The Moz/Smiths Top 100, Part 20: BEST FRIEND ON THE PAYROLL

How do you rate Best Friend On The Payroll?


  • Total voters
    159

Houdini

Junior Member
While we wait for the new album let us go about rating the songs we know on a daily basis, and compile our own Morrissey/Smiths Top 100.

And instead of chronologically, let's do them alphabetically.

Song for Today: BEST FRIEND ON THE PAYROLL

Voting should be something along these lines:
10: Classic
9: Near classic, fucking brilliant anyway
8: Really good Moz/Smiths song
7: Good Moz/Smiths song
6: Decent, OK, Nothing special
5: Uninspired
4: Poor
3: Bad
2: Should never have been released
1: He/They should be ashamed

The top-19 so far (voting will remain open, click to vote):

1) Asleep, rating so far: 8,99
2) A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours, rating: 8,86
3) Back To The Old House, rating: 8,49
4) Angel, Angel, Down We Go Together, rating: 8,41
5) Ask, rating: 8,38
6) Alsatian Cousin, rating: 8,27
7) Barbarism Begins At Home, rating: 8,11
8) Alma Matters, rating: 7,73
9) Accept Yourself, rating: 7,54
10) A Swallow On My Neck, rating: 7,54
11) Bengali In Platforms, rating: 7,24
12) A Song From Under The Floorboards, rating: 7,15
13) At Last I Am Born, rating: 6,81
14) At Amber, rating: 6,80
15) Asian Rut, rating: 6,71
16) Ammunition, rating 6,61
17) America Is Not The World, rating: 6,44
18) Ambitious Outsiders, rating: 6,41
19) All The Lazy Dykes, rating: 6,16
 

robbo12345

Mediocre Member
Love it! The whole Southpaw Grammar album is vaslty underrated in my humble opinion!
 

Danny

Senior Member
The one song on Southpaw that is completely meaningless to me. Filler song if ever there was one.
 

Comtesse

Starved Of Mirth
One of the worst songs Morrissey has ever recorded. I somehow think that if 1984 Morrissey were to listen to this song, he would have torn it to shreds as being completely devoid of charm or anything interesting to say. And he would have been absolutely correct. I gave it a 4... and that's being generous.
 

Roma De Moz

Fat Children Took My Life
Filler, and dull. I more or less agree with the above poster, it doesn't deserve recognition. I second the 4.
 

Kuiper

Better than Marr
Greatest song ever.
I have to agree with Spendy here. :D

I can't believe so many of you consider this song filler! :eek: Just because the lyrics are short doesn't make them simple, and even if they were simple it doesn't make them unappealing. I find them very clever and well-written. And the music is one of Alain's most interesting compositions to me.
 

Jamie

Bluff, Ardour & Assoc.
I have to agree with Spendy here. :D

I can't believe so many of you consider this song filler! :eek: Just because the lyrics are short doesn't make them simple, and even if they were simple it doesn't make them unappealing. I find them very clever and well-written. And the music is one of Alain's most interesting compositions to me.
I concur. There are many interesting things going on here.

(1) The lyrics are in a blues form, i.e., "I turn the music down and I don't know why this is my house" is repeated as if for emphasis. Just to use a generic example, an old blues might have a line akin to "I shot my woman down, lord have mercy on me" and repeat it for emotional emphasis. Not to belabor a "psychological profile" of Morrissey at that time, but it seems to point to a soul in a bit of turmoil. From what little we've heard of this era, it seems to be supported.
(2) Alain's riff and harmony vocal are fantastic. The guitar interplay is casually complex and the band sounds particularly energized.
(3) Rumor has it, the song was about Jake, so Morrissey is laying himself bare in this song in ways he rarely has before. It's a pure cathartic song, with little hint of roleplay or sympathy for a third party. To my ears, it's a song he HAD to sing, whether it was great or not (cf. The Operation).
(4) To go back to that first line of the song, it says so much with an economy of words, much like the first line of The Operation or "Have you ever escaped from a shipwrecked life" in Reader Meet Author. I think Morrissey was consciously writing in a different style for this album to match the spontaneous feel of the music, which didn't "take" for people used to his more florid and intricate wordplay on earlier records. The economy of the words often seems to have an agenda.

Cheers,
Jamie
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
Definitely agree with your assessment (as usual), especially your third point. I think it's true of the whole album, which is backed up by Morrissey's own surprise at how fast it came together. He didn't want to dwell on poetic lyrics (though there is poetry there) and the band seemed fired up after not being able to fully tour Vauxhall.

As I've said before, I think Southpaw Grammar is the best Morrissey record to play all the way through, in order. Southpaw and perhaps Bona Drag are the only albums I do this with.


I concur. There are many interesting things going on here.

(3) Rumor has it, the song was about Jake, so Morrissey is laying himself bare in this song in ways he rarely has before. It's a pure cathartic song, with little hint of roleplay or sympathy for a third party. To my ears, it's a song he HAD to sing, whether it was great or not (cf. The Operation).


Cheers,
Jamie
 

nugz

SUPAHSTAR!
Bona Drag is not an album ...
yes it is. its just not a proper release. its a compilation. it's still an album. My Early Burglary Years is also an album. i'm pretty sure King Leer was aware of this...


umm, while I'm here...I actually like Best Friend on the Payroll.
 

nugz

SUPAHSTAR!
A compilation is not a album, that's the point
album

noun
1. one or more recordings issued together; originally released on 12-inch phonograph records (usually with attractive record covers) and later on cassette audiotape and compact disc


ALBUM is a very general term really. no need to be so technical about it.
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
Okay, "record". I think you'll find that it's included as an "album" in most Morrissey-related polls.

The semantics don't change the fact that I like to listen to it all the way through.

A compilation is not a album, that's the point
 
Top Bottom