Should Morrissey forget trying to be a 'Pop Star'?

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2006 (read-only)' started by Lost, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. Lost

    Lost New Member

    Dec 4, 2006
    I'm a year older than Moz and when i was in my teens the charts were everything. I could always tell you what was in the top twenty of both the singles and album charts. It was a very big deal.
    In recent years i couldn't give a stuff. I don't think the charts are that important anymore.

    However, Morrissey still seems to have this '70's' type impression of himself as a 'pop singer' and puts lots of value on chart placing.

    I wonder if he should just detach himself from this now and concentrate on being what he is......A fine artist with a huge fan base who adore him, yet someone who is not and never will be a 'universally' popular performer.

    (this might qualify as one of those 'end of tour let's keep the ball rolling' threads!:rolleyes: )
  2. Stitchell

    Stitchell blah blah blah blah...

    May 18, 2006
    I agree, I think that Morrissey will always have an audience who will put his singles Top 40 and albums Top 10. So he should worry less about trying to write 'hit singles', which feel lightweight, such as "In The Future....". An album of tracks in the vein of "Dear God..." and "Life Is A Pigsty" please!
  3. Dave

    Dave Guest

    I also used to follow charts more, although I do still read them, I just don't recognize about 70% of the names. Anyway, I think if you're a pop star, of course the charts matter, and they do seem to matter to Morrissey, for some reason. It makes no sense because you can easily see that some of the biggest selling stuff is complete garbage.

    I don't think he watches the charts to compete so much though, in the sense of changing his music to be popular, but more to see if he is getting through or being heard on a massive scale.

    Doesn't he think that The Smiths were never recognized as they should have been, that even with all the critical acclaim, and the die hard fans, the record company always missed crucial opportunities? I know this is true in America, anyway.

    I don't think he's trying to be popular though, but just hoping that people are hearing his record, if you see what I mean.
  4. Kewpie

    Kewpie Member Moderator Subscriber

    Jun 15, 2006
  5. Danny

    Danny Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2006
    I think he should stop bothering about the singles charts so much. It seems to take up too much of his energy.
  6. lilybett

    lilybett Pheobe W Caulfield

    May 11, 2006
    West Yorkshire/Warwick Uni
    Home Page:
    I don't think anyone really gives a shit about the singles charts anymore, it doesn't stop Morrissey being a pop star. I reckon that's exactly what he still is, just we live in slightly less enlightened times where X Factor sells someone a worthless #1 single in return for generating them millions in phone voting...

    But yeah I think Moz is a pop star! And when you compare him to the apes that join him in that category, it just makes him look even cooler :cool:
  7. WHY!

    WHY! New Member

    Dec 24, 2006
    Hamburg, Germany
    Yes, that's true. He really should stop with it.

    But the problem is that the record company want to see chart positions (=record sales = money). All the "older" stars such as Peter Gabriel or the Pet Shop Boys have the same problem. They fill their venues, have a huge true fan base but don't have constantly high chart positions.

    But to be honest, if I see the youth nowadays I don't wonder they don't buy records of Morrissey and all the others. They just want to hear that stupid Pop Idol stuff what you can see on television because you only can see that kind of stuff in telly and Moz doesn't fit in there (and I'm glad about it).

    When I was seeking for someone who joined me on a concert nobody apart from one of my friends knew him! And they are all older than 30 years.

    So it's only the true fan base who buy the records and "make" the chart positions. Maybe there are some new fans buying the CD's but there are just a few ones.

    That's why he should ignore the charts as long as he fills his venues, makes us happy and the record company is satisfied. The music audience just changed that much it will never be the same as in the old days. That's life.

    He should measure his success on other things than chart positions. But who's going to say him that? :D
  8. Kickstand

    Kickstand Banned

    Dec 10, 2006
    Morrissey is a pop star, but an old fashioned pop star, a star who has a devoted fan base, who will follow him to each corner of the globe. He has a fan base who hero worship him, he has a fan base who wishes they were him. I think Morrissey's version of a pop star is different than a modern day pop star. I think Morrissey's version of a pop star is someone who is loved for his or her lyrical work universally, not someone who comes from the manufactured branch of the industry. Pop stars have changed from people who wrote their own songs and dressed the way they wanted, they are now told what to do and what not to do, what to wear and what not to wear, they don't usually have the freedom of expression because their managers and record companies what material that will sell otherwise they'll drop them.

    I think chart placing's are still important, because it gives an artist an indication of how successful their album is, it gives them an indication of who is listening to them and where, I'm sure Morrissey wouldn't carry on making records if he felt his voice wasn't be heard. One way of knowning is by album and single charts.
  9. Theo

    Theo Active Member

    May 1, 2006
    But he is a pop star.

    Well, in the USA I guess he's a cult pop star.

    Still, he's sold out some pretty bigtime venues.
  10. Theo

    Theo Active Member

    May 1, 2006
    Are you talking about the British charts? I don't think anyone in America pays any attention to the American pop charts. Long gone are the days when most Americans were familiar with all the hit singles.

    I just went to Billboard's site and who knows what's going on with all these charts they've got. The Billboard Hot 100; Pop 100 Airplay; Hot 100 Airplay; Pop 100; The Billboard 200; etc etc. Who the hell cares. All that can be certain is that there's payola schemes going on.

    Though I was happy to see my main girl Regina Spektor at #1 on the Top Heatseekers charts. :)

    My iPod Shuffle lets me make the playlists my own "radio station", and my Sirius satellite radio is a lot better than the Clear Channel conspiracy. Everyone who loves music has already abandoned the Corporate Conspirators, leaving the charts to be determined by junior high school kids. Plus, desperate housewives who impulsively pick up the latest American Idol CD at the supermarket because they saw so-and-so on The View and Rosie and the other yentas thought he was so nice.
  11. TrueToYou

    TrueToYou I am mine.

    Dec 26, 2006
    Essex (the arse of the world)
    Morrissey is a pop star in the sense that he is replicating all the pop stars he fell in love with. His nostalgic view of the perfect pop moment is something we all share (we being the fans) and i think thats why he is someone so special to so many people. People his age are still desperately trying to re-invent themselves (e.g. Madonna) and come across like an embarrassing auntie at the boxing day party who had one too many sherries and listened to the top 40 by accident. Morrissey has always been himself. Even if it is something all of us don't particularly agree with. Which is why i believe him to be a pop star in the wrong context.
  12. Dave

    Dave Guest

    HA! Rosie vs The Donald is pretty funny huh?

    Anyway, no I meant the American charts. They are in the paper every thursday in the entertainment section and when I do read the paper I look at them. It's sort of interesting just to see what they claim is in the top 10. I don't know about people caring about them or not. I never hear anyone mention it though.

    About Billboard, this started, I think, when they started having "college" charts which were based, not on sales, but on college radio play, I believe. Even if it was based on sales, they make these decisions on what records are "college" and they basically rig the vote that way. All of these categories you mention are there so that more people can have a Number One Record, and it doesn't mean what it used to.

    I used to think it was pretty cool when one of my favorites had a number one record, but to me that doesn't have categories, it just means who sold the most. Remember when a country or a rap act would "crossover" meaning that they were selling so many they were counted in the Pop charts? I guess they still call it that, but when half of the top 10 is "rap", why do they need a rap chart?

    I would like to see Morrissey release a new record and have it go to Number One. Lots of bands have first week sales that make them number one, because the entire fanbase gets out and buys the record at the same time. Then the record slides off the charts quickly. It isn't like the record battles it out with Jay Z for 25 weeks or something. But it's nice. I still think it means something, just like being on the cover of Rolling Stone still means something. Most of the glory is completely gone, but it has to be a cool ego boost for anyone, and it's fun. It just doesn't mean what it used to.

    Everyone should read The KLF's Manual on how to have a number one record. It was written a while ago but there is still a lot of good info about how the music industry operates and it's very entertaining.
  13. Busy Clippers

    Busy Clippers New Member

    May 7, 2006
    off the stage
    Home Page:
    Dave, I haven't thought of that in years!!! Remember when they did this:

    "The KLF did return one year later, it was not to release music but to provide a commentary on the art world. First, a series of newspaper adverts commanded the world to "Abandon All Art Now." Cauty and Drummond -- thinly veiled as the K Foundation -- then announced that they would be awarding a prize of £40,000 to the worst work of art that year. Winner Rachel Whiteread (who had also won England's Turner Prize) refused the award, prompting a ceremony in which the K Foundation vowed to burn the prize money. Whiteread accepted the award just seconds before the bills were torched, and donated the money to charity.

    In August 1994, the artists formerly known as KLF managed to outdo themselves yet again. After physically nailing £1,000,000 to a board -- an act which necessitated the largest cash withdrawal in U.K. history -- Cauty and Drummond showed the money around England as a work of art entitled "Nailed to the Wall." Then, on the island of Jura, in the presence of one journalist and one cameraman, they burned the entire sum as yet another bizarre commentary on the art world."
  14. Theo

    Theo Active Member

    May 1, 2006
    Yeah, but it's so obvious he's just trying to promote The Apprentice, like he did last year when he feuded with Martha Stewart.

    But all I need to know is that Ivanka will be having a bigger role on the show. :)


    I'm not sure if it was based on sales. A lot of those college stations would get lists of songs to push from someone...maybe it was CMJ? I dunno.

    How many first week album sales does it take to get to #1?


    300,000+ in one week is a tall order for Morrissey! It would be cool, but if it was gonna happen it would've happened back in the early '90s. He came dangerously close to breaking into the mainstream back then, but it was just too tough a nut to crack.

    And it's an ever-tougher nut, with most DJs not allowed to play him even if they wanted to. I always hear about how David Bowie first broke in America because a station in Cleveland just decided to play him on their own. Bowie was a weird guy, yet he got played on the biggest station before most in the States had heard of him, and a working class Midwest steel town embraced him, sexual ambiguities and all. They'd play entire concerts by artists like that right in the middle of the day.

    I only ever hear Morrissey on Sirius radio, and I mostly only see him on TV when the gay network LOGO shows Who Put The M In Manchester. Where are the 300,000 gonna come from? If "First of the Gang to Die" didn't get much airplay, nothing will.

    If he cares about charts, he should stick with the British charts. He'll always remain a cult pop star in the USA, a fate that was probably sealed when Johnny Marr ditched him.

    But who knows, maybe some trendy act like Gnarls Barkley will cover him like they did the Violent Femmes. I doubt there'll be a Snoop Dogg Featuring Morrissey single though. So...I know it's not gonna happen someday.

    What's cooler than charts, though, is when a song becomes remembered for the ages. Shane MacGowan once said how his dream was to add to the canon of Irish songs that go back through Irish history. Something like that. He's probably succeeded with at least a couple of his songs, seeing as how "Fairytale of NY" is widely loved. When my cousin was in school in Sweden, her choir teacher had them do that song! I was playing it and she was like, "Heeey, we sang this in school!" So I guess it's already regarded as a classic Irish song.

    Morrissey said something on that NY Doll DVD about how he thinks the NY Dolls' songs will be remembered for the ages, and the best pop music of the 20th century will be remembered forever just as people remember Beethoven. Will some of Morrissey's songs be remembered by a lot of people 200 years from now, or just by a few historians of 20th Century pop music? Will only a few artists really be remembered, like the Stones and Elvis? The best of Morrissey's songs seem too good not to be, but who knows.

    Remember when he was talking about how he was approached to have his lyrics published in book form? That might help. So might writing a really great autobiography before he dies, something regarded as better than just another pop star's book for his fans to buy. I kinda think that's what his master plan is! And what gets rememebered isn't always what was most popular in its time.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2006
  15. Bluebirds

    Bluebirds Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2006
    Up where we belong
  16. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Thank you, Clippers! I didn't even know this! I love how freaked out people get about burning money. It is really the ultimate outrage.

    I agree that it isn't very likely. I remember him getting airplay in the early 90's, hearing Sing Your Life on this tiny "alternative" station, and that was very cool. Yeah, it's not something I'm waiting for, just something that would be fun.

    Another KLF fan! :D I hope people check the link. It's fun to read. The KLF were/are brilliant. I liked their response to ABBA having the record "The Queen and I" recalled and destroyed, too. They made some pretty unlistenable "art" music but also some incredibly catchy, addictive hits.

    A friend of mine won a contest on a radio station when 3am eternal was a hit and the prize was the mobile phone model they used to play the hook from that chorus "KLF, uh-huh uh-huh, *phone* - doot-doo doo-doot" That was a great prize I thought.

    One of the greatest bands in my opinion and too bad they didn't do more, but I think they showed great integrity. It's hard when you've made the statements they did to try to turn around and act like you didn't mean it and crank out some more product. I'd still love another KLF record though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2006
  17. shakespearessister

    shakespearessister i know its over

    Dec 12, 2006
    north west
    I think Moz just laments how it used to be - and there's nothing wrong with that. I think the main issue is playlists - but whilst XFM is branching out from London, then he will get airplay, and let's face it, to the right sort of audience.

    I don't think he's obsessed with chart positions - let's face it, his albums do brilliantly - it's just the singles thing. I'm 38 and I too used to know everything about the charts, but now it's all such bobbins, it doesn't matter. Besides, you only need sell 5 singles now to get to number 1.....

    My two children (5 & 2) love Morrissey and sing and dance to him - it's introducing the new generation to decent music and not having crap radio on that matters!!!
  18. spleenhead

    spleenhead Yes, I am spleen

    May 2, 2006
    Out in the sticks
    I think that your average man or woman off the street in the UK still pays more attention to the singles chart rather than the albums chart, but with the downloads rule now in place Moz has less chance than ever of having a British number one single (to be honest I think his first will be when he dies) with devoted fans going into town to pick up singles meaning less than casual listeners downloading songs off iTunes.

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