The Smiths A-Z: "Death at One's Elbow"

M

Mr. Anonymous

Guest
Not a great song, but I had two questions: (1) In the studio version, does Morrissey sing "sad remains" or "bespattered remains"? (2) In what part of the song are Marr's backing vocals?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
For years I thought Morrissey was singing 'Den', rather than the 'Glenn' of the lyric sheet? :unsure:

Anyway - I agree it's probably nearer the bottom of their repertoire (I wonder if they just quickly tossed this off in the studio after realizing that the so-called 'Heavy Track' wasn't working?) - but come on! It's got a raunchy pacey rhythm, that bouncy tricky octave bassline from Andy, some rockabilly guitars, Johnny doing vocals, and Morrissey ending the song with a belch. All in two minutes! Incidentally - I wonder how Moz achieved the gaseous explosion - was he guzzling Happy Shopper brand Cola in the vocal booth between takes?

Fun stuff, and had the band gone on tour for this release I'm sure this would have been a live favorite, which may also have been a consideration when writing it (we know from that US radio interview with Johnny a couple of weeks before the split, that a tour was definitely planned).
 

Mike Rourke

Well-Known Member
It's a pretty good song. A good tune, an intriguing lyric, an imaginative arrangement and plenty of energy. And I love the way it blends into the strummy delights of I Won't Share You. But it's still one of the lower ranking Smiths songs which goes to show just how great they were.
It's not my least favourite by any means, though. There are probably 10 or so that I like less.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Not a great song, but I had two questions: (1) In the studio version, does Morrissey sing "sad remains" or "bespattered remains"? (2) In what part of the song are Marr's backing vocals?

1) To my ears he sings "Because you'll slip on the trail of all my sad remains".
2) it sounds like Johnny is doing the higher harmony part at 1:23, immediately before that line.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I suppose it depends on your definition, but "spineless bastards" from Headmaster Ritual comes to mind.
Some dizzy whore, 1804?
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
The worst thing The Smiths ever did, an absolute embarrassment of a song.
The only redeeming feature in the entire thing is Moz' vocal delivery of "The frustration it renders me HATEFUL..."
 

dotmatrix522

Everybody's running to the exit↔️
Subscriber
I realize this places me well in the minority of Smiths fans, but I adore this song! Always have.
I love the rollicking music and the grotesque lyrics.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The worst thing The Smiths ever did, an absolute embarrassment of a song.
The only redeeming feature in the entire thing is Moz' vocal delivery of "The frustration it renders me HATEFUL..."

That line seems like a hint of why Johnny left the band.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Tough one. Definitely minor Smiths, and not Marr’s (or Street’s) finest hour, but Moz’ lyrics are both interesting and witty. Would have loved to hear it with the rockabilly lineup of the 90s.
 
Tags
the smiths a-z
Top Bottom