Morrissey A-Z: "He Knows I'd Love to See Him"

Ketamine Sun

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BEST OF THE BEST !


all the way back now, I heard this song from the point of view a fan, Morrissey, knows I’d love to see him, to be as close as possible, as close as is allowed. Now that I think of it, it could be from the point of view of a stalker! :paranoid:
A lot fans probably felt like they came from the ass/arse of the world, come from nowhere special, and feel like no one special, and their only desire is to be with Morrissey.


In this version, he sings ‘he knows we’d love to see him happy...’ so I think my interpretation is not far off.



💙💜❤️
 
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Nikita

Senior Member
It took me some time to enjoy, but it is a nice song, a bit unusual in the Morrissey catalogue.
 

Ketamine Sun

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Mary Margaret O’Hara on backing, more notably on November. ‘He Knows’ sounds as if it could have been on her album Miss America, atmospheric and a bit jazzy, a really lovely album, if you’re not yet acquainted ....



 
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SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
On Bona Drag I thought it was one of the weaker tracks compared to other b-sides like "Lucky Lisp" and "Yes, I Am Blind," but it's grown on me. I really enjoyed it live on the Your Arsenal tour.
 
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SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
A superior b-side, this is one of three songs from the failed Bona Drag sessions that I think would actually have been good enough to make a studio album. Of course, the fact that Morrissey could emerge from said sessions with so few decent songs says a lot about how patchy his creativity had become.

One big issue was that he was writing so few songs with autobiographical elements, so it's a relief to have the police reference and to know that he was singing about his own life. The balance at this point was skewed too far in favour of 'themed' songs, and the quality of the lyrics certainly dipped as a result. This is one of his better songwriting efforts of the period.
I think the patchy creativity is due in no small part to losing Stephen Street. Good point on fewer songs with autobiographical elements. It's not something I picked up on at the time, but looking back it's clear.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
The music is nice and all (have to agree - great drums!), but the lyric and vocal is everything...

"You're just another person in the world
You're just another fool with radical views
You're just another who has maddening views
You want to turn it on its head
By staying in bed!"
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Mary Margaret O’Hara on backing, more notably on November. ‘He Knows’ sounds as if it could have been on her album Miss America, atmospheric and a bit jazzy, a really lovely album, if you’re not yet acquainted ....




Beautiful angelic voice isn't it? The choice is probably not a coincidence. But you can also argue that both Mary Margaret O'Hara and this particular Morrissey song are informed by some of Joni Mitchell's work. Which is perhaps an easy thing to say after we reviewed "Don't Interrupt The Silence".
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I think the patchy creativity is due in no small part to losing Stephen Street. Good point on fewer songs with autobiographical elements. It's not something I picked up on at the time, but looking back it's clear.
Yes, I think that's partly true.

I also think there had been a dip even before Stephen Street's departure though. One of the high points in Morrissey's creativity was probably the Everyday is Like Sunday release, but things dipped after that.

I don't think songs like Interesting Drug, Ouija Board, At Amber, Journalists Who Lie etc. were Morrissey at his best and the shift away from the autobiographical had already started.
 

Oh my

Enough! or Too much
On Bona Drag I thought it was one of the weaker tracks compared to other b-sides like "Lucky Lisp" and "Yes, I Am Blind," but it's grown on me. I really enjoyed it live on the Your Arsenal tour.

Thank you! I was ashamed of posting my opinion... !!!
I also think it's the weakest track in Bona Drag! which doesn't mean that i think it's a bad song, I actually like it a lot, but the bona drag ALBUM (I am intentionally using that word) had established such high standards that even the weakest track if a true gem.

Anyway, the whole A-Z threads is making me notice that my tastes and the tastes of others are very different. I am curious about what will happen with "Lucky Lisp", which is ne of the most amazing songs in that ALBUM for me, but my guess is that it will be a "meh" for a lot of people.
 
Rogan says that this is about Marr.

For me however, this came out when my Dad left home and the dream of the 'safe, warm, Lancashire home' died

Up to this point, my father was my hero and when your hero would rather live with someone they just met rather than someone they helped bring into the world; the self-esteem can do little else than a sharp nose dive.

He wasn't happy and I wanted to see him be happy. In fact, I just wanted to see him.

Still, I loved him and I loved him for the rest of his life; but life would never be the same again.

This song is the self-medicating poem that I wish I'd had the ability to write to myself, when he left.
 
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Flibberty

Well-Known Member
You say all this as if Morrissey actually writes the songs. He really doesn't. He is provided with a completed piece of music and sings some words over the top. This is indeed a superior b-side but mainly because the songwriter wrote a great piece of music and not a bog standard piece of generic indie guitar pop. Morrisseys musical contribution is the icing on the cake - not the cake itself.
:)

Morrissey co-writes the songs and his solo career has lasted largely down to people being interested in his lyrics and, to a lesser extent, his vocal melodies.

I don't see many people clamouring for the instrumental releases of solo tracks from pretty much any era.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
I'm often inclined to at least consider the possibility that a number of post-Smiths songs were written about Johnny Marr (and I firmly believe that some were), especially since Morrissey was still talking about wanting to get back together with him until about 1991, but in this case the lyrical content supporting this theory is incredibly thin.
Of course one could argue that he was living "in the arse of the world" when they first met and that his name might leave "a bad taste in the mouth" because of the circumstances of the break-up etc and it might be but I personally don't see it.

I never put much thought into the question who the subject of the song might be. I like the approach mentioned by Ket, who said it could be about the relationship with his audience.
 

nairng

Member
Moz doesn't write the musical backing, but he comes up with his own vocal lines, so he does partially write the music.
And his vocal lines are often highly inventive; a lot of the time, they are the last thing anyone else would think of singing over the backing. Often, they completely make the song.
Think of the long instrumental spaces in Suedehead for instance.
This Charming Man, Jacky's Only Happy... the more you break the songs down in this way, the more obvious it becomes how musical Moz's contributions often are, and how often the backing is just a few familiar chord changes (this last point does not apply to the Johnny Marr songs!)
 

Ketamine Sun

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:)

Morrissey co-writes the songs and his solo career has lasted largely down to people being interested in his lyrics and, to a lesser extent, his vocal melodies.

It’s really all about THAT VOICE.
I don't see many people clamouring for the instrumental releases of solo tracks from pretty much any era.

Let’s be real, I don’t see many clamoring for instrumental releases of ANY instrumental backings that Morrissey sang on, and that includes The Smiths.

There may be some temporary novelty in it, but let’s be honest, we are all here because of Morrissey.
 

Ketamine Sun

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I'm often inclined to at least consider the possibility that a number of post-Smiths songs were written about Johnny Marr (and I firmly believe that some were), especially since Morrissey was still talking about wanting to get back together with him until about 1991, but in this case the lyrical content supporting this theory is incredibly thin.
Of course one could argue that he was living "in the arse of the world" when they first met and that his name might leave "a bad taste in the mouth" because of the circumstances of the break-up etc and it might be but I personally don't see it.

I never put much thought into the question who the subject of the song might be. I like the approach mentioned by Ket, who said it could be about the relationship with his audience.

He seems to be singing about two different view points, 1. how his fans
see him, his importance to them. And 2. how he thinks non-fans the general public may see him ( maybe as a troublemaker that’s not contributing to society) represented in the song by the law.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Yes, I think that's partly true.

I also think there had been a dip even before Stephen Street's departure though. One of the high points in Morrissey's creativity was probably the Everyday is Like Sunday release, but things dipped after that.

I don't think songs like Interesting Drug, Ouija Board, At Amber, Journalists Who Lie etc. were Morrissey at his best and the shift away from the autobiographical had already started.

Another element to keep in mind is that Morrissey had been writing songs with Marr at an incredible pace (and on a peerless level), then he came with his first solo-album barely 6 months after the last Smiths album + the incredible EILS EP and Hairdresser On Fire. I find it easy to imagine that he was close to a creative (and emotional?) burn-out by that time.

His search for a continued career post-Smiths really started in earnest when Stephen Street left. The following EPs and Kill Uncle all reflected the difficulties he was experiencing in gaining credibility as a solo-artist. He still came up with great songs, but less consistently. We all know that things took a turn for the better with Your Arsenal.
 
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