"The Smiths" by Lawrence Watson - forthcoming photo book (Aug. 12, 2013)

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2013 (read-only)' started by solotwitter, Jul 11, 2013.

By solotwitter on Jul 11, 2013 at 4:48 PM
  1. solotwitter

    solotwitter New Member

    Jul 9, 2013
    Link from @themusicfix:

    New Smiths book promises unseen images - The Digital Fix

    Foruli Codex publish Lawrence Watson's The Smiths, a new book of The Smiths photographs on 12th August.

    New Smiths book promises unseen images

    The Smiths by Lawrence Watson
    Info*here*thank you @sumdizzywhore for the info & joefrady on AYNIM for the pictures
    On sale on Amazon US and Amazon UK

    Original reblog on Tumblr / more details...

    See also:





    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2016
    1. Stoned
      Looks promising....
      Cheers Moz
    2. Playcat2000
      I MUST have this!
    3. Anonymous
    4. celibate
      20 pounds is with sending 25 till 28 euro , and says 200 pages

      I'll wait till the first revieuws after the relaese
    5. celibate
      20 pounds is with sending 25 till 28 euro , and says 200 pages

      I'll wait till the first revieuws after the relaese
    6. Stoned
      just that picture of Moz with the cat makes it worth buying it
      Cheers Moz
    7. Anonymous
      If some rapper posed with a gun in his hand people on here would be in uproar over the irresponsibility of the picture.
      Why does Morrissey have a gun in his hand?
    8. Girl-Afraid
      Love the photo outside Salford lads club...look at their faces, young, carefree and with so much joy. Back when mozzer was who we all love; a born and bred Mancunian, still living in Manchester full of life and soul and poetry.
    9. joe frady
      joe frady
    10. Amy
      He'd been living in London for years by that point! :p
    11. celibate
      well I guess when Morrissey's in the UK, I bet with any of you, that He's gonna meet or stay with his mum, yes He's also in London,
      at the early Smiths day he hired or bought an appartment in London, Rough Trade their label was based in London

      I think He still has an apartment somewhere in London, or a house, as in Altrincham, mum's place, He ownes, or bought it long time ago
    12. Anonymous
      I don't understand a word of this ! What are you trying to say ? :crazy:
    13. myboyracer
      I can't wait to get a hold of this book. :thumb:


    14. joe frady
      joe frady
      I received this on Wednesday. Have to admit it's something of a disappointment. This time last week I'd only just heard about it so it's not as if I had a great deal of anticipation, but given the listed descriptions and previously published evidence of Lawrence Watson's work I feel a little non-plussed. It's still great to have so many excellent shots of Moz collected together in one book, but, with just a little more thought, things could have been so much better.

      Firstly, it's quite a compact and bijou tome - 8.5 inches square, 116 pages, and poorly printed & bound pages at that. The paper is that cheap, dull, matte stuff that seems to prevail these days (environmentally friendlier?) and it renders all the photographic prints with a kind of milky, glaucoma patina, distinctly lacking in resolution. I've seen far superior renderings of the Watson shots on magazine stock; in fact this week's 'NME' has a 3 page poster pull-out to promote the book and their newsprint posters have better resolution than the book itself! If you are going to do a pure photographic book, please don't publish it on dull, matte paper stock.

      Secondly, the cover design is horrible; I don't mind the chosen cover image of Morrissey with gun (curiously no other shots of Moz & pistol feature inside) but the boring title, with the 'THE' reversed, for no discernible reason, and the title text slashed across the cover diagonally, makes it resemble a Nevile Brody 'Face' magazine cover from the early 1980s, i.e utterly un-Smiths-ish. The brief text on the rear sleeve describes the shots inside as being taken in the "early 1980s" ~ the first session was 1985 and the bulk of the shots are from 1989.

      Which brings me to my third beef: the book is called 'The Smiths' but the vast majority of the shots are of Morrissey solo, from 1989. Even the cover image is a shot from 1989 of a post-Smiths Moz. And even The Smiths era shots feature mainly Moz solo. There are about 30 pages of Smiths band shots and the rest are of Morrissey alone.

      Apart from the photographs themselves I was kind of looking forward to Watson's captions. I assumed he would give a bit of topical background to each session, and illuminating titbits of biog. Sadly, no. 'A touch of the Oscars with this one', 'He looks like a Hollywood matinee idol here', 'Morrissey and pussy deep in thought' is typical of the level of depth or insight you get. And to add insult to injury these captions are printed in small text on a blank page facing the photo in question. Around two-thirds of the book's pages are photo-free, instead featuring a black page with a scrawled X, circle or square (the kind used by photo editors marking up contact sheets) with the tiny, brief text, rarely more than a single line, at the foot of the page. Why?
      There are also a couple of 2 page essays within the book, penned by Watson himself, one giving a simple, straightforward reminiscence of his time photographing Morrissey, the other giving a history of how he got into music photography.

      That having been said the photographs that are featured are excellent, and whole reams of alternate shots that I've never seen before, including the Moz/Tabby motherload ~ something like 50 shots are included from that session alone (most in contact sheet format but many full page beauties) At times one almost felt embarrassed that one was intruding on a private moment!! Just Moz and his kitty rolling around in front of the camera. One sweet touch that I'd never noticed before is that Moz is wearing an Animal Liberation Front t-shirt as he's hugging his cat...
      There are lots of The Smiths session from in front of the Albert Finney shop, curiously few from in front of the Salford Lads Club, and some lovely colour shots in a chintz&kitsch room at the Piccadilly Hotel in Manchester.
      Tons of Moz & 'banjolele' at Brompton Road Cemetery 1986, having brought his own headstone (again some more details about that aspect would have been illuminating - like, did he just show up with it under his arm or what?!)
      Less of Morrissey in his Chelsea flat in a Fury t-shirt.
      The best of the bunch though are all the 1989 solo sessions: with his tabby, the 'Gluck' session (where he seems to be almost erotically charged by a biography!), the Ecover session, and the 'Moz rolling up the sleeves of his shirt' session (when you see it you'll know!) There are, disappointingly, only a handful from the 'Interesting Drug' cover shoot, although every one is a cracker. As I said previously, it does seem odd that there are no contact sheets of Morrissey toying with the pistol, given that there are dozens from the same shoot of him with his tabby (another opportunity for insight ~ did he just show up with his cat and a gun?!)

      One thing that bugged me....all those wonderful Tabby shots were photographed on colour film. That was how the 'NME' printed them to accompany the original interview in February 1989, and even in inky old 'NME' the shots had a lovely autumnal, velvety, tobacco & cream tone to them ~

      * This particular shot obsessed me for the better part of 1989 :o

      Not one shot from that session is printed in 'ЭHT SMITHS' in colour. And, as I said previoulsy, they're not even printed in very good black&white
      Ditto for the other 1989 sessions, the Gluck and pink & white striped shirt sessions. All in dulled, pallid sepia. The Gluck shoot had a beautiful pale amber cast to it that is absent from these pages.
      The more I think on it the more I peg this as just a cheap cash-in job. Scant time, thought or resources went into it's publication. And presumably if they'd titled it 'MORRISSEY' they'd have made less money? Even with the letters reversed...:rolleyes:

      So, all-in-all, an opportunity squandered I feel. Masses of quality photographic content, but just shabbily printed, bound and published. Has the distinct whiff of the 'rush job' about it. Beautiful photographs, just not a beautiful photographic book. For £20 I suppose I should not have expected much, but, fool that I am, I did.
    15. Kewpie
      Thank you very much for your another great review, joe.

      Pity the publisher fails to use quality paper to print the lovely photographs.
    16. Famous when dead
      Famous when dead
      I second this, a good review. As a collector, I guess it's a purchase I will make, but I thought it might be a bit more Smiths focused.
      A lot of 'picture' books I just looked through in Waterstones have what was described - almost a foggy glaze on the picture and it's sad as pictures, especially rare ones need that extra bit of quality.
      Had this been a large 'coffee table book', I guess the cost would be scary, but something is better than nothing in the Morrissey drought we often live through.
      On a side note, the Kevin Cummins 'Polite' postcard box set of pics is very high quality and the pictures are crystal clear.

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