The Smiths A-Z: "Frankly, Mr Shankly"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member









Next up in our Smiths A-Z project is this song from The Queen Is Dead album of 1986. (The demo "trumpet" version, produced by Stephen Street, is also included above.)

The song was played live 43 times by the Smiths (in 1985 and 86) - and has never been played live by Morrissey as a solo act.

What do we think?
 

Carlislebaz

Cock of the north
This is Moz at his waspish lyrical best. Some great lines in this one.
Musically JM is on top form also.
I love the position of this song on the album as the entire album is perfectly set out.

10/10
Perfecto 😎
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I mean, this is just ridiculously good writing, isn't it?

Fame, fame, fatal fame
It can play hideous tricks on the brain
But still, I'd rather be famous
Then righteous or holy, any day, any day, any day
But sometimes I'd feel more fulfilled
Making Christmas cards with the mentally ill
I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Maybe the first outright comedy song that Morrissey attempted (although with its share of serious elements), this is a lot of fun.

The demo version is hilarious, but they were right to scrap it and I can understand why the band members found it hard to keep a straight face as they listened at the time.


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 39th from 73 of the group's songs.
In the poll on the Hoffman board this song ranked 56th from 73 of the group's songs.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
The greatest, most hilarious and completely shameless slam against a label boss ever.

Rounding it off with "give us your money" is just the icing on the cake :ROFLMAO:
 

Mike Rourke

Well-Known Member
I mean, this is just ridiculously good writing, isn't it?

Fame, fame, fatal fame
It can play hideous tricks on the brain
But still, I'd rather be famous
Then righteous or holy, any day, any day, any day
But sometimes I'd feel more fulfilled
Making Christmas cards with the mentally ill
I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of
Indeed it is.
Even better one might argue than "I was driving my car, I crashed and broke my spine, so yes there are things worse in life than never being someone's sweetie"?
 

T. H. Auden

Active Member
The trumpet from the demo really added something. There the vitality proves stronger, than at other incarnations. I think I prefer this demo (which is a different demo than the one provided at TQID Deluxe Edition) to the official version, even if/though I only recently first heard it.
 

Ketamine Sun

WATCH IT SUCKA! ; )
Indeed it is.
Even better one might argue than "I was driving my car, I crashed and broke my spine, so yes there are things worse in life than never being someone's sweetie"?

better or worse or just different?

And so, just as enjoyable to others.
 

Dirk Blaggard

Well-Known Member
Its going to be odd joining in these reviews, after the open letter . I fear the point of the A to Z will get lost under the weight of haters
The ones who have so little in their life, that the most exiting moment in it was one of M's barbed comments in his Open Letter -
Still, in someways Moz solo was the worlds very first incel site in many ways .

I was hoping the A to Z would have been collected together and ebooked, as there was some nice stuff.
Alas., now, I fear, every single line and guitar lick will be dragged out and injected with an imaginary M and Marr war

That out the way,
At this point in time, it seemed to me, as someone who wasn't there at that point in time, that the band were tight .
The mutual respect M and Marr had for each other was extremely high. They were, it seemed an unstoppable force and Morrissey was way way out in front
There were music Junro's that hated him but they had no chance of beating him . At this point in time he was on the ball, sharp as a Samurai blade and it was his time.
Smiths was when they arrived, Meat Is Murder was when it was made clear they were no one off. Queen Is Dead took them into a realm of genius.
In my mind there is no better LP opener as Queen Is Dead, it was so perfect. It was at once state of the nation and state of one's mind.
On the one hand Empire in rubble and on the other ones journey

But how do you follow that?
Well no point trying to top it, no point in trying to drag that out. So you switch turn's
From MC5 to English music hall .Words , have more than a hint of N Coward, ,playful and waspish. A delightful ditty after the wallop of the opener.|
Is it about Travis? Does it really matter?
Most of it is M addressing showbiz. almost explaining himself to the music press, in a "You have the wrong idea, son" kind of way, . He would return to this again in Bigmouth and Thorn
For me the song has one his funniest lines (not quite as good as his Newport Pagnell one) " I want to live and I want to love. I want to catch something I will be ashamed of"
The song coming after QID, and being so different from it, helped reset the lp and helped create a " What the hell will the next song sound like " feel
 

Dirk Blaggard

Well-Known Member
The trumpet from the demo really added something. There the vitality proves stronger, than at other incarnations. I think I prefer this demo (which is a different demo than the one provided at TQID Deluxe Edition) to the official version, even if/though I only recently first heard it.
Never blow a Trump Pet .

I agree with what you say Auden . I liked the Trumpet version, I also think it added.
I can understand why they didn't have that version on the LP though. a Trumpet song between QID and I know its over, would have killed the feel of the LP
It would have been worth having it as a b.side maybe?
 

Ketamine Sun

WATCH IT SUCKA! ; )
I agree with what you say Auden . I liked the Trumpet version, I also think it added.

added what to it? Or do you mean complimented it?


I can understand why they didn't have that version on the LP though. a Trumpet song between QID and I know its over, would have killed the feel of the LP
Not unless they also did brass arrangements for those songs too.
If they got Visconti as they wanted to, then he could have helped there.

It would have been worth having it as a b.side maybe?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The trumpet version is interesting to hear, but a bit too twee for my ears. Getting back John Porter for the remake was a good idea, as it sounds fab - I always found it a shame Morrissey seemed determined to prise him and Johnny apart, as they clearly worked together well.
 

The.Truth.

Every.Single.Time.
Classic of classics. Knowing the details makes it more fun but it's also about every employer ever who tried to share something about themselves in a relatable way. Reminds me of when this supervisor I had decided to treat me to an exhibition of her piano playing.
 

Watson

Well-Known Member
Wonderful, bouncy, triumphant, music hall, Sergeant Pepper era Beatles, funny, uplifting, joyous...I think that covers it. I love this song very much indeed.
 
Love the trumpet demo version. Was disappointed they didn't use that take on TQID box set.

When are getting a box set of Strangeways (yes that seems even more remote a project now unfortunately)? That album is preserved in aspic for me, and needs a reassessment with a full "alternate takes" and demos disc.
 

Ketamine Sun

WATCH IT SUCKA! ; )
Wonderful, bouncy, triumphant, music hall, Sergeant Pepper era Beatles, funny, uplifting, joyous...I think that covers it. I love this song very much indeed.

Morrissey actually wanted George Martin to produce Queen is Dead.

‘Legendary Beatles producer George Martin had already worked on a number of iconic albums including Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band when he was asked to work on The Queen Is Dead. Martin declined, stating that he would prefer to be remembered for his work with The Beatles.’
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Never heard that demo version, thank-you for posting it 😍
Neither did I, so thank you indeed.
Interesting to know they were already experimenting with other instruments at this point.
The guitars on the recorded version sounds richer and more melodic than on the demo. I am happy with that version.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
When are getting a box set of Strangeways (yes that seems even more remote a project now unfortunately)? That album is preserved in aspic for me, and needs a reassessment with a full "alternate takes" and demos disc.
Sadly, I suspect not before M's passing, hopefully quite a few years from now. As with Bowie and others, once that happens I expect the vaults will be flung open.
 
Tags
the smiths a-z
Top Bottom