Morrissey A-Z: "Life Is a Pigsty"

The.Truth.

about Ruth
Very dramatic and a live highlight. All the different sections are great and keep the interest going, from piano and bass at the start to what sounds like acoustic guitar around 2:20 and on through the different electric guitar based sections. It gets almost as abstract as "Maladjusted" towards the end with the guitar noise and Morrissey's performance is top notch. The lyrics are very effective, too. Definitely shows that you never know what you're going to get and should never assume that his best days are behind him. In its own way this is as good as anything he ever did.
10/10
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
One of his all time best. Certainly the most atmospheric and effective production on Ringleader, without that horrible dynamic-less crunch that rules much of the rest of it. The song shifts through around 3 distinct sections and each are powerful and massive-sounding. The live versions all but confirm this, extending it to an even longer duration. It’s original length is still long - one of the first opportunities for Moz to show his continued lyrical excellence à la “Late Night...”. The turmoil presented through the lyricism is matched by the turbulent instrumentation and creates an overall mood of sorrow and regret. I’ll reiterate: one of the best.
10/10
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Oh, sweet lord. This is in my solo top 5, easily. The drama, the lyrics, the thunderous music - everything is just stellar. On days of depression, it is reinvigorating and extremely comforting to immerse yourself in the darkness and drama of this song. I’ll be forever grateful for that.

Oh, and live, it’s an obvious highlight.

And it’s also one of the few instances where Moz connects with contemporaries like The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Chameleons more than, say, The Smiths. The heavy, gloomy, brooding and very atmospheric sound of “Pigsty” is a far cry from the music usually associated with Moz and the Smiths.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
I don't know which Ringleader dud is more overrated, this one or "Dear God Please Help Me."

How anyone could compare it to "Late Night Maudlin Street" is beyond me; the two have nothing in common except length and absence of chorus. The former is a lyrical masterpiece, while this one is content to repeat ad nauseam the kind of one-dimensional, self-pitying scribble that should've never made it out of the margins of Morrissey's notebook. I recall the run-up to Ringleader's release with the press hyping up this track as a spiritual sibling of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Paranoid Android," which seemed like a joke even then.

The lifeless production does a wonderful job of sucking out any vitality that the composition may have initially possessed, delivering instead this flat, faux-epic that tries way too hard to do what something like "Speedway" does effortlessly.

The nicest thing I can say about it is that it employs one of my favorite Morrissey lyrical tropes: framing the act of falling in love as a tragedy in and of itself.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
could be a film score,was great live."and id been shifting gears all of my life" is one of his greatest lines.was great being an M fan back then,going to all these small venues and town halls,fantastic days.10 pigs/10 stys.VIVAMOZZ ON A TUESDAY MORNING.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Just a magnificent song. Melodramatic, over the top, self-pitying of course, but for some of us there are some harsh, harsh truths in here.

Can you stop this pain?
Even now in the final hour
Of my life
I'm falling in love again


Absolutely wonderful, and for me musically far superior to "Last Night I Dreamt..." One of the true peaks of the Morrissey/Whyte songs.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
@The.Truth. sums it up very well.
I love this song; the theatre & drama of it all, the first section dark brooding, pulsating bass, sounds of thunder, offset by the perfectly placed piano highlights; the drum dominance & the way the song builds in the 2nd section, then crashing drums & guitar focus bringing us the crescendo.
Masterpiece for sure.
 
M

Mozzer1980

Guest
I heard this song for a first time of course in 2006 . In the middle of a Dark rainy night on the radio . It's true . I remember this moment now .
Probably this song has changed my life . I cannot find words to describe how much it means to me . Masterpiece . Number 2 in my Morrissey's Top 10 ever . With no doubts 10/10
Yes , Moz is sometimes right - LIFE IS A PIGSTY .
 

Light Housework

useless eater


Our song for today is this Morrissey/Whyte composition, from Ringleader of the Tormentors.

What do we think of this one?
This song just eased me through some emotionally charged, tender terrain. I was able to look up at my paintings and gaze with fondness upon them while the song played. Much appreciated!
20210525_002403.jpg
 

Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
Best post-comeback album track, by a country mile.

Hollywood Bowl version is 11/10.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
A very finely crafted song. I don't think it's the most innovative song lyrically in the canon, and I wouldn't rank it in my top 10, but it's very efficiently put together.

A strong production, a heartfelt lead vocal and it is impressively ambitious.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 11th from 264 solo songs.
 

Janice

Well-Known Member
Timeless classic that’s never aged
The live version with the bridge into HSIN was splendid.

It’s inclusion in the Nov/Dec 2018 shows proved it still has that epic aura around it. Excellent.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
I don't know which Ringleader dud is more overrated, this one or "Dear God Please Help Me."

How anyone could compare it to "Late Night Maudlin Street" is beyond me; the two have nothing in common except length and absence of chorus. The former is a lyrical masterpiece, while this one is content to repeat ad nauseam the kind of one-dimensional, self-pitying scribble that should've never made it out of the margins of Morrissey's notebook. I recall the run-up to Ringleader's release with the press hyping up this track as a spiritual sibling of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Paranoid Android," which seemed like a joke even then.

The lifeless production does a wonderful job of sucking out any vitality that the composition may have initially possessed, delivering instead this flat, faux-epic that tries way too hard to do what something like "Speedway" does effortlessly.


does this mean you don’t like it ?
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Classic Moz Life is a pigsty and we’re all swine ! but at least some of us are looking up at the stars.

I actually enjoy the Visconti touch on ROTT, just too bad about the mastering.

not too long ago Alain told the story of recording the piano of this song (demo?) at home and the pzm mics he used actually picked up the thunder from an approaching storm outside! I don’t know if this is a true story, but it’s a good one anyway, and for me, really adds to the greatness of this work.

Very operatic in it’s vibe, and makes me think of We’ll Let You Know.
 
I remember reading the pre-release reviews of Ringleader and this was built to the hilt as the great modern Moz magnum opus.

I couldn't wait to hear it, now I can wait a very long time to hear it.

A massive let down and as a poster said earlier in this thread, its a 'faux-epic'

No new sentiments expressed and those that were expressed were said better previously. Even he says 'It's the same old SOS'

Delivered in a period where a number of songs contained lyrics built around a 'Things were crap but then you arrived and now they're not' structure.

Drama queen rock opera from a man who was becoming less believable in his cries of pain and unrequited love with each passing album.

Just did not feel this one at all. How many 'final hours' of his life has he had now by the way?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think it's the music that really makes this so effective , the way it slowly builds and then explodes at the end. I love that distorted guitar line as we get to the 'I can't reach you anymore' bit. Super moody, this is for sure a modern classic - Morrissey is really saying nothing new here, but he is at least impassioned about it.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I am drawn to the brooding atmosphere of this song. Indeed, the type of song you should listen to on a hot summer night when a thunder storm is about to erupt. For me, it is Alain’s most accomplished piece of music (along with Trouble Loves Me). Morrissey‘s vocals are excellent too, the deeper voice at the beginning as well as the more melodramatic second half.

This is not a song built around the lyrics (no Late Night Maudlin Street), neither is it the most intense expression of anguish or pain, but is it realistic to still expect that from a man in his late 40s ?
 

MrShoes

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Yeah - never been a big fan of this one. Just felt it could have met its accomplishment with less.
 
Tags
morrissey a-z
Top Bottom