"Work Is A Four Letter Word" - A Sudden Observation

Young And Alive

Senior Member
It just occurred to me that one of the reasons why Marr may have been displeased at Morrissey's selection of WIAFLW to cover may be because he saw it as a thinly-veiled dig at him for wanting more time off from The Smiths.

We all know that Marr wanted a break, whereas Morrissey wanted to get straight back in the studio. Moz may have decided to record WIAFLW because he was annoyed at Marr wanting to pause working.

I think maybe this theory is strengthened by the fact that Marr has previously stated that the song was the last straw for him in The Smiths.
 

dicartwright

Active Member
It just occurred to me that one of the reasons why Marr may have been displeased at Morrissey's selection of WIAFLW to cover may be because he saw it as a thinly-veiled dig at him for wanting more time off from The Smiths.

We all know that Marr wanted a break, whereas Morrissey wanted to get straight back in the studio. Moz may have decided to record WIAFLW because he was annoyed at Marr wanting to pause working.

I think maybe this theory is strengthened by the fact that Marr has previously stated that the song was the last straw for him in The Smiths.
I'm not sure, Johnny works a lot, it would have been terribly stupid of Morrissey to say that to him... Btw, I think Johnny was so right about the song, it was not a Smiths song by any means, he should have saved it for his solo career... Like Golden lights. I don't hate GL, I think Morrissey's voice sounds incredibly sweet in that song, but it wasn't for TS.
 

Danny_

Forgot my login!
I never bought that that was the reason that Marr left anyway.

For a start he was always off doing little recording jobs for other bands so he couldn't have needed time off that much.

For another thing he was on holiday in LA with his wife when he finally decided that he'd had enough and announced it to the press before the rest of the band knew what was going on.
 

Kewpie

Member
Moderator
Subscriber
I'm not sure, Johnny works a lot, it would have been terribly stupid of Morrissey to say that to him... Btw, I think Johnny was so right about the song, it was not a Smiths song by any means, he should have saved it for his solo career... Like Golden lights. I don't hate GL, I think Morrissey's voice sounds incredibly sweet in that song, but it wasn't for TS.

It's totally off-topic, but I find abbreviating Smiths as TS really awkward.
 
It just occurred to me that one of the reasons why Marr may have been displeased at Morrissey's selection of WIAFLW to cover may be because he saw it as a thinly-veiled dig at him for wanting more time off from The Smiths.

We all know that Marr wanted a break, whereas Morrissey wanted to get straight back in the studio. Moz may have decided to record WIAFLW because he was annoyed at Marr wanting to pause working.

I think maybe this theory is strengthened by the fact that Marr has previously stated that the song was the last straw for him in The Smiths.
I have also thought about this before. If you look at the difference between the lyrics from Cilla's version, it strengthens this thought but maybe we just look too deeply into things. Umm, Golden lights.

"Everything has its place and its reason. Certainly, the early Smiths covers, for example 'Work is a four-letter word' and 'Golden lights' were done as acts of playful perversity - they weren't meant to be groundbreaking miracles of sound. And that's usually how it is, just a matter of throwing something unexpected into the mix."
Morrissey - Q&A from True To You, June 2007: http://true-to-you.net/morrissey_news_070619_02
 
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William4

fresh
Btw, I think Johnny was so right about the song, it was not a Smiths song by any means, he should have saved it for his solo career... Like Golden lights.
exactly. it just wasnt a smiths!
 

Elevator

New Member
I love how The Smiths are pretty much the only band in history where the songs they cover are their weakest tracks! ... Usually an artist covers a known classic because their original material doesn't stand up!
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Not a bad theory. I think it's possible that Morrissey intended to send Marr a message.

However, I just don't think the issue of "work" was really a subject of contention. My understanding is that, yes, Morrissey wanted to "work" right away in the sense of recording, but that Johnny and the others wanted to "work" in the sense of touring (not immediately but soon, perhaps trying to "break" America). Both Morrissey and Marr were mildly lazy, or neither were lazy at all, but in any case I don't think one wishing the other would work harder is a plausible explanation.

Morrissey's explanation about "throwing something unexpected" at the fans was more likely the truth of the matter. It's almost because the Cilla Black cover was so outlandishly ridiculous that I think it must have been chosen innocently by Morrissey.
 

dicartwright

Active Member
i dont think at this time morrissey was thinking about a solo career ..
I didn't mean he was, really. But... now I'm not too sure. Maybe he sensed something with Johnny's being uncomfortable and TS being less than a fun place to be, according to band members.
 

mozzia

Voluntary Member
I love how The Smiths are pretty much the only band in history where the songs they cover are their weakest tracks! ... Usually an artist covers a known classic because their original material doesn't stand up!
I remember the first time I heard Golden Lights. I was listening to The World Won't Listen. And I had liked everything I'd heard by The Smiths up to that point...but I heard that song, and couldn't enjoy it. I didn't know at the first listen that it was a cover...but I did know i didn't like it, and was a bit confused as to how Morrissey and Marr had combined to create a song that was poor in comparison to the rest, and just didn't seem to 'fit'. It all made sense when I noticed they hadn't written it at all :)
 
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