Morrissey A-Z: "He Cried"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member


Today's song is "He Cried" from the Maladjusted album - another Morrissey/Whyte composition.

What do we think of this one?
 
D

Deleted member 29235

Guest
One of the best songs on the album. A decent lyric coupled with the ever-shifting harmony and modulations and a nice glam-rock arrangement. There are some good guitar parts as well, presumably courtesy of Alain.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Another song that is far from Morrissey at his best, but it's superior to several of the other tracks on Maladjusted. It does at least have a mature lyric and one or two lines that are thought provoking.

The production and the performance of the musicians is distinctly underwhelming and you can understand why there was such a clamour at the time for Morrissey to work with other collaborators. It's not terrible, but it's all rather sedate and somnambulistic. It's also another of those songs where you feel like Morrissey is trying to force a tune with his vocal melodies.

I think the feelings that we all have towards these songs are influenced by our circumstances when we first heard them. I remember being deeply worried when this album was announced due to the absence of interesting lyrics on Southpaw Grammar and the NME's initial preview only naming the songs Alma Matters, Roy's Keen and Satan Rejected My Soul. Those three titles suggested that Morrissey might genuinely be entirely finished, as plenty of journalists were predicting anyway, so it was a relief to just have any songs about serious subjects.

I recall that some of the letters to True to You indicated similar sentiments and the general tone seemed to be "at least the lyrics are back", even if I don't think anyone considered it to be his best work.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 203rd from 264 solo tracks.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
I will praise and defend Maladjusted til my dying days, and "He Cried" is part of the reason why. Sure, it's nothing artistically mindblowing or out of the ordinary, but it's classic Moz doing what he does best - warm, melancholy guitar rock with lyrics that a lot of us can relate to and are, frankly, quite dependent on to get through life (that sounded a bit melodramatic!).
Maladjusted has a few songs that are (even) stronger (title track, AO...), but HC is definitely one of the songs I look forward most to hearing when listening to the album.
 

Oh my

Enough! or Too much
I adore this one and it's my favourite one in the whole album.

I think I like the fact that in other songs Morrissey mixed sadness with hope... i.e, you can punch me, you can break my face, you can break my spine, you can play football with my head... but you won't change the way I feel.

This one... there is no hope, there is no escape, there are no actions... except freezing and crying.

I also love a trick that this song, and other songs, has:
Ride our minds
If you must


This "our minds" is fantastic... because he becomes the voice of a collective, so it's a subtle game with the listener... as if there was a collective of people who has the same feeling and he is the voice of them. He did something similar with "Nobody loves us".
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
A fine track, with a great melancholy chorus that saves some of the usual Maladjusted blandness of the verses. Some nice sentiments in the lyrics opposing “traditional” ideas of masculinity in favour of a more open way of expressing emotion. One that’s grown on me, but not fully, perhaps because of my dislike for some of Maladjusted’s other tracks (cough cough “Ambitious Outsiders”, “Papa Jack”, “Roy’s Keen”...)
6/10
 
D

Deleted member 29421

Guest
I adore this one and it's my favourite one in the whole album.

I think I like the fact that in other songs Morrissey mixed sadness with hope... i.e, you can punch me, you can break my face, you can break my spine, you can play football with my head... but you won't change the way I feel.

This one... there is no hope, there is no escape, there are no actions... except freezing and crying.

I also love a trick that this song, and other songs, has:
Ride our minds
If you must


This "our minds" is fantastic... because he becomes the voice of a collective, so it's a subtle game with the listener... as if there was a collective of people who has the same feeling and he is the voice of them. He did something similar with "Nobody loves us".
That's interesting. In The Boy With The Thorn In His Side he starts by singing 'how can they look into my eyes' then in the next verse 'how can they see the love in our eyes' switching from singing about himself to singing about everyone.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
good song,not heard this in a while.from the much maligned maladjusted.
 

Thewlis

Junior Member
Musically bland and uninspired. But Moz rescues the song with a passionate vocal and some fine lyrics. Which make it rank among the better half of Maladjusted for me, just.

7,4
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Usually, Lillywhite was excellent with Morrissey, and one of his best producers, but this is one of several songs where I think the production lets it down. The music is actually very good, and if you listen out for it, Alain's guitar line is intricate and enjoyable - but it's done no favours by the cloying, middle-of-the-road production, which buries it in the mix. The whole thing sounds sluggish, as though it's had a fluffy pillow pressed against it until all the life has left it - instead of feeling vibrant, the whole thing sounds like middle-aged Dad rock - inoffensive and bland. There's a good song in there somewhere, it's just struggling to get out.

It's not Morrissey's greatest lyric either, but it is at least heartfelt. I'm not sure about the whole 'He cry-yi-yiiiiied' bit in the chorus though - it kinda makes him sound like a petulant 12 year old girl. [6 out of 10]
 

Mike Rourke

Well-Known Member
One of the better songs on the album, just below the top four (Alma, Satan, Trouble and Wide).
Like the brass and Alain's spiralling guitar part in the middle eight. Also like the backing vocals in the chorus and the way extra musical elements are added as the song progresses - the final chorus is a feast!
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I hadn't listened to it carefully in a long time. This time, the lyrics touched me, especially the line "People where I come from, they survive without feelings or blood" reminds me of the sentence "the heart stuck in an ice-cold morning in 1970s" which was his reaction in response to Mikey's question why he still questioned the love of his devoted fans. At least, the next sentence, "I never could, was stoned to death, but I'm still living", offers a ray of hope. Chorus is great too, as said elsewhere.
Nothing in particular strikes me about the tune or production, it's just very average. All in all then, a decent album track.
 

butley

Well-Known Member
The title is also a nice nod to The Shangri-Las who had a song with the same name. I am a big fan of the Maladjusted album and this track.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Wow, really surprised this one is getting all this love here. :thumb:

When I first heard He Cried, I enjoyed it, but wasn’t sure, is it a good song? is it not? what’s going on here?
It’s difficult to put my finger on it. I guess it’s just Morrissey doing that thing he does so well, in that way which is so unique to him, and that’s enough, it touches.
I can see how some (as I first did) may think the repetition of the title ‘he cried’ may be a bit much, but for me it hammers home the anguish and exasperation one can feel when you feel there’s no one to turn to, to be open to in a world that’s closed to showing and exchanging deeper emotions. I assume not everyone goes or has gone through this, maybe they’re luckier for it, I can’t say.

Someone on https://songmeanings.com/songs/view/62400/

said ....

This song is about Nietzsche's final breakdown in Turin.’

:unsure:maybe they’re right.
 
Another song that is far from Morrissey at his best, but it's superior to several of the other tracks on Maladjusted. It does at least have a mature lyric and one or two lines that are thought provoking.

The production and the performance of the musicians is distinctly underwhelming and you can understand why there was such a clamour at the time for Morrissey to work with other collaborators. It's not terrible, but it's all rather sedate and somnambulistic. It's also another of those songs where you feel like Morrissey is trying to force a tune with his vocal melodies.

I think the feelings that we all have towards these songs are influenced by our circumstances when we first heard them. I remember being deeply worried when this album was announced due to the absence of interesting lyrics on Southpaw Grammar and the NME's initial preview only naming the songs Alma Matters, Roy's Keen and Satan Rejected My Soul. Those three titles suggested that Morrissey might genuinely be entirely finished, as plenty of journalists were predicting anyway, so it was a relief to just have any songs about serious subjects.

I recall that some of the letters to True to You indicated similar sentiments and the general tone seemed to be "at least the lyrics are back", even if I don't think anyone considered it to be his best work.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 203rd from 264 solo tracks.
I liked this post merely for the superb use of the word 'somnambulistic'.

Otherwise my thoughts on this song broadly agree with the above.

Virgin records in Manchester were the only place I saw telling the world that there was a new Moz album out.

He Cried was one of my favourites but in the context of Brit-pop, which is what was happening at the time, this really did sound lame in comparison to the energy of what was around it.

Compare the pubrock intro of this song with Supergrass announcing 'We are young...'
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
Usually, Lillywhite was excellent with Morrissey, and one of his best producers, but this is one of several songs where I think the production lets it down. The music is actually very good, and if you listen out for it, Alain's guitar line is intricate and enjoyable - but it's done no favours by the cloying, middle-of-the-road production, which buries it in the mix. The whole thing sounds sluggish, as though it's had a fluffy pillow pressed against it until all the life has left it - instead of feeling vibrant, the whole thing sounds like middle-aged Dad rock - inoffensive and bland. There's a good song in there somewhere, it's just struggling to get out.

It's not Morrissey's greatest lyric either, but it is at least heartfelt. I'm not sure about the whole 'He cry-yi-yiiiiied' bit in the chorus though - it kinda makes him sound like a petulant 12 year old girl. [6 out of 10]

Agree with your points regarding the production.

Sadly I must say that this is one of my least favourite Morrissey songs and definitely the worst on Maladjusted (for me), an album which I'm very fond of otherwise. I try to avoid this as much as possible.
The lyrics aren't horrible but not very original either, it's a bit Morrissey by numbers. These are the best lines, in my opinion.

Time is short
Don't be cruel
Oh, you don't know the power
In what you're saying


The music is very uninspired - Dad rock is a term used quite often with regards to this era but this is the song I personally associate it with the most. There might indeed be a decent tune in there, but it's overshadowed by the flat production. There's no imaginative vocal tune to save this, the chorus is almost unbearably annoying to my ears.

The one and only redeeming quality is Morrissey's warm and rich Maladjusted-voice, the true star of the whole album.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
It's curious to me how many tracks on Maladjusted are absent of leads, it's a very chord-heavy and utilitarian album in that way. There's this kind of lazy, late-afternoon feeling that I get from a lot of material on this record, like when the light starts to change at the end of the summer and it feels so melancholy as the sun goes down. "He Cried" epitomizes a lot of that for me. There's something so uninspired about it, though I don't actually say that as synonymous with "bad." It just feels workmanlike; Morrissey and Alain both pushing through to fashion a midtempo song that was obviously never intended to be anyone's favorite but sits unassumingly on the second half of the album as a quiet melodic highlight.
 
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