"Why it's great the Smiths broke up" by Mark Simpson - Rolling Stone

Why It's Great the Smiths Broke Up - Rolling Stone
Celebrating the breakup of the Manchester foursome – Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce – 30 years later
By Mark Simpson
 
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Comments

Calamine Lotion

Well-Known Member
So apparently Rolling Stone thinks that the readers want articles and lists about The Smiths and there is NOTHING new to say so we get this crap. I couldn't even read all that. Eighties, Mancunians, Elvis, Sex Pistols... I mean this would be fine if you were 12 years old and just hearing about The Smiths for the first time. And the Internet didn't exist. What is the purpose of this article?
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
I think the most interesting part of this article is reminding us that it's been 30 years since The Smiths split. Damn, we're getting old!
 
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gordyboy9

GAME OF DEATH.
with interviews now,if the description at the start inludes THE POPE OF MOPE I wont read it because you know what your going to be getting,very lazy journalism on the part of the writer or so called.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Their "premature" demise was entirely timely. It saved us from ever having to suffer the unspeakable outrage of a mediocre Smiths album.
It also 'saved' us from the possibility of at least one more, and maybe several, stone cold fucking amazing albums. Ya daft twat.
 

countthree

Obvious person
There's a lot of human pain and regret behind that split. Maybe a lot of wonderful songs that never happened. The only great things that can be spotted are wonderful memories of the past, which are good until they become idolization of the past, which is sickening. Morrissey has a future and the youngest is the most loved. It is still happening despite all the efforts to stick him in the past.
 

Ketamine Sun

SCROLL & DESTROY
I wonder just how many great albums were left in them if they continued?

Marr wanted to go in a different direction and when he set himself free to do just that... well, he didn't get very far. Did Marr need M to inspire him to bring the goods to the table? seems to be the case. M carried on where the Smiths left off, meaning, putting out songs that matter to people of all ages, even with the last record and most likely with the next. A person with as unique a voice and as interesting as M doesn't appear on our planet very often.

We're gonna miss him when he's gone
.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
I wonder just how many great albums were left in them if they continued?

Marr wanted to go in a different direction and when he set himself free to do just that... well, he didn't get very far. Did Marr need M to inspire him to bring the goods to the table? seems to be the case. M carried on where the Smiths left off, meaning, putting out songs that matter to people of all ages, even with the last record and most likely with the next. A person with as unique a voice and as interesting as M doesn't appear on our planet very often.

We're gonna miss him when he's gone
.
I mostly agree with you. I must look up the songwriting credits for some of The The songs from Dusk because if Marr wrote Slow Emotion Replay then it would have been an amazing Smiths song (instead of an amazing The The song).
 

Ketamine Sun

SCROLL & DESTROY
I mostly agree with you. I must look up the songwriting credits for some of The The songs from Dusk because if Marr wrote Slow Emotion Replay then it would have been an amazing Smiths song (instead of an amazing The The song).
yes, there I agree with you, it took Matt to set the vibe and got Marr to write and play some deeper music.. to MINE THE SOUL.
 
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I think it did save them from decline. SHWC wasn't that great - Morrissey was getting complacent and the split gave him a creative boost in Viva Hate. Marr was not at all complacent but fared less well from the split.

I'm afraid Marr got precisely one co-writing credit in his time with The The; Gravitate to Me.
 

Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
I think it did save them from decline. SHWC wasn't that great - Morrissey was getting complacent and the split gave him a creative boost in Viva Hate. Marr was not at all complacent but fared less well from the split.

I'm afraid Marr got precisely one co-writing credit in his time with The The; Gravitate to Me.
"Strangeways" wasn't that great?!
Ate you kidding me?
Both M&M have always maintained it was their best album. Not that I have to agree with them, but in this case I did.

It was a new direction, full of new possible opportunities for Marr to explore musically and for Moz. It was a move slightly away from the Smiths days up until The Queen is Dead. They were fucking great but how much longer could they delve from that same source and not repeating themselves. As they both are great artists and wanted to explore (for them) new musical grounds.

That's why I don't believe there really were that much musical differences, although Johnny complainted about Work Is A Fourletter Word and I Keep Mine Hidden. They were not on the album. So why make a big deal about them if you are satisfied with the end result of "Strangeways" as he has always maintained.

I can't imagine he would have real serious issues with those songs and would compromise. The fact he was planning to have a holiday, was exhausted and suddenly had to get in the studio to record them is something I would understand.

There were other issues, maybe personal, that forced the break-up and as I can understand that for me it is without a doubt that Strangeways signalled to even greater Smiths music. Different but still as great as their other albums. :thumb:
 

g23

Always crashing in the same car
"Strangeways" wasn't that great?!
Ate you kidding me?
Both M&M have always maintained it was their best album. Not that I have to agree with them, but in this case I did.

It was a new direction, full of new possible opportunities for Marr to explore musically and for Moz. It was a move slightly away from the Smiths days up until The Queen is Dead. They were fucking great but how much longer could they delve from that same source and not repeating themselves. As they both are great artists and wanted to explore (for them) new musical grounds.

That's why I don't believe there really were that much musical differences, although Johnny complainted about Work Is A Fourletter Word and I Keep Mine Hidden. They were not on the album. So why make a big deal about them if you are satisfied with the end result of "Strangeways" as he has always maintained.

I can't imagine he would have real serious issues with those songs and would compromise. The fact he was planning to have a holiday, was exhausted and suddenly had to get in the studio to record them is something I would understand.

There were other issues, maybe personal, that forced the break-up and as I can understand that for me it is without a doubt that Strangeways signalled to even greater Smiths music. Different but still as great as their other albums. :thumb:
Funnily, I disliked Strangeways for a long time. I always championed Meat is Murder, personally. I like its rough around the edges production, and the frantic nature of much of it. Then, TQUID came along, and balanced on over-produced, and then Strangeways came along and stepped it up, if anything.

I came around, obviously, but I still can't stand Death at one's elbow.
 
OK "not great" is probably not a fair reflection of how I view Strangeways, but I don't share their view that it is their best work. I love MIM and TQID almost equally perhaps leaning to MIM for the same reasons g23 outlines. Strangeways: I can acknowledge that it represented an advancement in production and that Marr was clearly ready to expand their sound. However I just don't love it (although I do I LOVE Paint a vulgar picture and Last night..).
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
I wonder just how many great albums were left in them if they continued?

Marr wanted to go in a different direction and when he set himself free to do just that... well, he didn't get very far. Did Marr need M to inspire him to bring the goods to the table? seems to be the case. M carried on where the Smiths left off, meaning, putting out songs that matter to people of all ages, even with the last record and most likely with the next. A person with as unique a voice and as interesting as M doesn't appear on our planet very often.

We're gonna miss him when he's gone
.
What I really wish is that Marr got the time off that he needed from The Smiths' hectic schedule of recording and touring - plus his additional tasks of managing the band. Maybe after 6-12 months away, he would have been ready to continue with a ton of new material. Maybe with proper rest and management, we'd have another 2-3 albums? Who knows, but they certainly didn't exhaust their creative well.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
OK "not great" is probably not a fair reflection of how I view Strangeways, but I don't share their view that it is their best work. I love MIM and TQID almost equally perhaps leaning to MIM for the same reasons g23 outlines. Strangeways: I can acknowledge that it represented an advancement in production and that Marr was clearly ready to expand their sound. However I just don't love it (although I do I LOVE Paint a vulgar picture and Last night..).
Yes, agreed. Both Morrissey and Marr have declared Strangeways as the best album. It's always seemed to me that it was more for personal or internal reasons that they feel that way. In other words, despite the tensions that were going on internally they were able to come together and turn out a very good record. However, I've never thought it was their strongest album.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yes, agreed. Both Morrissey and Marr have declared Strangeways as the best album. It's always seemed to me that it was more for personal or internal reasons that they feel that way. In other words, despite the tensions that were going on internally they were able to come together and turn out a very good record. However, I've never thought it was their strongest album.
I always assumed that they liked that album the most because they both wanted to step away from the smiths traditional sound and started to stretch out a bit there. I always liked meat is murder best then strageways myself
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Marr wanted to go in a different direction and when he set himself free to do just that... well, he didn't get very far.
Are you completely forgetting Johnny's success with Electronic? Songs at #12, #8 & #6 in the UK singles chart, with the debut album getting to #2 in the album chart and selling over a million copies worldwide. I think Johnny got pretty far with his 'different direction'. Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it wasn't a huge deal at the time, and there is no way Moz would have given Johnny the space to do anything like this in the Smiths.

 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
Are you completely forgetting Johnny's success with Electronic? Songs at #12, #8 & #6 in the UK singles chart, with the debut album getting to #2 in the album chart and selling over a million copies worldwide. I think Johnny got pretty far with his 'different direction'. Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it wasn't a huge deal at the time, and there is no way Moz would have given Johnny the space to do anything like this in the Smiths.
Yes, absolutely agree. I'm not one that thinks Johnny's work post-Smiths is a disappointment as some here have expressed. My only disappointment is that there wasn't more of it.

Morrissey was far too possessive of Johnny ("I Won't Share You") to tolerate him doing side projects like Electronic and still have The Smiths. If he weren't, I think The Smiths would have lasted much longer as Johnny would have had the freedom to explore other musical styles he enjoyed - electronic and even dance - and return to The Smiths.

Having said that I think Morrissey would have done wonders with Johnny's music as he continued to evolve. Just look at HSIN - a song way out of The Smiths wheelhouse - Morrissey absolutely rose to the occasion with a phenomenal vocal. So I think Morrissey is more capable of adapting than he gets credit for. It's just been a long time since he's been given music that challenges him (and not really sure if even wants that anymore).
 

Sister I'm a Poet

Well-Known Member
Are you completely forgetting Johnny's success with Electronic? Songs at #12, #8 & #6 in the UK singles chart, with the debut album getting to #2 in the album chart and selling over a million copies worldwide. I think Johnny got pretty far with his 'different direction'. Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it wasn't a huge deal at the time, and there is no way Moz would have given Johnny the space to do anything like this in the Smiths.

How many post-Smiths Johnny Marr melodies or riffs can you bring to mind? Any? I hoped for the best, but his solo career has been lackluster at best.
 

Sister I'm a Poet

Well-Known Member
I would die with a smile on my face if the Smiths reunited and I would rush out to buy any new album. That being said, I think the writer is mainly right. Whatever Moz and Marr have said, SHWC is definitely their weakest album, despite the great production and some good songs. Morrissey definitely was creatively rejuvenated by the breakup. Viva Hate is a much better album than Strangeways. (For whatever reason, Johnny has not fared as well without Morrissey). The breakup did preserve a near perfect body of work and also leaves a suitingly bittersweet coda for the band. (The same can be said about the Beatles). The breakup is an integral part of the flawless and sublime story of The Smiths.
 

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