That Time Morrissey Said Depeche Mode Sucked - New York Post

That time Morrissey said Depeche Mode sucked - NY Post
By Hardeep Phull

August 25, 2017 | 3:15am

In August 1981, a young, buzzy electro-pop band named Depeche Mode rolled into Manchester, England, to play at a small club called Rafters. Spirits were high; the band had just had its first major hit with “New Life” and another smash called “Just Can’t Get Enough” would hit the UK Top 10 before the end of the year.

But one person not buying into the hype was a local writer named Steven Morrissey, then 22. As depicted in the new film “England Is Mine” which opens Friday, before Morrissey became a star as the singer of the Smiths during the mid-’80s, he was getting in his curmudgeon practice by writing letters to the music press, and even penning the occasional review.

In a write-up published in the now defunct weekly Record Mirror, he called out Depeche Mode as “hilariously unimaginative” and accused them of peddling “every murderously monotonous cliché known to man.”

“That viewpoint is a very Manchester thing,” director Mark Gill tells The Post, referring to Morrissey’s brutal writings, which laid waste to not only Depeche Mode, but also the Sex Pistols, the Rolling Stones and even the Ramones. “It’s not enough for you to be good, everyone else has to be s - - t!”

‘Whatever [Morrissey] says — positive or negative — it will be going on my wall.’

Portraying Morrissey is rising Scottish actor Jack Lowden (who played the pilot Collins in “Dunkirk”). The 27-year-old spent a year researching the role by delving into these old writings, interviews and, of course, the lyrics of Smiths songs that drew heavily on Morrissey’s youth.

“He talked a lot in his early interviews about his experiences, his family and his depression,” says Gill, a 2014 Oscar nominee for his short film “The Voorman Problem,” who grew up in the same area of Manchester as Morrissey. “That early period of his life was certainly the most romantic for me. I was certainly never interested in making a film about the Smiths.”

Also on hand to help the director and star get an idea of what young Morrissey was really like was Billy Duffy, who was Morrissey’s early bandmate in the Manchester punk group the Nosebleeds, before he found success with the Cult. Unsurprisingly, Morrissey was often as scathing in person as he was in writing.

“The scene in which Morrissey criticizes the lyrics of Joe Strummer [from the Clash] is based on a story that Billy told us,” says Gill.

But the director is aware that the next target of Morrissey’s fury might be “England Is Mine.” The singer (who this week announced he is releasing his album “Low in High School” in November) maintained a distance from the film during production and has so far given no verdict. But if it doesn’t meet his standards, Morrissey will have little problem speaking up.

“Whatever he says — positive or negative — it will be going on my wall,” says Gill. “Maybe my bedroom ceiling, so I can see it every morning when I wake up!”
 
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Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
You mean you know or you know we can't really know?

I know.
Well, at least I "think" I do.
I don't know what everybody else knows.
How can I?
Don't answer the last question how I can.
I don't want to know that. Or busying my mind with it cause I just know it is impossible.
I know this sounds like wordplay and semantics but I don't believe that specific knowledge can be transferred from one brain to another. Other knowledge possibly can. We have computers and stuff, I know.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The Depeche Mode gig in question. A reasonably decent audience recording.


Who made the tape, i wonder? would be so steven to obsessively tape them and slag them off at the same time. he is a completist.
 

docinwestchester

Well-Known Member
I thought their performance on Letterman in 2013 was quite good:

 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Spooky,
This was floating around instagram a few days back.
FWD.
View attachment 42126
Full text from '81:

"22 August 1981 - Record Mirror (UK)
Steven Morrissey reviews a Depeche Mode / Ludus concert:
They ressurect every murderouly monotous cliche known to modern man, and "New Life" looms as nothing more than a bland jelly-baby.

Bland jelly-baby? Nah.

He must be talking about the blandness of Smiler With A Knife, Kick The Bride Down The Aisle, Mountjoy and Oboe Concerto which dragged WPINOYB to a sluggish quicksand death.

New Life is a top pop tune! Let's hope the new record has more rock n' roll and pop instead of odes to sleep induction.

 

AztecCamera

Well-Known Member
Bilkey and reckon Dave Gahan can't afford a house in Malibu either because he blew all his money on heroin. The 1996 OD at The Sunset Marquis was my favorite. What a tossey wacker.
 

ninetimesfined

Well-Known Member
The glaringly obvious elephant in the room: Depeche Mode were pretty bland and boring in 1981, 1982. That they became the ultimate cult band later on is forsight no one could really have had based solely on their early output.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I would still personally rather listen to Spirit (which is just an okay album for a band of their calibre), than WPINOYB, any day of the week! Sorry but totally true.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
I think most people remember DM for 81's Just Can't Get Enough.
9 years later with Violator was the next time they interested me after Dave's rehab etc. Then again, I thought the best part about DM was Vince Clarke.
Regards,
FWD.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
I think most people remember DM for 81's Just Can't Get Enough.
19 years later with Violator was the next time they interested me after Dave's rehab etc. Then again, I thought the best part about DM was Vince Clarke.
Regards,
FWD.

Dave didn't go into rehab until the mid 90s, way after Violator, after SOFAD came out. And then Ultra was a pretty strong record considering what they had gone through in the previous years. Playing The Angel was the last great record they've produced IMO. Vince hardly made a blip on DM's radar I'm afraid. The best thing about DM are obviously Martin's songwriting, Dave's vocals, and some of the great production they have had.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I agree with fined that they were pretty bland in there early days. I've never been a huge fan though I like the occasional song and album. Strange love was a good single and I like little fifteen off the same album
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It's interesting because I can't really remember him making any other comments about them since this time? He seemed to spend most of his effort digging at Robert Smith back or Liz Frazier for example. It's funny because the British bands that became alternative giants during the second half of the 80s, and early 90s were obviously The Cure and DM. I kinda wonder what route The Smiths would have gone down if they stayed together? Would they have wanted, pulled off, and survived being able to do a famous Rose Bowl gig at the time? Probably not, but who knows?

There's obviously a big crossover fan base between the three bands and I wonder if that association is something that has actually really bugged Morrissey, or not? From the time that he writes this review, obviously DMs sound and imagery changes dramatically, then becoming much much darker like the band we now know, by the time Some Great Reward comes out. There really is no denying the fact that the run of albums they did between Black Celebration and SOFAD is pretty incredible. While The Smiths wrote pretty witty and often funny lyrics, DM took it pretty dark and bleak, maybe even further than The Cure even did? Just had a dancier beat a lot of the time.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
Moz always judged a book by its cover. Whenever Moz comments about his own albums he always focuses on the album cover. So I'm not too surprised that he dissed DM back in the early days.
Back then DM didn't look great visually, with Dave Gahan looking like a boy who took a wrong turn on his way to his First Communion and ended up in a biker bar by mistake.

I'm not sure what to make of DM: I love a lot of their albums but lately they seem very cold and not exciting. I respect the 'Spirit' album but can't say I find it warm or engaging. Same comment for their last three albums since the amazing 'Playing The Angel' album.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Dave didn't go into rehab until the mid 90s, way after Violator, after SOFAD came out. And then Ultra was a pretty strong record considering what they had gone through in the previous years. Playing The Angel was the last great record they've produced IMO. Vince hardly made a blip on DM's radar I'm afraid. The best thing about DM are obviously Martin's songwriting, Dave's vocals, and some of the great production they have had.
Indeed, my bad.
Make that 14 years later with Playing The Angel. Have a few albums, but they've never spoken to me as a band. Clarke was clearly the pop element - their sound with more guitars was ok, but 1st album, Violator and PTA are about it in my collection. Also agree that looking like they applied glue to themselves and then rolled around in a sex shop wasn't the greatest fashion idea :)
Regards,
FWD.
 
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