Morrissey A-Z: "Morning Starship"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member






Our song for today is another cover version, this time Morrissey's version of Jobriath's "Morning Starship", taken from his self-titled album of 1973. Morrissey's cover was the lead-off track on California Son.

What do we think?
 

Kostia

Active Member
A nice cover. Morrissey's voice sounds really beautiful as always. I never really got his fascination with Jobriath, I only like a couple of his songs and this is one of them. I suppose he got into Jobriath about the time Young Americans came out, a record Morrissey loathes.
 

Phranc & Open

two-timer
Morrissey's version sounds incredibly smooth and the modernisation in sound unfortunately takes away the exciting element that Jobriath had in its genes, naturally. The original has much more soul, masters the loud/quiet play perfectly and works very well with its rough glam instrumentation.

As much as Morrissey adores Jobriath, he sings in a completely different register and is more expressive in his delivery of the song. Morrissey's stripped back interpretation takes a very different approach, that one can definitely make peace with. English reserve on an American cover album.
 
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The.Truth.

about Ruth
I prefer the music on the original but don't really like Jobriath's voice. I don't care for Morrissey's version. It's not terrible but it's just not interesting to me. Same goes for most of California Son. I think it's a good exercise for the band to do a bunch of covers and I hope they learned a lot from it but I'll pass on almost all of it.
3/10
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
Seems like this may be a controversial opinion...
I actually love this cover. I’ve adored it since it was released before the album. Basically: Morrissey goes synth, and I love it!
The production is crisp and allows for each sound to surround you: perhaps that’s why they kept Ed Droste’s vocals as more of a texture, than “traditional” backing vocals. The synth sounds are great, fizzing and popping all over, juddering bass underneath. Moz delivers another excellent latter day vocal performance- which is kind of a given now anyway - especially the soaring words at the end.
I enjoy the Jobriath original, but, like some of the covers on the LP, Moz transforms it into something new and different.
10/10
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
I believe this track and one other lead to Boz buying the Q Chord gadget he took to playing in 2019. That gave the track a richer live sound than the studio version IMHO.
It supplemented Chiccarelli & Manning's instruments on the record quite well.
It also provided a platform for the Theremin.
So win, win :)
FWD.

(Edit - should say: bought new for this tour. Yes he's used one previously - this was new as in brand new and was confirmed as such via discussion with Lyn).
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Seems like this may be a controversial opinion...
I actually love this cover. I’ve adored it since it was released before the album. Basically: Morrissey goes synth, and I love it!
The production is crisp and allows for each sound to surround you: perhaps that’s why they kept Ed Droste’s vocals as more of a texture, than “traditional” backing vocals. The synth sounds are great, fizzing and popping all over, juddering bass underneath. Moz delivers another excellent latter day vocal performance- which is kind of a given now anyway - especially the soaring words at the end.
I enjoy the Jobriath original, but, like some of the covers on the LP, Moz transforms it into something new and different.
10/10
I'm with you on this - absolutely love it! It just sounds so fresh and sparkly and crisp and the way he enunciates in his singing is spectacular. I still listen to this loads and loved it at Wembley last year, too.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
I love it, especially because it's so different from the original. It's so innocent and gentle and almost... peaceful? Less playful and cheeky than Jobriath's version.
An interesting take on this particular lyric/vocal, which is mirrored in the statelier, more elegant arrangement.
 

Phranc & Open

two-timer
I'm with you on this - absolutely love it! It just sounds so fresh and sparkly and crisp and the way he enunciates in his singing is spectacular. I still listen to this loads and loved it at Wembley last year, too.
Fresh for some, sounds extremely smooth for others. Chiccarelli removes all life from the version and Manning, through his work with Jellyfish, I would have thought more vintage authenticity. I am very sorry to say that.
 

Nikita

Senior Member
I really dislike Jobriath’s voice and I did not really care for the cover until I heard it live in NY in 2019. Now, it is one of my favorite tracks on California Son, an album I listen to pretty often.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
great song but its M s delivery that takes it to another level,voice is fantastic on this.its pointless doing covers if you are going to replicate the original,take dylans hard rains gonna fall,bryan ferry threw the kitchen sink at it and the result is one of the best covers ever.
9 stars/10 ships.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
video above,first time i have heard jobriaths voice,thought willie nelson had covered the song.voice doesnt go with the face.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
The official video is also quite nice. Uneventful and the title is misleading, because it's not live audio but the studio recording, but I like it.

 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Never been a fan of CS tbh, but this track is something else!
The depth & richness it provides, the great production, the excellent musician work, all make for a beautiful track; the vocals throughout this number from Moz are outrageously good, but the way he soars at the end is absolutely sublime. Wonderful.
 

CJM

Practising troublemaker
Morrissey has helped me discover a number of great artists, and it was 2004’s ‘Songs to Save Your Life’ that introduced me to the be bittersweet world of Jobriath. In his short life and shorter career Jobriath wrote a handful of wonderful songs – Inside is, in my mind, one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Moring Starship, I’m A Man, Take Me I’m Yours, Wildfire In Memphis… simply exquisite.

Covering Jobriath must me a daunting prospect, his voice is, after all, so defining, so unusual, that it is brave even to attempt such a feat. (I can only assume that Morrissey, rightly so, dare not even for a moment consider covering a Klaus Nomi number for California Son). While Morrissey’s interpretation of Morning Starship sounds, to me, fine, it lacks the peculiarity and vibrancy of the original – I like it, but just don’t love it. Something, I can’t put my finger on what, just seems to be missing. Perhaps I just love the original too much? Or perhaps Jobriath’s work (like Morrissey’s), shouldn’t be touched by others?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I believe this track and one other lead to Boz buying the Q Chord gadget he took to playing in 2019.
Boz was into the Q Chord quite a few years before this - it's all over the 'World Peace' album, such as the title track, where you can see Boz playing it:
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
A quality cover and Morrissey's voice is technically stronger than Jobriath's.

A good choice to open the album (the running order generally flows very well on California Son), and the production is bright and engaging

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 41st from 264 solo songs.
 
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