"Rock never dies"

Aubrey McFate

Lonely in Barcelona


A photo from, according to this forum, 2005. So as not derail the threads where people are liking the new songs and awaiting the new record with anticipation and excitement, I wonder if anyone besides me sees rock, in terms of Morrissey's music, dying with the arrival of Gustavo Manzur and Morrissey's musical direction of the past three or so years. Query: is Morrissey a rock n' roll artist anymore?

For someone who in his youth loved the New York Dolls, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, et al., the recent sound seems like an abandonment of principle. Not that Morrissey ever wallowed in sleaze or punk, but the Smiths were a guitar-bass-drums-vocal group (I like the line in Autobiography where he opines that the first album "ought to have been a dangerous blow from the buckle-end of a belt"), and after a recovery from the polished and poppish Stephen Street / Kill Uncle years, Morrissey's music kept to the rock blueprint from Your Arsenal to Years of Refusal. Maybe he should never have added a keyboardist in the first place. I don't know, but when I listen to boppy and synth-y songs like "Earth is the Loneliest Planet" or "Spent the Day in Bed," it's disappointing. I still think Low in High School has some very good songs ("Israel," "The Girl From Tel Aviv," "I Bury the Living," "When You Open Your Legs") and I trust I Am Not a Dog on a Chain will, too, but the production will be clean and bright again, and it seems like the Manzur effect will be even more pronounced. I think rock does die.
 
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The Chameleon

#KingGamma


A photo from, according to this forum, 2005. So as not derail the threads where people are liking the new songs and awaiting the new record with anticipation and excitement, I wonder if anyone besides me sees rock, in terms of Morrissey's music, dying with the arrival of Gustavo Manzur and Morrissey's musical direction of the past three or so years. Query: is Morrissey a rock n' roll artist anymore?

For someone who in his youth loved the New York Dolls, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, et al., the recent sound seems like an abandonment of principle. Not that Morrissey ever wallowed in sleaze or punk, but the Smiths were a guitar-bass-drums-vocal group (I like the line in Autobiography where he opines that the first album "ought to have been a dangerous blow from the buckle-end of a belt"), and after a recovery from the polished and poppish Stephen Street / Kill Uncle years, Morrissey's music kept to the rock blueprint from Your Arsenal to Years of Refusal. Maybe he should never have added a keyboardist in the first place. I don't know, but when I listen to boppy and synth-y songs like "Earth is the Loneliest Planet" or "Spent the Day in Bed," it's disappointing. I still think Low in High School has some very good songs ("Israel," "The Girl From Tel Aviv," "I Bury the Living," "When You Open Your Legs") and I trust I Am Not a Dog on a Chain will, too, but the production will be clean and bright again, and it seems like the Manzur effect will be even more pronounced. I think rock does die.
Iggy Pop had his electro phase, too. I know what you're saying though. I like him doing rock music, but he's kind of already done that. I think most people see the mid 90's as his best band but there is something to be said for change. The current lineup can't really sound like "Introducing Morrissey" but that version of the band wouldn't sound like he does now.
I like the electronics mostly and I think it adds to his options. It comes down to the songs, really. The band should be able to play anything from any period live with credibility and I'd love to hear more of those rock songs you're talking about. I'd like him to get over the covers. I would consider any time spent on the California Son material now to be a wasted opportunity.
But if his band could do these new songs and also do the old ones the entire effect would have a lot of variety and that's good. It should be what the song calls for and what he is currently excited about for each individual record, and then live when he's pulling from all periods there is something for everyone and some people will like it all.
 

Ketamine Sun

SCROLL & DESTROY
Iggy Pop had his electro phase, too. I know what you're saying though. I like him doing rock music, but he's kind of already done that. I think most people see the mid 90's as his best band but there is something to be said for change. The current lineup can't really sound like "Introducing Morrissey" but that version of the band wouldn't sound like he does now.
I like the electronics mostly and I think it adds to his options. It comes down to the songs, really. The band should be able to play anything from any period live with credibility and I'd love to hear more of those rock songs you're talking about. I'd like him to get over the covers. I would consider any time spent on the California Son material now to be a wasted opportunity.
But if his band could do these new songs and also do the old ones the entire effect would have a lot of variety and that's good. It should be what the song calls for and what he is currently excited about for each individual record, and then live when he's pulling from all periods there is something for everyone and some people will like it all.
Even Neil Young had a electro phase. Lol.

Surprised Morrissey never did some tunes from Uncle since he has the keyboards now.

I’m curious to where he’ll go after IANADOAC, that’s if he bothers with another album.

And no tunes on the new one from Boz also points to Morrissey’s decision to change direction.

I don’t think it’s him thinking he’ll get a new or younger audience as much as it’s him really wanting to try something a little different.

Though a modern sound would help
a younger ear to groove on it, due to their likes and familiarity.
 

ThePoliticalRevolution

Well-Known Member
Even Neil Young had a electro phase. Lol.

Surprised Morrissey never did some tunes from Uncle since he has the keyboards now.

I’m curious to where he’ll go after IANADOAC, that’s if he bothers with another album.

And no tunes on the new one from Boz also points to Morrissey’s decision to change direction.

I don’t think it’s him thinking he’ll get a new or younger audience as much as it’s him really wanting to try something a little different.
IT IS TIME FOR BED
 

The Chameleon

#KingGamma
Even Neil Young had a electro phase. Lol.

Surprised Morrissey never did some tunes from Uncle since he has the keyboards now.

I’m curious to where he’ll go after IANADOAC, that’s if he bothers with another album.

And no tunes on the new one from Boz also points to Morrissey’s decision to change direction.

I don’t think it’s him thinking he’ll get a new or younger audience as much as it’s him really wanting to try something a little different.

Though a modern sound would help
a younger ear to groove on it, due to their likes and familiarity.
I agree that it's not about a younger audience. He likes different kinds of music. It's possible he fell into this current sound just because of how the producer works. There have always been options but they are much more accessible now. I really don't think he knows how to go in and create a hit record or a popular record. Part of it is who he is working with and part of it is his willingness to explore.
It's not that weird anyway. It's not like if AC/DC suddenly got a drum machine. lol
The Neil Young thing was pretty organic, (man) but happened at a time when he was mad at his record company for telling him that the record he handed in didn't sound like a Neil Young record. Trans was a good one. A couple others in that period maybe not so much.
I think Life Is A Pigsty started to hint at this new sound and I'd like to hear how that's going to sound if he starts doing it again. He needs to call up the Pet Shop Boys and get them to do some remixes.
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
As someone who has always liked pop, electronica, techno and all forms of art rock more than rock'n'roll, I welcome Morrissey's new approaches. The latter half of LIHS leaned towards other genres in many ways, which would have been great if the songs had been better. But yes, the albums from Southpaw Grammar to Years Of Refusal had more than their share of pub rock, so no more of that please.

Morrissey's idols the Sparks deserted rock more than 40 years ago, so it's not like he has no precedent. I don't think he tries to appeal to a younger audience -- he'd have to go hip hop for that -- he's just trying to keep it fresh. A PSB/Morrissey collaboration in any form would be a dream come true.
 
T

Trans

Guest
Yeah his love of sparks and his mentioning of them in recent years was probably a big clue as well as that artist from whom he took the intro for kiss me a lot. That was some interesting music. We don’t hear about those musical loves very much like do or did hear about the teenage punk or glam influences. I think his music when young did include all those rock artist but hes always loved pop performers as well and well this is where pop musics moved to over time. The idea of genres in today’s time doesn’t seem as useful and I don’t think many young people view it that way. Cultures not as tribalistic as it once was
 

Aubrey McFate

Lonely in Barcelona
It's true that many rock artists go through an electro phase, and I'm not against experimentation. It's almost incumbent on anyone creative to get restless and want to try new things. I would say Bowie's soul-funk-electro phase was interesting at times, and I don't fault him for it, but the glam rock was far superior; no way is something like "Golden Years" even halfway as good as "Queen Bitch." Somehow things took a drop without Mick Ronson's fuzzed-out guitar. Maybe I'm too narrow in my tastes. Off the top of my head, the only act I can think of who ditched drums-bass-guitar for experimentation and did it really well was the Beatles with Sgt. Pepper.

Sparks are a fairly unique phenomenon. I can see a bit of their influence in some recent Morrissey. I guess what's really bothering me is that this new material isn't only electro, it's electro dance-pop. Experimentation is one thing, but I don't know, when musically you start to sound like the electro-dance-pop bands you slagged off in the 80s, something might be wrong. Please no pairing with the Pet Shop Boys. On the other hand, I agree with the person who said it would be a mistake for Morrissey to give the world any more pub rock. Southpaw Grammar might be his most rockist record, and it's probably one of his most middling and bland. There's also the fact that he's praised both Green Day and Young the Giant; it seems that his current taste in rock, to the extent he has one, is for a clean and cutesy kind of rock. Deliver us from "punk pop" and its descendants.
 
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Aubrey McFate

Lonely in Barcelona
I’m curious to where he’ll go after IANADOAC, that’s if he bothers with another album.
I'm curious, too. One thing I'll say to Gustavo Manzur's credit is that even though he's managed over only a short period of time to write the music for many of my absolute least favorite Morrissey songs, a pair of Morrissey's best recent songs are nevertheless Manzur compositions. "Israel" and "The Girl From Tel-Aviv" are musically interesting. It might be Gustavo who needs to get more experimental. If he can somehow get himself away from dance-y material, it seems he has a talent for less conventional forms. If he could see his way into a bit of, say, raga or drone, things might pick up (though not in the dancable sense). Even a bit of Latin jazz might be welcome. If Morrissey can get Jeff Beck, maybe he could get Carlos Santana. El Manzur could probably write some pretty good Latin jazz. And I'm not joking. Set lyrics to something like this, Esteban.

 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
Morrissey praised a-ha in the eighties too, so it's not like he hates all "dance-pop", which to me is as good a genre as any: some good stuff and loads of garbage, but that goes for any type of music. To be honest, I've never really liked rock in the classic sense of the word. He has also stated that PSB are kindred spirits but that their music is too disco for his liking.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Morrissey praised a-ha in the eighties too, so it's not like he hates all "dance-pop", which to me is as good a genre as any: some good stuff and loads of garbage, but that goes for any type of music. To be honest, I've never really liked rock in the classic sense of the word. He has also stated that PSB are kindred spirits but that their music is too disco for his liking.
This is one of my faves of A-Ha, plus at the end of this vid there's a hunter taking aim at a ...well just watch the video...I can see the appeal from a Moz point of view and relevance to his Love Is On Its Way Out.

 
T

Trans

Guest
I don’t know where it’ll go. I’m assuming that he’ll just keep it a growing amalgamation. When he started doing the longer songs on south paw and maladjusted he just kinda keep that style and throws it back in from time to time. Same with the Latin influence and keyboards which he’s alway had to some degree
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
The first three a-ha albums are incredibly good. And while after that the quality started to fall, there's not really a truly bad album in their ten album discography.
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
The first three a-ha albums are incredibly good. And while after that the quality started to fall, there's not really a truly bad album in their ten album discography.
Word. Amen. Bang on. Etc...

.
 

Aubrey McFate

Lonely in Barcelona
I don’t know where it’ll go. I’m assuming that he’ll just keep it a growing amalgamation. When he started doing the longer songs on south paw and maladjusted he just kinda keep that style and throws it back in from time to time. Same with the Latin influence and keyboards which he’s alway had to some degree
Morrissey praised a-ha in the eighties too, so it's not like he hates all "dance-pop", which to me is as good a genre as any: some good stuff and loads of garbage, but that goes for any type of music. To be honest, I've never really liked rock in the classic sense of the word. He has also stated that PSB are kindred spirits but that their music is too disco for his liking.
I should say, I quite like the Latin influences. The horns on "When Last I Spoke To Carol" and the mariachi guitar stylings in the coda to "Staircase at the University" (nicely done, Manzur) are great. Some of his innovations really succeed, and the Latin tinges in particular, when you consider how (rightfully) pleased and smitten he is with that segment of his following. "Do you get the audience you deserve? I sincerely hope so."

The keyboards have always been there, it's true—"to some degree." And I would never want to be without "Trouble Loves Me" or "I've Changed My Plea to Guilty." But those are piano stylings, more along the lines of "Let It Be" or "Shine a Light." Still well within the bounds of rock. But sparkling, jaunty, and synth-y keyboards are a whole other beast. I got the sense that he liked A-ha more for their hale and polite Norwegian personalities than for their musical stylings. And I didn't know he considered the Pet Shop Boys kindred spirits, though I would wonder if that's more of an ideological kinship than a musical one (he could probably well relate to the lapsed Catholicism of "It's a Sin"). But if he always liked those acts musically, then I'll have to admit that this new direction towards electro and synth-disco has simply been latent for a long time.
 
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