Would Vauxhall have sounded a lot different with Gary and Spencer?

MozIsGod

Active Member
Straight off the heels of the Your Arsenal tour, Morrissey decided to reshuffle his rhythm section for the recording of Vauxhall & I. Gary and Spencer were ousted for Jonny Bridgwood and Woodie Taylor, respectively. Do you think the album would have sounded quite different if Morrissey retained the original Lads lineup for Vauxhall?
 

ThePoliticalRevolution

Well-Known Member
Straight off the heels of the Your Arsenal tour, Morrissey decided to reshuffle his rhythm section for the recording of Vauxhall & I. Gary and Spencer were ousted for Jonny Bridgwood and Woodie Taylor, respectively. Do you think the album would have sounded quite different if Morrissey retained the original Lads lineup for Vauxhall?
Straight off the heels of the Your Arsenal tour, I went to college!
 
M

Musician

Guest
Straight off the heels of the Your Arsenal tour, Morrissey decided to reshuffle his rhythm section for the recording of Vauxhall & I. Gary and Spencer were ousted for Jonny Bridgwood and Woodie Taylor, respectively. Do you think the album would have sounded quite different if Morrissey retained the original Lads lineup for Vauxhall?
Great topic! Not sure about the drums, with Vauxhall the production what makes / breaks the album (depending on taste). We can't really hear Taylor's original drumming full power. However, as far as Gary/Jonny Bridgwood goes, I understand why people love Gary (the looks, the nostalgia etc) but God, no-one can touch Bridgwood's McCartney-esque basslines.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
When I saw the first half of the question, I was expecting it to say, "Would Vauxhall have sounded a lot different if Mick Ronson had lived long enough to produce it?" Now the idea of him producing (and possibly writing) the music to go with some of Morrissey's best ever lyrics is an interesting thought.

As for the actual question, I don't think Gary or Spencer would have improved the album. They returned for the Moon River session, which was deemed a disaster, and then promptly departed again. Spencer's inclusion was sensible for Southpaw Grammar due to the rock style but, imo, he and Gary leaving was of no great consequence.

It's amusing that so many people talk about "the band" as if the 4 of them were together with Moz for years. In actual fact Alain, Boz, Gary and Spencer played together for a relatively short period of time.
 

Mike Rourke

Well-Known Member
When I saw the first half of the question, I was expecting it to say, "Would Vauxhall have sounded a lot different if Mick Ronson had lived long enough to produce it?" Now the idea of him producing (and possibly writing) the music to go with some of Morrissey's best ever lyrics is an interesting thought.

As for the actual question, I don't think Gary or Spencer would have improved the album. They returned for the Moon River session, which was deemed a disaster, and then promptly departed again. Spencer's inclusion was sensible for Southpaw Grammar due to the rock style but, imo, he and Gary leaving was of no great consequence.

It's amusing that so many people talk about "the band" as if the 4 of them were together with Moz for years. In actual fact Alain, Boz, Gary and Spencer played together for a relatively short period of time.
Well, on and off for 13 years (91-04) so nearly three times the lifetime of The Smiths. Not that short.
 

Mike Rourke

Well-Known Member
Nope. Not the 4 of them together. That was my point.
'On and off' - that was my point. And for the most highly acclaimed period of his post-Smiths career. And they had a similar look to Morrissey (at least compared to The Smiths and the more recent band members). So, they will always be remembered as the archetypal Morrissey band.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
'On and off' - that was my point. And for the most highly acclaimed period of his post-Smiths career. And they had a similar look to Morrissey (at least compared to The Smiths and the more recent band members). So, they will always be remembered as the archetypal Morrissey band.
Nope. Not the 4 of them together. ;)

On and off would imply that sometimes those 4 band members were reunited as a unit which obviously wasn't the case. Presumably part of the reason for that was the failure of the Moon River session.
 

Phranc & Open

I've known no war
Straight off the heels of the Your Arsenal tour, I learned about love and was in a mellow mood.
By the time Vauxhall came along, EVERYTHING was in the right place. Don't disturb those moments, I cherish.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
When I saw the first half of the question, I was expecting it to say, "Would Vauxhall have sounded a lot different if Mick Ronson had lived long enough to produce it?" Now the idea of him producing (and possibly writing) the music to go with some of Morrissey's best ever lyrics is an interesting thought.

As for the actual question, I don't think Gary or Spencer would have improved the album. They returned for the Moon River session, which was deemed a disaster, and then promptly departed again. Spencer's inclusion was sensible for Southpaw Grammar due to the rock style but, imo, he and Gary leaving was of no great consequence.

It's amusing that so many people talk about "the band" as if the 4 of them were together with Moz for years. In actual fact Alain, Boz, Gary and Spencer played together for a relatively short period of time.

I think Alain has written on Facebook that he wasn't exactly fond of the changes in the lineup at the time (Spencer expressed similar remarks in Mozipedia), but it's quite clear to anyone with ears that Jonny and Woodie were the better musicians. Moz made the right call, IMO.
 

Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
It's been years since i read Autobiography, but is there not a passage in it where Mick Ronson, during the Your Arsenal sessions, remarks to Morrissey that Spencer literally cannot drum?
 

Jamie

Bluff, Ardour & Assoc.
While it's a small sample, you can speculate by listening to "A Swallow On My Neck," which was recorded with Gary and Spencer at the same session for "Moonriver." It sounds much closer to Vauxhall than Southpaw but the drums are distinctly more propulsive and up in the mix.

Conversely, the live renditions of "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" from the Introducing Morrissey through Maladjusted tours lack the precision of the brushwork Woodie Taylor demonstrated on Vauxhall, but, given the live setting, it's not really a fair comparison. Even the ballads were "rockier" affairs in a live setting in those days.
 

Phranc & Open

I've known no war
To be honest, I never thought Spencer played on Swallow or Moonriver. That surprised me a lot afterwards. The production makes both drummers sound similar to my ears.
 
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