Morrissey A-Z: "Little Man, What Now?"

The.Truth.

about Ruth
I love it. It's hard to single out one line but "ATV, you murdered every line, " and "Four seasons passed and they axed you," really stand out because of the compassion/cruelty and the delivery of the word "axed." The music is bizarre and perfect. That percussion is demented but it works. And it's only 1:49? It's treated like a throwaway but it's brilliant.
10/10
 

Phranc & Open

Well-Known Member
Further proof of how irresistible, natural, innocent and charming Morrissey's voice was at the beginning of his solo career. To put such wonderfully big emotions into such a short song is great art. Vinie Reilly is a genius on this record.
 

Light Housework

lazy painter
As usual, good for looking at my art to. Helps me chill out enough to gaze, where usually I ignore it while it gathers dust. Especially the Morrissey portraits.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
A short, but experimental song, ruled by a menacing whip crack beat, foreshadowing the slower drums on “Late Night, Maudlin Street”. Guitar intertwines with the simple electronics, for spellbinding effects. The lyrics are also fantastic, painting a vivid picture of the downfall of a child actor, revealing the brutal reality of the business that only becomes apparent as you grow older. And all this in less than 2 minutes! A masterclass of efficiency.
9/10
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
God, this is such a great little song. It's about fame, yes, but also about the weird obsessiveness of being the kind of fan who remembers everything. There's real warmth and empathy here ("Oh, but I remembered you...") and I can't ever, ever hear this without it leading straight into "Everyday is Like Sunday". Magical stuff.
 

Phranc & Open

Well-Known Member
The machine beat is daring but it all fits together anyway. The "machine" film industry that simply flattens the child star. Short song = short career. Viva Hate is full of rich ideas and amazing details. There couldn't be a better record to leave the shadow of the Smiths behind (for a moment).
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
This song is just so good. It's the kind of tight simplicity that can only be pulled off by a writer in complete control of their abilities, as Morrissey clearly was in 1988. He spends the whole song describing this faded star, but as the camera pulls back the focus slyly shifts to the narrator. I can practically see the dimly lit room with Morrissey's silhouette against the glow of the television.
 
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gordyboy9

its not me its you.
great song,one i never get bored with,is this his shortest song,sure some clever clogs will provided the info.always reminds me of new faces,dont know why.
8 little/10 man.
 

Carlisle baz

Cock of the north
Absolute solid gold...
Only Morrissey could take a very mundane issue then turn it into something so wonderful....
I also love the way song starts....
Atv 10/Border tv10
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
The words are very endearing, more now than back in 1987 / 88. An ode to obscure one-hit wonders, which only Morrissey remembers in his truly obsessive ways. At the same time, I believe it was also one of his biggest fears (and still is) to end up being one of those. The position of this short, experimental, less melodious track right before the epic EDILS is also brilliant.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Margaret_Sullavan_in_'_Little_Man,_What_Now',_1934.jpg


For once, I don't actually think this is about a specific person in the real world - more a collection of people. Which is why it has remained a mystery and the potential 'targets' don't line up entirely with the details.
When first hearing this track emerge from A.Cousin, have to say I like it now as much as I instantly did then.
Regards,
FWD.
 
D

Deleted member 29235

Guest
Such a little song but the difference it made was grave.
Here's a question, and not the obvious one: what was the TV show referred to in the song? I dimly remember a TV programme from the 70s where a panel had to guess the identity of famous (and not so famous) people, but I can't remember the name of it.
 
D

Deleted member 29235

Guest
For once, I don't actually think this is about a specific person in the real world - more a collection of people. Which is why it has remained a mystery and the potential 'targets' don't line up entirely with the details.

Yes, whilst there may have been an original inspiration, I suspect that various details have been altered to fit the song. My money has always been on Malcolm McFee but even he's not a precise fit.
 

CJM

Practising troublemaker
A succinct and sub-110 seconds snippet of the sheer talent that came together with Morrissey, Street and Reilly joined forces. The holy trinity?

I always think this that Little Man, What Now is an interesting segue from Paint A Vulgar Picture of less than a year earlier - both handling the topic of fading careers in the ‘industry’. Was Morrissey perchance worried at this time that his star may have reached its zenith? He needn't have.
 
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Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Likeable as it is, I wouldn't consider this to be a standout track of itself. I think it benefits considerably though from being sequenced being two very strong songs.

Musically it is fine, but it is really all about Morrissey and the packed lyrics for me.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 155th from 264 solo songs.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Such a little song but the difference it made was grave.
Here's a question, and not the obvious one: what was the TV show referred to in the song? I dimly remember a TV programme from the 70s where a panel had to guess the identity of famous (and not so famous) people, but I can't remember the name of it.
Looks Familiar is the show with Denis Norden presenting nostalgic look backs with celebrities.
I think, however, Goddard is conflating 2 shows when he describes it as guessing people 'obscured in silhouette'.
I don't recall that in the show. My dusty old brain seems to think Bernie Winters or similar hosted a show with guessing silhouettes, but can't find anything about it.
Regards,
FWD.
 
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