Morrissey A-Z: "Speedway"

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
A classic song with a great production. A defiant response to the criticism that Morrissey had received at the time and I'm not surprised that he still finds it pertinent.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 2nd from 264 solo songs.
 
O

On his way out

Guest
Speedway is a special sort of vehicle sport relic maintained by volunteer families. David Belcher, once of the Glasgow Herald, says he asked Moz (via EMI) and was told that the "chainsaw" sound is not a revving speedway bike but that there is a link between the sport and the song. It is a team sport for four riders, traditionally racing in teams of two against two.

Others have referred to Johnny's love of speedway, and I imagined "slam down the hammer" could refer to accelerating at the start of a race whilst Moz stayed grounded.
 
Like everything from Vauxhall, the only challenge in reviewing the song is finding the appropriate superlatives.

This is a song that is SO good that you no longer 'listen' to it, you feel it and become lost in it.

A minimum score of 14/10 for this one.
 
N

No 27

Guest
Like everything from Vauxhall, the only challenge in reviewing the song is finding the appropriate superlatives.

This is a song that is SO good that you no longer 'listen' to it, you feel it and become lost in it.

A minimum score of 14/10 for this one.
It's his strongest song?
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Not much else to add to the plaudits for this one, except to say it's another higher echelon track, which I love, & what a superb way to close off one of his best albums. It's utterly brilliant, & while it comes close, to me, it doesn't eclipse 'Southpaw' of yesterday.
 
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Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Found this from (of all places) The Guardian in an article entitled: Morrissey: 10 of the best:

"The Smiths often dallied with strange, theatrical sound-effects, with hit-and-miss results: the happy hubbub and chattering crowds of Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me does wonders in making the lovelorn loneliness bite all the harder; the mournful, bovine mooing on Meat Is Murder, meanwhile, sounds a little like a collaboration with a particularly sulky Ermintrude. But none of them can match Speedway and that violent chainsaw buzz that splits the song in two in the opening 20 seconds; the way that, by yanking a rip-cord, he shreds the peaceful intro to pieces and slices apart everything you were so sure the song was going to be about. Speedway’s a song that’s forever toying with you, pulling you this way and that, see-sawing from the verse’s queasy guitar to the chorus’s shuddering euphoria. And then there are Morrissey’s lyrics: none of the usual snideness or sniping, and admitting that all his enemies may just have a point after all. “All of the rumours keeping me grounded/ I never said, I never said that they were completely unfounded,” he confides. But, just as he seems on the verge of grand confession, he stumbles upon a scrap of pride, some strange and unexplained victory, and stubbornly declares: “I could have dragged you in, guilt by implication, by association/ But I’ve always been true to you.” It’s only when it’s done that you realise that, for all the grandstanding, the big secret remains untold – and that even here, at his seemingly most candid, he’s still too slippery to be caught out."
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Found this from (of all places) The Guardian in an article entitled: Morrissey: 10 of the best:

"The Smiths often dallied with strange, theatrical sound-effects, with hit-and-miss results: the happy hubbub and chattering crowds of Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me does wonders in making the lovelorn loneliness bite all the harder; the mournful, bovine mooing on Meat Is Murder, meanwhile, sounds a little like a collaboration with a particularly sulky Ermintrude. But none of them can match Speedway and that violent chainsaw buzz that splits the song in two in the opening 20 seconds; the way that, by yanking a rip-cord, he shreds the peaceful intro to pieces and slices apart everything you were so sure the song was going to be about. Speedway’s a song that’s forever toying with you, pulling you this way and that, see-sawing from the verse’s queasy guitar to the chorus’s shuddering euphoria. And then there are Morrissey’s lyrics: none of the usual snideness or sniping, and admitting that all his enemies may just have a point after all. “All of the rumours keeping me grounded/ I never said, I never said that they were completely unfounded,” he confides. But, just as he seems on the verge of grand confession, he stumbles upon a scrap of pride, some strange and unexplained victory, and stubbornly declares: “I could have dragged you in, guilt by implication, by association/ But I’ve always been true to you.” It’s only when it’s done that you realise that, for all the grandstanding, the big secret remains untold – and that even here, at his seemingly most candid, he’s still too slippery to be caught out."
That's a great piece of writing.
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
Morrissey has often excelled in the art of closing the album, even in his lesser albums, but nothing comes close to Speedway. That Guardian piece quoted above is so spot on, that there's no need for me to add anything to it.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Found another note of (possible) interest from PJLM regarding 'Speedway':

"According to a Jonny Bridgwood (bass player on the "Vauxhall & I" album on which this song was first released) interview by Johnny Rogan, the opening sound of this song is not a chainsaw, or a motorcycle, but a drill, 'played' by engineer Danton Supple. However, producer Steve Lillywhite said that the sound was that of a chainsaw."
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Morrissey attempted to ruin the song by delegating the last part to Gustavo, but fortunately he failed. You can’t kill a true classi, it is as simple as that.
 
M

Mozzer1980

Guest
Out of this world. It always will be my number one whatever happens and I'm a dyed-in-the-wool about it .
 

marred

Member
The original song gets 10/10.

However, the brutal Spanish version gets taken out the back and dealt with in an unseemly manner.
No tears and best forgotten.
 
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