Morrissey's Musical Contribution

How Much Does Morrissey Contribute 'Musically' to His Songs?

  • Quite a lot. He is just as much a composer/arranger as a lyricist...

    Votes: 7 18.9%
  • A regular amount. He keeps a steady hand in.

    Votes: 11 29.7%
  • Occasionally. He just knows what he wants.

    Votes: 16 43.2%
  • I can't say for sure...

    Votes: 3 8.1%

  • Total voters
    37
  • Poll closed .
One of the aspects of Morrissey's output I've always wondered about is: How much does he contribute to the actual music of a song, typically? We know, for example, what his lyric-writing modus operandi is, with his demo tapes from Marr or Boorer, for example, and his private scribbling time. But how much does he generally contribute to such factors as melody/harmony, chord progression, instrumentation, arrangement, structure, backing vocals, etc. In other words, how 'musically' adept/contributory is he? For lack of any definite information in this area (or at least, my lack), I offer this question: How much do you think Morrissey contributes to the musical element of his songs, on average?
 
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wolve

the sad punk
I don't think he contributes that much: don't forget he has got no experience with 'instruments'. But I can imagine him saying: 'more this or that', but then I wonder if Boz or someone else would start having a discussion with him. (maybe that was one of the reasons he had problems with a few producers)
 

nightandday

New Member
I don't think he contributes that much: don't forget he has got no experience with 'instruments'. But I can imagine him saying: 'more this or that', but then I wonder if Boz or someone else would start having a discussion with him. (maybe that was one of the reasons he had problems with a few producers)
I'm not sure what you mean by this. A singer contributes a lot to the music by default - he shapes the vocal melody. Especially a singer like Morrissey.
 

~El Boydelz~

Also a client
Both Johnny Marr and Alain Whyte have mentioned in interviews that Moz often "cuts and pastes" from the demos they give/gave him. They both said he'll often sing the verse where they'd imagined the chorus would be and vice versa. I also recall reading he's asked one or both of them to build more on a small part of a song they'd seen as fairly insignifigant and and infact spawned a new song from that. While Moz can't play he's clearly been a big fan of music since his youth and adds more than his two cents to the process. While he can't play guitar, bass or drums he "understands" them and knows what he likes. As far as the vocal melody that's part if his genius is it not? We've all read of Smiths and current members of his band finishing up the music tracks to have Moz come in and lay down a vocal that just blew them away. Don't sell the old boy short, he's a self trained musicologist.
 
O

oda

Guest
He shapes the vocal melody after the band's made the melody. At least he used to do that in the Smiths' period.. That annoyed the rest of the band, since they couldn't change their playing.
 

Danny

Senior Member
He contributes as the editor. Giving the band an idea of what to work on and what he wants them to develop. Rejecting what he doesn't like until the song is complete. He is also the one that works closely with the producer, making sure he gets the type of record he wants.

There have been times when the vocal melody has come first. Half a Person is one example. Johnny said Morrissey started singing the song and he had to come up with chords to fit around it.
 

Poco Innocente

A ring a ding ding
where is the 'nothing at all' option?
 

wolve

the sad punk
I'm not sure what you mean by this. A singer contributes a lot to the music by default - he shapes the vocal melody. Especially a singer like Morrissey.

Since Morrissey first listens to the music and then makes the lyrics to it, not much will change. But I'm talking in term of the Smiths.
 
where is the 'nothing at all' option?
Ha... Well, I didn't think that was really possible: for him to contribute nothing at all to the music. As was said by another member in this thread, Morrissey HAS to provide much of the vocal line melody -- and I would add, phrasing -- and that, in itself, is a pretty significant contribution. :)
 
The "musicians" obviously contribute the most as far as the instumentation/playing etc goes.But the bottom line is, the voice, the melody and the lyrics.Thats what stays with you.
 
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