Should Billy Budd have been a single?

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2016 (read-only)' started by MozIsGod, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. MozIsGod

    MozIsGod Active Member

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    After giving Vauxhall a spin last night, I became curious as to why Moz/Lads didn't opt for Billy Budd as the second single. I like Hold on to Your Friends very much, but I can't help but think BB would have made a superior single choice that year.

    Is there any other tune on Vauxhall you would have substituted HOTYF for as a single?
     
  2. Musician

    Musician Guest

    No. Vauxhall is not really a"singles"album. I remember when it came out, Billy Budd was my least favourite on the record, felt like a leftover off "Your Arsenal".
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    No as its one of two of my least favorite songs on that album the other being spring heeled Jim. I do like the Oliver Twist bit though and it's titled after my fav Melville story I just really don't like the tune or the production. I'd say either speedway which is No big surprise as its one of his most beloved songs and has a huge hook and why don't you find out for yourself would be my choices for singles in lieu of hold on to your friends though I'd still keep Hotyf over hated for loving or used to be a sweet boy etc. song probably meant a lot to morrissey at that time and it kinda makes a nice farewell to the album being the last single. A promo cd of just BILLY bud was sent to radio stations but I guess it didn't get played much
     
  4. butley

    butley Active Member

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    There were a few songs that would have been better than HOTYF. Sometimes Morrissey acquiesced and let record companies choose what songs to release didn't he? There are some great songs on that album but hard to pick a single. NMHIF would have been interesting and it has a radio friendly chorus.
     
  5. Quando quando quando

    Quando quando quando Well-Known Member

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    Now My Heart is Full.
    Would have done great at the radio.
    One of his best songs ever and such a strong opener on Vauxhall.
     
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  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I think now my heart is full was already a single backed with moon river and Jack the Ripper live
     
  7. Flibberty

    Flibberty Well-Known Member

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    One of the reviews at the time (I think in the NME) said the same thing, and predicted that Now My Heart is Full sounded like a top 10 hit.

    Instead they released Hold on to Your Friends far too late and with no new original b-sides and no video (due to Dirk Bogarde apparently) it was doomed to failure.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  8. Flibberty

    Flibberty Well-Known Member

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    Not in the U.K.
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

     
  10. AztecCamera

    AztecCamera Well-Known Member

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    I reckon mat here is the unreleased single that I made a CD-R of and is now on E Bay UK starting bid 3,256 stones. I reckon me put a Yankees cap on there too that was signed by two great players named Micky Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. I reckon I also posted a Planet Hollywood-Orlando jacket too. Reckon bid on the single mat before Warner gets a hold of it....Cheers!

     
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  11. Quando quando quando

    Quando quando quando Well-Known Member

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    Don't know for sure but I guess Dirk Bogarde refused the use of his name and image?
    Sounds like a repeating occurrence in Morrissey's career.
    It is a pity that in this case too these issues influence the success and stand in the way of his great music.
    Is it fate?
    There seems to be a contradiction with his assumed wish to have a number 1 hit single and to be the great Popstar of his time and the (almost) self sabotage avoiding it from happening.
    Mind you, to me it doesn't matter.
    His music and lyrics is all that counts and matters to me.
    All the rest is interesting but secondary and less important.
     
  12. Vegan

    Vegan Well-Known Member

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    NMHIF was released as the second single in the states. It sank without a trace. Pity. It's a fantastic record. As far as "Billy Budd" I think it sounds like a single. Maybe thought to be too controversial?
     
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  13. g23

    g23 Always crashing in the same car

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    I think the entire way that Vauxhall was handled- Lack of proper touring, weird singles choices apart from the obvious one in The more you ignore me- really sped up the process of his "wilderness years." I didn't understand it at the time, how he could go from being absolutely everywhere for Arsenal to being kind of a cultural footnote for the rest of the decade.
     
  14. messengers

    messengers New Member

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    'Why don't you find out for yourself' would have made a good single.
     
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  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Yeah the more I think on it the more I believe this song was the way to go. As to the years in the wilderness period it was all kinda a weird moment but I think it southpaw that really put him off the radar and killed momentum though he himself and other circumstances didn't help the success of vauxhall any. It charted well but I don't think he toured vauxhall here in the u.s which I'm assuming is down to him not wanting to. It was also the start of the Jake years which tended to unfairly get headlines instead of the album and probably took some of his attention away business. In some ways it seems like he despite the success wasn't really into it at the time. Then came southpaw and its two ten min songs and minimal morrissey presence and he finds himself out in the woods so to speak
     
  16. jeff992

    jeff992 Member

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    Interesting comments about Vauxhall being sort of the beginning of the wilderness years. I know that right around that time, Morrissey's management changed to Arnold Stiefel who managed some very huge acts. I specifically remember an article in the LA Times (probably just before or just after Vauxhall was released) claiming that his new management had plans to make Morrissey into a huge star, top 40 act. I was skeptical of that actually happening, or even that it was a good idea to try to force it to happen, but immediately after that claim was made, he just went completely off the cliff as far as being in the public eye. Just the complete opposite happened really. I am not an expert on why these things happen or on the music industry. I'm sure lack of touring for Vauxhall and Southpaw contributed but really the radio play, at least at KROQ which is a huge deal, really stopped. I think The More You Ignore Me was the last thing they really played a lot of if I'm not mistaken. Sure, they still had him come on for interviews for Maladjusted and premiered some of those songs, etc. but they never played another new song in heavy rotation.

    As far as the original question, I am always surprised at the lack of support from fans on here for Billy Budd. I like it quite a lot and think it would have been quite good as a single. But that's just my opinion.
     
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  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I think it must have been him who withdrew. Three people he was close to died joe left to be replaced by jake and I'm betting he refused to participate in a lot of ways. He must have been offered opportunities to play and just didn't want to. Maybe he felt he couldn't. This makes him easier to fade into the background though in people's minds which gets reflected by radio play time and interest in general. Before vauxhal he really seemed to have a strong desire to make it solo and when he did firmly establish his solo music seven years after the smiths he seemed to almost reconsider or at least think about other things. His interest in making it seemed to fade a bit. Keeping with this thought it's not as surprising that the album that came next felt liked it contained the least amount of morrissey on record from the lyrics to the cover art. To me vauxhal represents the begining of morrissey withdrawing into the wilderness letting the band have more control and letting record companies choose album covers etc
     
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  18. Flibberty

    Flibberty Well-Known Member

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    It is an interesting debate. I agree that the absence of touring in 1994 and the second single being released too late did hurt him. 'Interlude' was then released with little or no interest, and again with no video.

    I think the twin problems in 1995 were the lack of commercial songs (Southpaw Grammar was Morrissey intentionally giving the fans what they might not want and his, 'This is not as good an album as Vauxhall' comments didn't exactly sell it) and that he had fallen out of favour with the press. There was nothing less fashionable than being a Morrissey fan by the time 1997 came around.
     
  19. Vegan

    Vegan Well-Known Member

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    How about in 2016...when I finally became a fan?
     
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  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I'd never heard about the not as good as vauxhall comments but I really dislike southpaw and don't read as much about it or those interviews around its release. His interviews did get stranger and stranger though as time went on and seemingly more combative from my perspective. I remember reading the book in conversation which is a collection of his interviews in chronological order and I remember thinking that they just got weirder and weirder as the book went on. Also more and more about the court case which was extremely boring and didn't bring out the best in him. It did seem like the his relationship with press soured severely until he eventually just didn't care as much about giving interviews
     
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