Alain Whyte: Southpaw Grammar listening party via Twitter - 8pm UK time May 10, 2020

Phranc & Open

Well-Known Member
It's more of a Vauxhall afterburner, dating from early 94. Always loved the atmosphere Danton Supple and Boz created. Morrissey should have stayed 35 (and in love) forever.
 

Ketamine Sun

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Cool for Alain to contribute to this, even if I still think that Southpaw Grammar is Morrissey's worst album. Alain is absolutely right that the opening and closing songs should have been shorter. I can't agree about You Must Please Remember though because that one is seriously substandard. A b-side if ever I heard one.

Morrissey was being typically contrarian at this time and wanted to do something completely different to Vauxhall and I. Not just in terms of the music, but he also stated in interviews at the time that he no longer wanted to look backwards or be nostalgic in his lyrics. After the poetic quality of his words on the previous album, his writing here represented a massive nosedive. He had simply written nowhere near enough lyrics to make an album.

He also stated in interviews at the time that the album wasn't as good as Vauxhall and I. Very honest, but not exactly a great sales ploy. :)

I think the production is not as good as on Vauxhall. And Maladjusted, the production takes even a further turn for the worse. Not to say that the album is unlistenable or not enjoyable.


Didn’t Lillywhite not even desire to produce Maladjusted? Morrissey seems to have went with him again simply because he could not get Eno to do it. Though there are great songs on these albums
it seems Lillywhite just couldn’t be bothered or maybe there was something going on in his own life that
affected the production on his last two with Morrissey.
 
Cool for Alain to contribute to this, even if I still think that Southpaw Grammar is Morrissey's worst album. Alain is absolutely right that the opening and closing songs should have been shorter. I can't agree about You Must Please Remember though because that one is seriously substandard. A b-side if ever I heard one.

Morrissey was being typically contrarian at this time and wanted to do something completely different to Vauxhall and I. Not just in terms of the music, but he also stated in interviews at the time that he no longer wanted to look backwards or be nostalgic in his lyrics. After the poetic quality of his words on the previous album, his writing here represented a massive nosedive. He had simply written nowhere near enough lyrics to make an album.

He also stated in interviews at the time that the album wasn't as good as Vauxhall and I. Very honest, but not exactly a great sales ploy. :)

Which is akin to saying that once he stopped stealing other people's stuff, he showed himself to be a significantly inferior lyricist, no?
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Which is akin to saying that once he stopped stealing other people's stuff, he showed himself to be a significantly inferior lyricist, no?

No, nothing like that simple.

He was trying to be a tough guy on Southpaw Grammar and going for a completely different approach to Vauxhall and I.

In my opinion it failed, but he has written many fine lyrics before and since that don't quote other people's words. There are plenty of fine lyrics on Vauxhall and I even that don't quote other people's words.
 
C

Cornus Alba

Guest
Talking about songs from other eras :paranoid: who is crying hysterically on Moon River?
The crying is from the Blue Lamp. As is the sampled dialogue "What ya gonna do"
Stared Dirk Bogarde & had an appearance from Patric Doonan who as we all no was raised to wait.
 
I think the production is not as good as on Vauxhall. And Maladjusted, the production takes even a further turn for the worse. Not to say that the album is unlistenable or not enjoyable.


Didn’t Lillywhite not even desire to produce Maladjusted? Morrissey seems to have went with him again simply because he could not get Eno to do it. Though there are great songs on these albums
it seems Lillywhite just couldn’t be bothered or maybe there was something going on in his own life that
affected the production on his last two with Morrissey.

Didn't like Southpaw Grammar as much when it came out,
cause I was hopin' for more of that Vauxhall And I.
Then when Moz wasn't makin' records for all them years,
I started listenin' to Southpaw again and really loved it.
Haha. Some times it takes time.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The worst Morrissey album by quite a margin.
Crap lyrics on two thirds of the songs, dull music on three quarters.
The only Morrissey album not to include a genuinely great song - just two or three pretty good ones.

What do you give each song on the album out of 10? If it did have a great song what would that song get out of 10?
 

gashonthenail

Well-Known Member
They don't fit the mood but I am glad we got to hear them anyway. Southpaw was planned as a follow-up to Vauxhall, containing a similar nostalgic atmosphere. Honey and Nice are witnesses from that early period, altough unfinished somehow. Bird belongs to the "Your arse n all" period and is squeezed in for good, because Morrissey wanted it that way.

Southpaw is the school of hard knocks with all it's hammerhead pop. The album makes no compromises and gave birth to some great tunes: Southpaw, Reader, Dagenham, Payroll and Do you best.

Southpaw still has a special place in this ole 90s heart of mine.

Very much agree. Coming in the mid-90s this album brings back so many fond memories of that time. It was a great decade to be young. And yet it is like nothing else released at that time. It exists in its own world. Dark and sinister, brash and thrilling.
 
E

EmitFlesti

Guest
Very much agree. Coming in the mid-90s this album brings back so many fond memories of that time. It was a great decade to be young. And yet it is like nothing else released at that time. It exists in its own world. Dark and sinister, brash and thrilling.
You got that right. I still miss the ‘90s! Never more so than now that the world has gone batshit insane over this stupid virus. I was watching some some old Morrissey concerts from ‘91-’95 over the weekend. Those were the days. ?
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Cool for Alain to contribute to this, even if I still think that Southpaw Grammar is Morrissey's worst album. Alain is absolutely right that the opening and closing songs should have been shorter. I can't agree about You Must Please Remember though because that one is seriously substandard. A b-side if ever I heard one.

Morrissey was being typically contrarian at this time and wanted to do something completely different to Vauxhall and I. Not just in terms of the music, but he also stated in interviews at the time that he no longer wanted to look backwards or be nostalgic in his lyrics. After the poetic quality of his words on the previous album, his writing here represented a massive nosedive. He had simply written nowhere near enough lyrics to make an album.

He also stated in interviews at the time that the album wasn't as good as Vauxhall and I. Very honest, but not exactly a great sales ploy. :)

In retrospect, Southpaw Grammar was neither his best record, nor his worst. It is a unique album, as it captures Morrissey in a depressed and angry mood. Around that time, he had developed an obsession with the boxing sports and other tough guys. That era gave us the Boxers as a single, followed by the record which he wanted to sound physical and tough, like the sport / art of boxing.

I am pretty certain that this album was recorded shortly after his break-up with Jake, which explains his dark mood. There have been stories about him being very depressed around this time (coming from his former PA Jo Slee, among others). When I read that there was a session where Morrissey showed up for one day, and then disappeared for a week, it sort of shows he wasn't feeling well.
I think that the aggressive sound and contrarian mood deliberately chosen to deal with this loss. That's why we never got V&T part II. The song "You should have been nice to me" is a break-up song, but it was kept on the shelves until 2009. Well, this is just my interpretation.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
In retrospect, Southpaw Grammar was neither his best record, nor his worst. It is a unique album, as it captures Morrissey in a depressed and angry mood. Around that time, he had developed an obsession with the boxing sports and other tough guys. That era gave us the Boxers as a single, followed by the record which he wanted to sound physical and tough, like the sport / art of boxing.

I am pretty certain that this album was recorded shortly after his break-up with Jake, which explains his dark mood. There have been stories about him being very depressed around this time (coming from his former PA Jo Slee, among others). When I read that there was a session where Morrissey showed up for one day, and then disappeared for a week, it sort of shows he wasn't feeling well.
I think that the aggressive sound and contrarian mood deliberately chosen to deal with this loss. That's why we never got V&T part II. The song "You should have been nice to me" is a break-up song, but it was kept on the shelves until 2009. Well, this is just my interpretation.

Well, it can be debated whether it is the worst album but it is certainly the least of Morrissey. Not enough songs and nowhere near enough lyrics. It was good of Alain to acknowledge the obvious.

If Morrissey had dealt with the break up in the lyrics, it would have been a lot more interesting.

Sunny, recorded earlier but released later, is superior to the vast majority of the album.
 

dneuer

Member
And yet it is like nothing else released at that time. It exists in its own world. Dark and sinister, brash and thrilling.

This sums it up best in my opinion. There was so much rubbish being put out at that time here in the US and as per usual, being lapped up by the masses... told it was "cool". I loved the attitude of this record in every way (except for perhaps the cover art, which I've since come to appreciate. I do admit, though... I love the overall design of the new release, too). I even like the fact some of the tunes are so long.
 
E

EmitFlesti

Guest
There was so much rubbish being put out at that time here in the US and as per usual, being lapped up by the masses... I even like the fact some of the tunes are so long.
Lots of rubbish indeed. Hootie and the Blowfish and Alanis Morissette anyone? [Moz takes a dig at the latter in his Autobiogrpahy]

I think the two longest songs, especially Southpaw (the sort of shoegazey last 6 minutes are sublime), are the best on the album. The Operation is great but I could do without the drum solo intro (I actually edited it out in my listening copy).
 
No, nothing like that simple.

He was trying to be a tough guy on Southpaw Grammar and going for a completely different approach to Vauxhall and I.

In my opinion it failed, but he has written many fine lyrics before and since that don't quote other people's words. There are plenty of fine lyrics on Vauxhall and I even that don't quote other people's words.

I agree the 'I'm a tough east end hardman' image failed completely but would you say that the non-borrowed sets of fine lyrics have been on the increase or decrease since then?
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I agree the 'I'm a tough east end hardman' image failed completely but would you say that the non-borrowed sets of fine lyrics have been on the increase or decrease since then?

I can't say that I spend too much time thinking about "non-borrowed sets of fine lyrics". ;)

What I would say is there had already been lyrical issues prior to this with the failed Bona Drag studio album and then Kill Uncle. I don't agree with people who romanticize the the 88-97 period because there were plenty of lows along with the highs of Viva Hate, Your Arsenal and Vauxhall and I.

There have been plenty of strong songs since 2004 and, while I didn't love Low in High School, the most recent album is very welcome.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I agree the 'I'm a tough east end hardman' image failed completely but would you say that the non-borrowed sets of fine lyrics have been on the increase or decrease since then?

He didn't borrow or steal lyrics at all - he made allusions.

He's more direct now, but also more distant. He used to create worlds & characters who were up to something. Now most songs are unhappy commentary.
 
He didn't borrow or steal lyrics at all - he made allusions.

He's more direct now, but also more distant. He used to create worlds & characters who were up to something. Now most songs are unhappy commentary.

To save me pointing out where he has done exactly that....are you sure he didn't?
 

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