elvis for his covers album), but this is a standout track.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I was a bit meh about California Son. But it got stuck on repeat while I was working & I ended up loving it.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
I don't have an issue with California Son as it didn't come in place of an original album, it came in addition to an original album. Talking purely about the music, I can't see too much to complain about regarding Morrissey releasing 2 albums in successive years at this stage of his career.

I don't judge the covers in comparison with Morrissey originals, and they are mostly fine compositions well sung. I am glad that he opted to generally choose songs from respected songwriters, and avoided recording either kitschy tunes or things by his mates as he had at the start of his career.

I think this is one of the strongest tracks and he gives a great vocal performance. Morrissey also made several slight lyrical changes, and I think he tailored it to suit his voice. It's only a small point, but I enjoy his use of, "Mhm, decision" as it offers some variety.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 63rd from 264 solo tracks.

Hey Flib - do you really put any value in a poll of Moz's music? If these "A-Z" posts prove anything, its that ranking songs is an exercise in futility.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Hey Flib - do you really put any value in a poll of Moz's music? If these "A-Z" posts prove anything, its that ranking songs is an exercise in futility.
If you read my posts at the start of this day-to-day fest, I mentioned that I may as well post the ranking simply to give one more opinion (this thread is all about opinions after all). I don't consider any poll to be remotely definitive - there have been polls on this board in the past - but they just give a flavour of how other fans feel.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
If you read my posts at the start of this day-to-day fest, I mentioned that I may as well post the ranking simply to give one more opinion (this thread is all about opinions after all). I don't consider any poll to be remotely definitive - there have been polls on this board in the past - but they just give a flavour of how other fans feel.
Yeah I must have missed that notice early on... Roger that on offering it up as a point of comparison.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I don't much care for California Son (even the pun in the title is tired from overuse), but musically this might be prettiest song on the album. The vocal melody is lovely. It would be nice to hear why Morrissey has chosen each of the songs covered on the album. Lyrically this sixties protest song could nowadays be interpreted in a rather sinister fashion and I find it rather depressing that Morrissey is probably well aware of it.

Why would he be well aware of it? He hasn't managed to keep on top of his narrative at any point in his career.

The idea he knows he'll be misunderstood comes from journalists who must have some awareness that they're editing him down to half sentences, individual lines & even fonts.

Some of them make Charlie Manson's interpretation of The White Album look evidenced.
 
J

Janice

Guest
I don’t mind the album as a whole but this is one of the tracks I’m not that fussed on.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
I don't have an issue with California Son as it didn't come in place of an original album, it came in addition to an original album. Talking purely about the music, I can't see too much to complain about regarding Morrissey releasing 2 albums in successive years at this stage of his career.

I don't judge the covers in comparison with Morrissey originals, and they are mostly fine compositions well sung. I am glad that he opted to generally choose songs from respected songwriters, and avoided recording either kitschy tunes or things by his mates as he had at the start of his career.

I think this is one of the strongest tracks and he gives a great vocal performance. Morrissey also made several slight lyrical changes, and I think he tailored it to suit his voice. It's only a small point, but I enjoy his use of, "Mhm, decision" as it offers some variety.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 63rd from 264 solo tracks.
Very much agree with this.



Didn't get the backlash California Son received. (If you don't like covers, fine. If you don't like the album, fine. There's an easy solution, don't listen to it and wait 10 months for the next album of original material.)

He had mentioned his intention to release an album of cover versions a couple of times during the past decade and non of the songs were particularly unlikely choices for him, a good portion of them are mentioned in Autobiography or had been name dropped on other occasions. Dylan was the one addition that slightly surprised me.
We had a good Summer of 2019, CS and I.

I think Days Of Decisions is one of the strongest tracks on the album, mostly due to his voice. One of the few CS tracks I still play on its own.

They only did it live once but it would be a good candidate to replace the ghastly Lady Willpower in the setlist (please?).

 
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T

Trans

Guest
Love the song and the performance. It’s hard not to sing it out loud (same with lady will power). I like California son and played everyday throughout my cape may vacation. It’s the r&b ballads on California son that I can’t deal with
 

The.Truth.

about Ruth
Morrissey has done some great covers but I don't find any of them on California Son. Maybe I just thought a record of covers was a bad idea because for the past decade or so it always seems like each record might be his last, so missing an album of original material seems like a wasted opportunity. Also I, mistakenly, thought at the time that following up two records I saw as very difficult to listen to or care about with an album of covers was a very bad sign.
I don't really like the sound of the record though and while I do think there was a sort of theme in the songs he chosen in context of his having been semi-#cancelled around that time, I just didn't really care that much.
For me IANADOAC was a huge relief after three records I barely listened to at all.
 
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