"Morrissey's Kill Uncle and the Wet-Dog-Record Theory" - The New Yorker

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2013 (read-only)' started by PregnantForTheLastTime, Apr 11, 2013.

By PregnantForTheLastTime on Apr 11, 2013 at 4:27 PM
  1. PregnantForTheLastTime

    PregnantForTheLastTime Hideous trait.

    Apr 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2016
    1. Girlmostlikely
      I like that "Wet-Dog" theory. I wasn't always the biggest fan of Kill Uncle, but it has grown on me over the years and now I have great affection for it. It does capture a moment in Morrissey's career and while it is certainly not his best there are some lovely moments on it. I think the songs worked even better live and can really appreciate them when watching old concerts from the 1991 tour (when our Morrissey was too damn hot for his own good:blushing:).

      I just wish this article also reviewed the reissue.:)
    2. chrisw
      I always attributed a lot of the record's failure to the production. I was buying the Elvis Costello re-issues back in the early to mid '90s, not long after Kill Uncle came out. When I got to the two albums of his that Langer and Winstanley produced (Punch The Clock and Goodbye Cruel World, an album Costello considers among his worst) I had many of the same problems I'd had with Kill Uncle. And like Kill Uncle, the songs came alive in concert once all the gloss was stripped away.

      Kill Uncle was the first tour of Morrissey's that I saw, and I was amazed at how great the songs sounded. Changed my opinion of the album, and it was years before I began to find fault with it again. As time comes between me and the excitement of that concert, I'm left with just the album and its flaws once again. Still an album I have no problem dragging out and listening to, though.

      However, I still think Harsh Truth and Found Found are among the weakest songs he ever penned.
    3. Johnny Barleycorn
      Johnny Barleycorn
      I think all three of those albums, Kill Uncle, Punch The Clock & Goodbye Cruel World all sound very much of their time, but mostly they suffer from both artists having released one great album after another until that perceived dip.

      Punch had Pills And Soap and Shipbuilding - complete classics, but not much else while GCW had Peace In Our Time and a great cover of I Wanna Be Loved.

      Similarly by the heights he had climbed before a pretty short album of nothing really gob-smacking was the main problem with KU.
    4. !Viva Hate!
      !Viva Hate!
      It wouldn't have taken much to make 'Kill Uncle' a good album, I think.

      Take out 'Asian Rut' and 'The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye'
      Add 'The Loop', 'My Love Life', 'I've Changed My Plea To Guilty', and 'Born To Hang' to take it up to 12 tracks.
      Make the guitars more prominent in the mix.
      Make 'King Leer' sound like it did live.
      Re-sequence the tracklist
    5. Anonymous
      plus a free donut with every purchase.
    6. Justin Playfair
      Justin Playfair
      I liked "Kill Uncle" the first time I heard it and still do. It's not tremendous but it never was a "wet-dog album" to me. Distinctly odd how Ben Greenman writes about "There's A Place in..." being a muscular jangle ballad. He must've listened to the new re-issue right before he wrote this article which includes the fantastic "Morrissey at KROQ" version of the song and not the original quiet version. It's a small thing but the point of his article is how a listener may not be wild about an album at first, but then later it grows on them. He writes "Kill Uncle" is one of his two favorite Morrissey albums and yet how well does he really know it. He kept wandering down rabbit trails writing about bad albums by Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and The Rolling Stones. I realize he was giving some examples of his personal "wet-dog albums" but I felt it bogged the article down.

      -Back in '91 I wish "Asian Rut" would've been left off the album and "Tony the Pony," "I've Changed My Plea to Guilty," and"My Love Life" added to it to make it even better.
    7. HandThatRocksTheCradle
      I've always like Kill Uncle. "Our Frank" is one of my favorite songs off of it. My son loves "Sing Your Life" and will sing "Make no mistake, my friend, your pointless life will end" very loudly in the van. The lyric in "Mute Witness": '4 am, North side Clapham Common, my God what was she doing there?' received a well-deserved over and over replay. I always thought "Asian Rut" was about bullying...even back in 1991. I honestly always thought the lyric for "King Leer" was 'You boyfriend, he, went down on me...' (Mostly because I listened to this album while doing housework and never looked at the lyric sheet- is there one?) Glad I never sang THAT out loud in the van! I guess that's why I never was attracted to Moz back in the day....I figured if he was singing about some chick's boyfriend servicing him, what chance does the average female have? That said...G'Night [​IMG]
      "Chopped Livers of the World...Unite and Take Cover!"
    8. Girlmostlikely
      This is very good! I would also do "Sing Your Life" live and omit "Found Found Found", perhaps add "Pregnant for the Last Time." I love PFTLT, I know Morrissey has said it's not a great single but I disagree:p (forgive me if it was too late to be part of KU)

      I still don't know what "chips and cream" are exactly:confused:
    9. BrummieBoy
      What nonsense. It's rubbish, Was then, still is. If the songs are some gems buried beneath time-warp production, there was nothing stopping Moz from re-imagining them as basic rockabilly with Boz or taken the 'Kill Uncle' project somewhere totally unexpeted like Kate Bush did with the buried treasures that are retrieved from ship-wreck on 'The Director's Cut'. but that takes imagination, risk and adventure: none of which 'radical artist' Morrissey has, as he sits surrounded by corporate contract offers wondering "why can't it still be 2004?, why don't people afford me respect as a careerist rock hack who deserves a corporate contract and rack space at Tower Records?" Kill Uncle is redundant, so is Moz if he doesn't buck his ideas up. I dread to think what horrors are on those '3 albums ready' if the demos of recent yore are any guide. Just take a decade off and do something different, or change radically if you want to stay in the game with the likes of The Knife and Bowie.
    10. Anonymous
      The Knife? Crap. New Bowie? Nothing, even new Suede is far far far better. You know shit. God, you are 60 years old and you are ding donging like a lunatic all the time.
    11. Anonymous
      This would be an amazing line up. Excellent suggestion. I think that Kill Uncle gets more of a bashing than it deserves, but Asian Rut definitely needs to go.
    12. Anonymous
      If Morrissey really wanted to fix Kill Uncle, he should've removed the slapback echo on the vocals and music (or re-record what couldn't be fixed), fix the flatness of the eq, dub in a new melodies and instruments on a couple of songs; since most of the songs are slight oldie knock-offs bring their length down (for some not all) to about 2:30 each; and the new track listing should've been....

      Our Frank, Striptease, Loop, Love Life, Born To Hang, Pregnant, King Leer, Mute Witness, I've Changed My Plea, Sing Your Life, Oh Phoney, Tony, Driving, Get Off The Stage, Place In Hell, Family Line
    13. BrummieBoy
      I very much doubt that the opinion of an 'anonymous' shadow on this site is going to be taken seriously against my critical gravitas. I am 52, not 60, though look forward to being 60 or 90. I am not a lunatic, I am a psychopath and a sociopath. Very controlled, not affected by the moon's phases. I ding my dong every day and night in whatever orifices present to me. I doubt you have sex with anything other than your clenched fist as you one-handedly type away wishing you were an elegant uber-sophisticated cultural pathfinder like me. But you're not, you're just a silly anonymous troll from the basement. Go back down there, close the hatch and don't come back up to the grown-ups room again.
    14. BrummieBoy
      ]If Morrissey really wanted to fix Kill Uncle, he should've removed all traces of it by pressing 'erase' on the master tapes and presented a blank disc to posterity. It was better in the days when LPs got deleted and acts could forget their frankensteins. Delete. Erase. Deny existence of it.
    15. Protagonist
      If Morrissey really wanted to fix Kill Uncle, he should've hired ME to help out with the mastering and sequencing, and dubbed my voice in singing backup on the original tapes, and plastered my smiling face all over the front cover next to his own as we skipped off hand in hand in odd, platonic bliss. No one understands Morrissey but me, no one but Morrissey understands me.
    16. celibate
      I Always have defended Kill Uncle, or wrote that it's not as bads as lots think

      mute witness, found found found, driving your girlfriend are great songs

      the end of the family line is me favourite, there's a place and our Frank rank a 7 at least

      To end it, it was a great article and happy it was placed here though had no time due physalic problems, but won't be long till I have it in my hands, meanwhile the original will keep me satisfied
    17. Skylarker
    18. BrummieBoy
      then do it! mash it up, slap your off-pitch vocals onto it and put it on Soundcloud. It's bound to be an improvement.
    19. Anonymous
      Oh you unlettered lunatic, but you are anonymous! Brummie Boy, WTF, I know who you are and you are fat bold ugly 60 years old impotent pauper. Listen, The Knife is shit, New Bowie is gigantic crap. New Suede is so so, and new British Sea Power is very very good. But, ROTT and YOR - pure gold. Fantastic records in every view. Morrissey is the best and he is icon. OK? Get it? Understand. But you, you sad pauper, find a life. Live. You have only 10 years in front of you. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. The world belongs to you for a season... Don't squander the gold of your days on some site. And, put this "Swords" LP on, enjoy in beauty of "Christian Dior" lyrics:
      You wasted your life
      On aroma and clothes
      Fabric and dyes

      Christian Dior
      You wasted your life
      On grandeur and style
      Making the poor rich smile

      You could have run wild
      On the backstreets of Lyon or Marseille
      Reckless and legless and stoned
      Impregnating women
      Or kissing mad street boys from Napoli
      Who couldn't even write their own name

      Christian Dior
      You wasted your life
      Sensually stroking the weaves of a sleeve.

      You could have run wild
      On the backstreets of Lyon or Marseille
      Reckless and legless and stoned
      Impregnating women
      Or kissing mad street boys from Napoli
      Who couldn't even spell their own name

      Oh, Christian Dior
      Oh, Christian Dior

      When you look at me
      Failure is all that you see
      I discipline my days just like Christian Dior

      I could've run loudly and proudly
      Or forcible entry
      Morally bankrupt
      And never non-violent
      And drawn to what scares me
      And scared of what bores me
      Years alone will never be returned.

      Christian Dior
      Lyonise maverick, ah
      Design if you can, ah
      The way to just be a man, ah
      To just be a man, ah

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