Will Morrissey's Career Return to Greatness?

Will Morrissey's Career Return to Greatness?

  • Morrissey's career will be forever be great, regardless of what happens from here on out.

    Votes: 12 33.3%
  • It won't be easy, but he'll definitely be at the top of his game again.

    Votes: 4 11.1%
  • Starting to fear we're seeing the end, but haven't given upon on Moz!

    Votes: 12 33.3%
  • I'd welcome it if it happened, but I doubt it...

    Votes: 6 16.7%
  • It hasn't been impressive for almost 10 years, and won't get any better. Get off the stage!

    Votes: 2 5.6%

  • Total voters
    36
A

Anonymous

Guest
The trouble with threads like these is they assume Morrissey is a genuine solo artist, and therefore that the quality of the songs is down to him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Morrissey depends entirely on other people to write music and other people to play music. If someone (e.g. Marr/Street/Whyte) writes him some fantastic music his words and singing are the icing on the cake. If, for example, Johnny Marr had given him the music to New Town Velocity, it would have resulted in one of the best songs he’s ever sung.
If someone writes him some rubbish music (Kids a Looker, People Are The Same etc), there’s nothing he can do to rescue these compositions. So, whether Morrissey returns to greatness as a contemporary artist depends hugely on who writes his songs. Unfortunately, his musical judgement seems to have become pretty dire. It seems he genuinely believes that People Are The Same Everywhere is as good as This Charming Man, I Know It’s Over, Suedehead etc, and he blames record companies/journalists/radio stations etc for not ‘realising’ this. This baffling delusion has to end if his recording career is to continue.
He is an undoubted and original musical icon, though, and that will never change. He will always be able to take his nostalgia act on tour to festivals and medium-size venues around the globe, as he has done the last couple of years. And that’s really all that needs to be said on the matter. From ... you know who!
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
The trouble with threads like these is they assume Morrissey is a genuine solo artist, and therefore that the quality of the songs is down to him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Morrissey depends entirely on other people to write music and other people to play music. If someone (e.g. Marr/Street/Whyte) writes him some fantastic music his words and singing are the icing on the cake. If, for example, Johnny Marr had given him the music to New Town Velocity, it would have resulted in one of the best songs he’s ever sung.
If someone writes him some rubbish music (Kids a Looker, People Are The Same etc), there’s nothing he can do to rescue these compositions. So, whether Morrissey returns to greatness as a contemporary artist depends hugely on who writes his songs. Unfortunately, his musical judgement seems to have become pretty dire. It seems he genuinely believes that People Are The Same Everywhere is as good as This Charming Man, I Know It’s Over, Suedehead etc, and he blames record companies/journalists/radio stations etc for not ‘realising’ this. This baffling delusion has to end if his recording career is to continue.
He is an undoubted and original musical icon, though, and that will never change. He will always be able to take his nostalgia act on tour to festivals and medium-size venues around the globe, as he has done the last couple of years. And that’s really all that needs to be said on the matter. From ... you know who!
Whilst it is true that Moz is lyricist the assumption that he has no impact on the quality of the songs is clearly misguided.
One would first take a look at Marr. His best work was with Moz, elsewhere he has been a footnote.
Also one would question whether Whyte or Boorer would have created such great songs were they not working with Moz.
I have no idea of the songwriting process used by Moz but he clearly brings out the best of those who he works with.
If his later work is not so great then the yes, the man is in decline.
 

Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
With the best songwriter of his solo career gone, I believe Morrissey is finished as a relevant creative force.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Whilst it is true that Moz is lyricist the assumption that he has no impact on the quality of the songs is clearly misguided.
One would first take a look at Marr. His best work was with Moz, elsewhere he has been a footnote.
Also one would question whether Whyte or Boorer would have created such great songs were they not working with Moz.
I have no idea of the songwriting process used by Moz but he clearly brings out the best of those who he works with.
If his later work is not so great then the yes, the man is in decline.

Have you heard 'New Town Velocity' by Johnny Marr? If not, please listen to it -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmBrxh1eoCQ It's a gorgeous thing even in the bits without any singing.
Can you really, honestly not tell the difference between the quality of this composition and the utter rubbish that Morrissey has been putting out recently, the nadir of which must be the all-time career low that is People Are The Same Everywhere.
Marr's composition is an absolute beauty. A lovely, wistful, jangly, strummy piece of melodic melancholia. It doesn't matter that Marr isn't a great singer or doesn't have much to sing about. The end result is that the Marr song is fantastic because the music is so brilliant, and the Morrissey song is horrible because the music is so duff.
 

Jamie

Bluff, Ardour & Assoc.
I have no idea of the songwriting process used by Moz but he clearly brings out the best of those who he works with.

After nine years, that is clearly not the case with Jesse Tobias. Or, if what we have heard is his best, then Morrissey's standards have slid drastically.
 

Chip

Member
Have you heard 'New Town Velocity' by Johnny Marr? If not, please listen to it -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmBrxh1eoCQ It's a gorgeous thing even in the bits without any singing.
Can you really, honestly not tell the difference between the quality of this composition and the utter rubbish that Morrissey has been putting out recently, the nadir of which must be the all-time career low that is People Are The Same Everywhere.
Marr's composition is an absolute beauty. A lovely, wistful, jangly, strummy piece of melodic melancholia. It doesn't matter that Marr isn't a great singer or doesn't have much to sing about. The end result is that the Marr song is fantastic because the music is so brilliant, and the Morrissey song is horrible because the music is so duff.

I really don't understand the need to fight about Marr v. Morrissey. People get very partisan about this (Morrissey's solo stuff sucks, listen to Marr or vice versa) and I really enjoyed both of their last albums. I liked The Messenger and I liked Years of Refusal. Which one would I chose if I had to? I'm not sure.

They both are sort of different musical directions. Morrissey went the more contemporary heavy alt rock/modern rock route where Marr went for the more jangly indie rock (you know the genre of music that Morrissey and Marr basically invented) route. I somewhat prefer the indie rock approach to the heavy alt rock approach, but at the same time Morrissey's voice is Morrissey's voice--in spite of what people here might say.

Given that Morrissey still picks Southpaw as one of his favorite albums (and that's not just him being revisionist and picking his most recent work--he himself admits he didn't like Maladjusted and included plenty of classics in the list) I suspect he really likes the heavier sound.

That being said I'd be really curious to see Morrissey go the indie rock route and record something maybe Arcade Firey or better yet release something with some strong punk influences in it--since he still sites the Ramones, Patti Smith, New York Dolls as among his top influences.

But Morrissey is going to do what he wants. Just like Marr is. Remember that while many here question a lot of Morrissey's post-Smiths choices Marr has made some extremely baffling ones as well.
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
I'm always amused at how thick and fast the votes for the bottom-most option come when I do these polls (it was up above 20 before the comments reached 4 or 5).
Aside from some genuine haters, I can see someone logging in under multiple names to boost the number, lol.
Why? So that if the mainstream media happens to pick up the results, their opinion will be vindicated by their own fakery?
 

Kewpie

Member
Moderator
Subscriber
Re:

I'm always amused at how thick and fast the votes for the bottom-most option come when I do these polls (it was up above 20 before the comments reached 4 or 5).
Aside from some genuine haters, I can see someone logging in under multiple names to boost the number, lol.
Why? So that if the mainstream media happens to pick up the results, their opinion will be vindicated by their own fakery?


You could've made the public poll then you could discounted anonymous votes.
 

Stoned

Oh well...enough said
Re:

Yes it will with a brand new studio album , as simple as that but ....that is the problem for him too...
Cheers Moz
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I really don't understand the need to fight about Marr v. Morrissey. People get very partisan about this (Morrissey's solo stuff sucks, listen to Marr or vice versa) and I really enjoyed both of their last albums. I liked The Messenger and I liked Years of Refusal. Which one would I chose if I had to? I'm not sure.

They both are sort of different musical directions. Morrissey went the more contemporary heavy alt rock/modern rock route where Marr went for the more jangly indie rock (you know the genre of music that Morrissey and Marr basically invented) route. I somewhat prefer the indie rock approach to the heavy alt rock approach, but at the same time Morrissey's voice is Morrissey's voice--in spite of what people here might say.

Given that Morrissey still picks Southpaw as one of his favorite albums (and that's not just him being revisionist and picking his most recent work--he himself admits he didn't like Maladjusted and included plenty of classics in the list) I suspect he really likes the heavier sound.

That being said I'd be really curious to see Morrissey go the indie rock route and record something maybe Arcade Firey or better yet release something with some strong punk influences in it--since he still sites the Ramones, Patti Smith, New York Dolls as among his top influences.

But Morrissey is going to do what he wants. Just like Marr is. Remember that while many here question a lot of Morrissey's post-Smiths choices Marr has made some extremely baffling ones as well.

It's not about a fight between Marr and Morrissey, and even if it was that would be an unfair comparison because Marr has genuinely gone solo - all the music, all the songwriting, all the lyrics. It would be about Marr v Morrissey&Tobias/Boorer.
The issue here is that the music Morrissey has to work with is simply not very good, and that there's little he can do to turn it into great songs. The Marr comparison was made because New Town Velocity is a brilliant piece of music, and if Morrissey had that kind of quality songwriting he could easily return to 'greatness' but he sure as hell can't do it with People Are The Same Everywhere. Yes, YOR had some great songs but they were nearly all written by Alain Whyte who no longer works for Morrissey. We are left with the weakest elements of Morrissey's songwriting team from the past 10 years, and that really is the problem here.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I'm always amused at how thick and fast the votes for the bottom-most option come when I do these polls (it was up above 20 before the comments reached 4 or 5).
Aside from some genuine haters, I can see someone logging in under multiple names to boost the number, lol.
Why? So that if the mainstream media happens to pick up the results, their opinion will be vindicated by their own fakery?

waaaaaah! a majority of people didn't vote the way i feel. must be a sham. waaaaaaah!
 

Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
I've been on a Morrissey binge lately - mostly interviews and live videos (old and new). He never ceases to astound me. I think the first option is the best: if Morrissey disappeared from the public eye today his place in the musical pantheon would be assured.

He has cemented his status as one of pop music's all time greats. I dare say that 100 years from now, Morrissey will be seen as a true Wildean figure. People will wish they had been around during his time to hug him on stage. Which is why I never take his presence now for granted, whatever the career or personal maladies may linger.

Well said and I agree: figures like Morrissey are never to be taken for granted.

I do wonder, though, about his "Wildean" legacy. A huge personality like Wilde's has persisted through generations as a positive inspiration and a forceful muse. His being has reverberated as strongly as his work. Wild's tragic end certainly helped cement his narrative. Still, who could have predicted it? There's no way to anticipate who will end up as an immortal; wildly loved literary grandees have faded away to nothingness in a century's time and obscure, marginalized poets have gone on to change human consciousness long after their deaths.

We're all a bit mad for Morrissey - anyone who still bothers to post here is either still in the throes of a profoundly loving obsession, a troll, or bored out of their minds (or any combination thereof). In one hundred years time, when the world will be in an unimaginable state, will a particularly handsome Mancunian reprobate still mean anything to anyone? He's at the center of his generation's indie consciousness (and a few generations since), but will he make the historical grade? As an obsessive I do believe so, but many other obsessives throughout the centuries have been so very wrong.

Tragedy tends to help build a posthumous reputation (so does being marginalized or wildly misunderstood). Let's hope Morrissey avoids the first. He's got a bit of a claim to the second and as to the third - it's a lock.
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
I've been on a Morrissey binge lately - mostly interviews and live videos (old and new). He never ceases to astound me. I think the first option is the best: if Morrissey disappeared from the public eye today his place in the musical pantheon would be assured.



Well said and I agree: figures like Morrissey are never to be taken for granted.

I do wonder, though, about his "Wildean" legacy. A huge personality like Wilde's has persisted through generations as a positive inspiration and a forceful muse. His being has reverberated as strongly as his work. Wild's tragic end certainly helped cement his narrative. Still, who could have predicted it? There's no way to anticipate who will end up as an immortal; wildly loved literary grandees have faded away to nothingness in a century's time and obscure, marginalized poets have gone on to change human consciousness long after their deaths.

We're all a bit mad for Morrissey - anyone who still bothers to post here is either still in the throes of a profoundly loving obsession, a troll, or bored out of their minds (or any combination thereof). In one hundred years time, when the world will be in an unimaginable state, will a particularly handsome Mancunian reprobate still mean anything to anyone? He's at the center of his generation's indie consciousness (and a few generations since), but will he make the historical grade? As an obsessive I do believe so, but many other obsessives throughout the centuries have been so very wrong.

Tragedy tends to help build a posthumous reputation (so does being marginalized or wildly misunderstood). Let's hope Morrissey avoids the first. He's got a bit of a claim to the second and as to the third - it's a lock.

Yes, especially if it is an early death by suicide... or some other gruesome means like a car accident, as with James Dean. Or from a drug overdose like Jim Morrison. Would they have become such powerful cultural icons if they faded away rather than burnt out? I don't think so. Look what has happened to boring Bono. He has over-saturated our consciousness as to become dusty, uninspiring, predictable... an old chair in the corner of the room that no one wants to sit in any longer. Will he go down in history as a great inspiration and be beloved by future generations? Doubtful. He may in fact be more remembered for his philanthropy. Not a bad thing, btw.

Of course we don't want Morrissey to exit sooner rather than later so that he can cement himself in the halls of iconic greats for eternity. How absurd. But it does seem that it is a sure-fire ticket in.
 
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Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
Yes, especially if it is an early death by suicide... or some other gruesome means like a car accident, as with James Dean. Or from a drug overdose like Jim Morrison. Would they have become such powerful cultural icons if they faded away rather than burnt out? I don't think so. Look what has happened to boring Bono. He has over-saturated our consciousness as to become dusty, uninspiring, predictable... an old chair in the corner of the room that no one wants to sit in any longer. Will he go down in history as a great inspiration and be beloved by future generations? Doubtful. He may in fact be more remembered for his philanthropy. Not a bad thing, btw.

Of course we don't want Morrissey to exit sooner rather than later so that he can cement himself in the halls of iconic greats for eternity. How absurd. But it does seem that it is a sure-fire ticket in.

Poor, comfortable, dusty ol' Bono (wonderful description). I was a U2 fan when I was a kid (just before they went nuclear): they were already a successful band, but they were still playing small clubs and little outdoor festivals. I interviewed them for my 'zine: Bono was the most earnest, well-meaning, naive singer to ever conquer the world. I respect his accomplishments, but Joshua Tree was the last U2 album I bothered listening to. Earnestness doesn't age as well as a wicked edge.

It's too late for Morrissey; he's too old to die young. Good thing, too - we'd all have been robbed of an incredible "third act." He's one of the very, very few artists who has managed to maintain an interesting edge for decades.

Say what you will about late-period Morrissey: he is anything but comfortable.
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
Poor, comfortable, dusty ol' Bono (wonderful description). I was a U2 fan when I was a kid (just before they went nuclear): they were already a successful band, but they were still playing small clubs and little outdoor festivals. I interviewed them for my 'zine: Bono was the most earnest, well-meaning, naive singer to ever conquer the world. I respect his accomplishments, but Joshua Tree was the last U2 album I bothered listening to. Earnestness doesn't age as well as a wicked edge.

It's too late for Morrissey; he's too old to die young. Good thing, too - we'd all have been robbed of an incredible "third act." He's one of the very, very few artists who has managed to maintain an interesting edge for decades.

Say what you will about late-period Morrissey: he is anything but comfortable.

Somehow I graced over that simple fact. Haha.

I'd love to read some of your writing... early, from that zine, or even something current. Do you have anything up online? There is much to learn from your insight.
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
As always, your take on things is more articulate and thoughtful than I think this board deserves sometimes (and I can tell you don't think that of your own contributions, which is why they're so good). I did spend a little bit of time imagining things in our world 100 years from now before I wrote that post and came to the conclusion that "selfie" culture will only become exponentially worse than it is now. To levels we can't imagine. Cinema will be more than 200 years old and pop music 150 (?) itself. I have no idea where appreciation of great literature and poetry will be, but surely worse off than it is already. If a good portion of Smiths and Morrissey fans in the past couple generations began exploring the likes of Wilde and Keats because of the music and interviews, I think that will only increase. There may be pop stars of the future who genuinely channel the greatness of The Smiths without aping them but it's already been 30 years and hasn't really happened...

Agree on tragically premature ends boosting mythical status, but there are exceptions (Elvis and Sinatra come to mind as two Morrissey heroes).

Edit: And "dusty" Bono made me laugh out loud. Too true.

I've been on a Morrissey binge lately - mostly interviews and live videos (old and new). He never ceases to astound me. I think the first option is the best: if Morrissey disappeared from the public eye today his place in the musical pantheon would be assured.



Well said and I agree: figures like Morrissey are never to be taken for granted.

I do wonder, though, about his "Wildean" legacy. A huge personality like Wilde's has persisted through generations as a positive inspiration and a forceful muse. His being has reverberated as strongly as his work. Wild's tragic end certainly helped cement his narrative. Still, who could have predicted it? There's no way to anticipate who will end up as an immortal; wildly loved literary grandees have faded away to nothingness in a century's time and obscure, marginalized poets have gone on to change human consciousness long after their deaths.

We're all a bit mad for Morrissey - anyone who still bothers to post here is either still in the throes of a profoundly loving obsession, a troll, or bored out of their minds (or any combination thereof). In one hundred years time, when the world will be in an unimaginable state, will a particularly handsome Mancunian reprobate still mean anything to anyone? He's at the center of his generation's indie consciousness (and a few generations since), but will he make the historical grade? As an obsessive I do believe so, but many other obsessives throughout the centuries have been so very wrong.

Tragedy tends to help build a posthumous reputation (so does being marginalized or wildly misunderstood). Let's hope Morrissey avoids the first. He's got a bit of a claim to the second and as to the third - it's a lock.
 

Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
I'd love to read some of your writing... early, from that zine, or even something current. Do you have anything up online? There is much to learn from your insight.

Alas, I didn't have the foresight to save any issues of that little transatlantic 'zine of mine (a friend and I set it up with two English girls). I do wish I had a few copies lying around: those were the pre-ironic years, when we took things a bit too seriously. In any event, we didn't "publish" for very long.

Thanks for the great compliment: I don't have anything online (yet). I'm working on a magnum opus that's a bit bogged down by research at the moment, but there are agents buzzing about; perhaps I'm closer than I think.

As always, your take on things is more articulate and thoughtful than I think this board deserves sometimes (and I can tell you don't think that of your own contributions, which is why they're so good). I did spend a little bit of time imagining things in our world 100 years from now before I wrote that post and came to the conclusion that "selfie" culture will only become exponentially worse than it is now. To levels we can't imagine. Cinema will be more than 200 years old and pop music 150 (?) itself. I have no idea where appreciation of great literature and poetry will be, but surely worse off than it is already. If a good portion of Smiths and Morrissey fans in the past couple generations began exploring the likes of Wilde and Keats because of the music and interviews, I think that will only increase. There may be pop stars of the future who genuinely channel the greatness of The Smiths without aping them but it's already been 30 years and hasn't really happened...

Another compliment from one of my favorite contributors here - thank you very much. I've been enjoying your thoughtful posts for years. :)

I also spend too much time imagining the state of pop culture to come, and I agree: Warhol saw the future, and so it has come to pass. Reality TV is just the beginning (and becoming old-hat already). As punks we wanted everyone to have access to the media, and now that it's happening there's a cacophony that's a bit difficult to cut through (which makes Morrissey and his old-fashioned charisma seem like a relic from an even more distant past).

An artist's longevity rests squarely on the shoulders of his fans. Morrissey brought Oscar along with him one hundred years after his heyday, and someone will drag Morrissey forward in time as well. Smiths fans are all grown-up and (being creative types) they have a media presence. He will endure in the DNA of clever swine everywhere for a while yet.

As for this website - as noted elsewhere: reporters used to come here for quotes and "fan reactions." Years ago I felt it was my duty to provide something of merit. I stayed because there were quite a few good eggs about (some of whom still lurk). Someone obviously reads this site for Morrissey (I should hope that he never reads it himself); the man deserves a thoughtful online presence.
 
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