Morrissey A-Z: "You Know I Couldn't Last"


Well-Known Member

Our song for today is this Morrissey/Whyte/Day composition, the closing track on You Are the Quarry.

What do we think?
I just love the way this song goes from something so gentle and soothing to something that is loud and explosive..
Another classic song from a classic album with not a bad song on it.
Everything about Quarry is genius/ and quality, from the art work, B sides , singles. Videos ...
We were spoiled back then ...
A song that one can coin many lines from, and put them into everyday conversation
Not one of the big hitters from Quarry, but not a plodder either.
Love, love, love this track... I've always seen it as a sort of follow-up to "Paint A Vulgar Picture" albeit more personal (in other words, I never got the impression the former was about him but this one is). It also sounds and feels like two different songs in one, but well-executed. Stellar vocals from Moz. A good closer to a very good album. 8/10.
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I’ve never liked this track as much as other people. I think that the main problem is that, beyond the neat fluctuation between the two juxtaposed sections, there isn’t really much other substance to keep the song interesting for 6 minutes. Adding to this, aside from amping up the distortion and the vocal intensity, the contrasting “rock” section doesn’t have much tempo or rhythmic difference: therefore, the whole piece feels like a dirge, which is tricky to do right.
That said, Moz’s vocals are stellar as always, and the production really picks out the little details of the mix, particularly the drums, which add a much needed element of propulsion.
The lyrics are quite darkly humorous too, harking back to “Paint A Vulgar Picture” (another song I’ve never really been a fan of): it’s probably the only song I’ve heard that uses the word “gelignite”, so that has to count for something, surely.
In summary, then, a fine song that I’ve just never gotten the hype for.
great end to quarry,voice is soft one minute then powerful the next.its about settling scores and he does it fantastically well here.
9 rampant/10 accountants.
Your royalties bring you luxur.
This one goes out to Mike Joyce.

Many good lines and sharp observations here, and a fine song. Just thinking it could have been better still had it been given the YA style of more intense production.
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it's a decent enough song, not a classic album closer, but there's something about the grammar in the title that winds me up the wrong way.
Oh good point. Would "You Knew I Couldn't Last" work better?
yeah probably. I mean "You Know I Couldn't Last" kinda makes sense but it's so jarring
My least favorite Quarry song. It just feels overbearing.
Outstanding track from a wonderful album. Moz throws just about everything at this from untrustworthy record companies, tedium of that particular business, fragility of fandom, exploitation, press, critics, the legal system, accountants &, just for good measure...'northern leeches'...guess who that might be a reference to, eh?? Musically, it's a wonderful piece with differing sections, but the vocals are sublime, as always. Lyrics are clever, blunt & cutting. Love it.
'The critics who
Can't break you
They somehow help to make you'

For me the biggest flaw on the otherwise excellent Quarry is the epic self-pity trilogy: The World Is Full of Crashing Bores, How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel and You Know I Couldn't Last are just too much for one album. This however is the strongest of the three songs and definitely deserves inclusion, even though the two previous grievance tracks dilute this song's effect as the album closer.
Your royalties bring you luxur.
This one goes out to Mike Joyce.

Many good lines and sharp observations here, and a fine song. Just thinking it could have been better still had it been given the YA style of more intense production.
I think Morrissey is definitely referring to himself here.
A strong closer, lyrically. But as others have observed musically it is quite boring.
Oh, but the squalor of the mind

I will always regret that it was not recorded with a proper string section, but a it remains a good song.
I absolutely love the "squalor of the mind" bit near the end and the whole song is lyrically...interesting, but the quiet/loud/quiet loud structure of the music just doesn't quite pay off in the way it should do, when done well.
Each to their own, but I think the intentional grammar mistake in the title was a great move and it got some positive press at the time.

The song itself I enjoy, but it feels a little "everything but the kitchen sink".

Jerry Finn's production works well, even if the music isn't quite as interesting as it might be, and Morrissey's falsetto is always enjoyable to hear.

I don't care for rich rockers complaining about the industry and I think if the lyrics had been rejigged a little, it could have improved the song and given it a more universal theme.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 110th from 264 solo songs.
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