The Smiths A-Z: "Accept Yourself"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member









We kick off the Smiths A-Z project with this song, which exists in two main iterations: the Hatful of Hollow version (recorded for the David Jensen Radio 1 show in August 1983) and the studio version which appeared as a B-side of "This Charming Man" in October 1983. I've also added the Troy Tate recording, above.

The song was played live by the Smiths 17 times, all in 1983.

What do we think?
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH #FBPB
Excellent
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Screenshot_20220104-102854.png

(Lion In Love - 1961).

Featuring one of the many Delaney-inspired lyrics - probably played this to the point of annoyance for others in my household.
Return to it often.
Regards,
FWD.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
With the passing of time, if you look at these lyrics now, they almost feel like juvenilia - like a young writer trying to figure out how best to use his talents. They're not terribly sophisticated. BUT: when you marry a simple lyric like:

Others conquered love - but I ran
I sat in my room and I drew up a plan
Oh, but plans can fall through (as so often they do)
And time is against me now...


with Morrissey's 1983 singing style, it still pierces my heart, almost 40 years later. Lonely teenagers will stumble across this song, decades from now when Morrissey's long gone, and will marvel at its desperate sense of yearning.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
A lovely little song, even if it is still a long way from the group at their best. The musicianship and production standards would improve as Johnny and the group became more experienced.

The lyrics are strong and offer a good mix of optimism and pessimism. The nods to Shelagh Delaney and Magazine are obvious, but they don't really detract from the song for me.

This Troy Tate version gives one indication of why that album was shelved. It's interesting, but it's also all over the place and Morrissey's vocal is very rough.


Just to show other viewpoints and not because they should be considered in any way definitive...

In the poll on this board this song ranked 66th from 73 of the group's songs.
In the poll on the Hoffman board this song ranked 49th from 73 of the group's songs.
 

RobLand

Visitor since 1997
I don't think I ever heard the Tory Tate version. Thanks for posting that. This will always be one of my favorite Smiths songs ... maybe not in the top 10, but it's up there. I still remember finding Hatful of Hollow at a record show in a hotel convention room in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. I was a somewhat new Smiths fan and seeing "Accept Yourself" on the back made my heart leap at the thought of an unheard Smiths song about to be heard by me.
 

Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
It's a lot of fun. Prefer it to a lot of other tracks from the self titled album era.
 
M

Mr Anonymous

Guest
Not a great song but an interesting look into Morrissey and Marr's development as songwriters.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
In itself, this song is pretty slight and very obviously timestamped to the early smiths era. However, I think the entire message of the song (as seen in the title) is engaging and sets up a theme that will run throughout Moz’s career, in and out of the band - even up to his newest records, IMO. The production is very similar to the debut, quite thin and treble heavy, but the bridge melody and lovely, lithe arpeggios from Marr lift the song into a place that almost conquers its early 80s indie trappings.
7/10
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
One of my faves from the debut era songs. Almost feels like Morrissey is sharing an internal dialog and his ability to tap into longing and sorrow is already present. Surely it's songs like this that made outsiders really feel like Morrissey understood them while no one else did. It must have been an amazing journey for those fans there during this time to witness their evolution as songwriters. While good, songs like this seem so rudimentary compared to what would come.
 
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Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
With the passing of time, if you look at these lyrics now, they almost feel like juvenilia - like a young writer trying to figure out how best to use his talents. They're not terribly sophisticated. BUT: when you marry a simple lyric like:

Others conquered love - but I ran
I sat in my room and I drew up a plan
Oh, but plans can fall through (as so often they do)
And time is against me now...


with Morrissey's 1983 singing style, it still pierces my heart, almost 40 years later. Lonely teenagers will stumble across this song, decades from now when Morrissey's long gone, and will marvel at its desperate sense of yearning.


we can see how Morrissey was trying to find a balance between getting to the point lyrically or getting a little more poetic/cryptic in these early stages.

AY is straight forward, wonderfully so, and though some may disagree, i think it sits nicely side by side with some of his later work, even something like ‘You Don’t Need Their Approval’.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
That Troy Tate version sounds hilariously sped up in comparison to the B-side/BBC Session versions, especially Morrissey's helium voice! :LOL:
Anyone know if this was done deliberately at the time as a creative decision (in the same way 'You Just Haven't Earned it Yet Baby' was sped up), or is this just the result of someone's tape recorder operating at the wrong speed somewhere along the route between this being recorded, leaked, bootlegged, shared and eventually uploaded to youtube?
 

Johnny

Active Member
Great song. I've heard a few Troy Tate demoes over the years that I have liked but this one is really poor.
This was always one of my favourites on Hatful of Hollow
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
One of my faves from the debut era songs. Almost feels like Morrissey is sharing an internal dialog and his ability to tap into longing and sorrow is already present. Surely it's songs like this that made outsiders really feel like Morrissey understood them while no one else did. It must have been an amazing journey for those fans there during this time to witness their evolution as songwriters. While good, songs like this seem so rudimentary compared to what would come.
Yes. And it's such a cliche, but there were so many lines in this song (and many other songs, obviously) that resonated in that way. As a 14-year-old, these were scribbled all over my school books, bags, anywhere I could write them.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
With the passing of time, if you look at these lyrics now, they almost feel like juvenilia - like a young writer trying to figure out how best to use his talents. They're not terribly sophisticated.
I dunno. Personally I think these lyrics are infinitely superior and more sophisticated than something like 'Who Will Protect Us From the Police'.
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH #FBPB
It's the exact message of Jordan Peterson 40 years later.... life is suffering, learn to live with it
 
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