Morrissey, ever the angry young vegan, sings a beautiful tribute to a music idol who has recently died and then proceeds to lash out at the big record companies that repackage and reissue the work of the artist all in the name of the almighty dollar. Sadly the very same thing would happen to the Smiths' catalogue just a few years later. Define 'irony'. Of course I sit here at this computer just 14 feet away from a record shelf that is stuffed with the reissues and repackages of the above named catalogue but I just couldn't resist those cute little 10-inch limited edition vinyl LPs that Warner UK put out in the early 1990s including the very album this song appears on...
06 Feb 06 ·jmurray: Am I the only one who thinks this song is about Ian Curtis and Factory Records? Think about it. Morrissey would have certainly gone to JD shows in the late 70's. Reportedly, he was at the 4 June 1976 Pistols show at Lesser Free Trade Hall. Clearly, Moz and the Smiths rejected Factory Records when their time came about to find a label. Maybe, Moz was not only disgusted with Factory's obsession with repackageing JD material into new releases, but perhaps Moz had a romantic eye for Curtis. Perhaps, they touched "at the soundcheck." And though somewhat morbid, he sang about never tainting his love for Curtis because Curtis was "on their hands a dead star." 07 Feb 06 ·n-jeff: I wouldn't have thought it was the case, it must have been 20 years before factory compiled Joy Divisions stuff. When he died they bought out the scheduled releases: "love will tear us apart", "Closer" and then I think it was a few years before "Still" appeared. They got on pretty quickly with developing new Order IIRC, it couldn't have been that long before "ceremony" appeared.
I'm not Tony Wilsons biggest fan, but I think Factory did a pretty good job of handling Curtis' suicide. And they weren't really that popular anyway, at that time.
Now, the frenzy that marked John Lennons death. That was something else. 07 Feb 06 ·jmurray: Paint a Vulgar Picture was 1987, long after Factory, and the remainder of JD had moved on to New Order. By that time, NO had released numerous 12" singles and LP's all the way through FAC 150, Brotherhood. For the record, FAC 37 was a video release called Here Are The Young Men of JD in Aug '82, FAC 40 is the JD compilation Still released in Oct '81, and NO's first release Ceremony is FAC 33 in Jan '81. There are also many JD appearances on various Factory Records compilations, both LP and video. All of this, of course, going on long before Moz, Marr, Rourke, and Joyce ever were together as the Smiths. One final thought, and please excuse the macabre, listen very closely to the last line of lyric in Vulgar, there is a distinct, but obvious choking sound just after the last word. If Moz hadn't made a career of singing about the "romantic" side of death, suicide, et. al. I would dismiss it as just a gutteral noise, but... 08 Feb 06 ·n-jeff: I bow to your superior research.
And wince to your final thought! 27 Mar 11 ·lasinge: I just tonight thought for the first time about who the song might be about (bizarre, since it's one of my favorite songs) and the first person I came up with was Ian Curtis. This story is old (I know) but it goes on... 27 Mar 11 ·FlyingDutchman1971: The new Smiths bootleg "Unreleased Demos and B-sides" has a great rendition of this song with slightly different lyrics. Grab a copy of you have the chance. 28 Mar 11 ·delicado: It has literally never occurred to me that this could be who it's about. I guess it's possible but it just seems wrong to me somehow. And I don't remember any tacky badges on Factory releases (unless I missed them). Interesting bootleg for sure...
I'm surprised to find I haven't recommended this song before. An enchanting piece of futuristic pop written by Ennio Morricone, this great tune was part of the score for the wonderfully stylish Mario Bava movie 'Danger: Diabolik'. Christy, who also sung on some Piero Piccioni scores, was (is?) a heartfelt 'belter', and here she sings the italian lyrics, which are peppered with English phrases, especially passionately. There is a cool echoey effect on her voice, giving the whole affair an other-worldly, underwater feel. Musically, it's a very catchy psych-pop track, with a twangy, rocky guitar. It's quite short, but extremely powerful.
from the single Deep Down available on CD - Canto Morricone Vol. 1 (Bear Family)
01 Sep 06 ·leonthedog: This "Canto Morricone" volume sent me on a frantic chase for so many things; most rewarding was the "Danger: Diabolik" soundtrack. (The movie is a hoot and quite a bargain, too.) Mina... Spaak... Miranda Martino... Rita Monico... and what about Ken Colman? "Trio Junior"??? This CD will infect you, so you'd better just go get it! 28 Mar 11 ·delicado: I realize it has been almost 10 years since I wrote this - but just to throw it out there - this track really is absolutely amazing!
Absolutely heartrending cover of the beach boys classic. May i even go as far as to say it superseeds the original ? I think i will for the time being. Mandy puts the whole song in a groovier context but never forgets the universal melody/appeal of the orginal. Taken from an reissue thats worth checking out too
from but that is me
15 Aug 11 ·delicado: Wow - this changes the song completely - different rhythm, different melody, different chords! It\'s definitely interesting although I think if I had to choose a cover to recommend I\'d choose the Four King Cousins version. Do you know that one? 22 Aug 11 ·moondog: No, i haven´t heard that one although i know four king cousins, i guess its on that rev ola reissue with the roger nichols track, have to check it out then. 22 Aug 11 ·moondog: No, i haven´t heard that one although i know four king cousins, i guess its on that rev ola reissue with the roger nichols track, have to check it out then.
This probably sounds like an odd thing to recommend, but the more I hear this track, the more I love it. It's as if the arranger didn't actually like the song that much - he has changed it a great deal, but for better. Mixed with the trademark Mystic Moods sound effects, it begins lush and gentle. However, after the sound effects fade away, the quality of the arrangement and recording come through, with crisp drums, a nice bass and some great piano. It has a very cool funk-orchestral feel, recalling some of Pete Moore's best work.
from English Muffins, available on CD (Bainbridge)
25 Oct 11 ·delicado: Erm- when I wrote this I think I hadn\'t yet got into the Carpenters. this is basically the Carpenters\' version of ticket to ride but an orchestral version. Still very cool, but that was the origin of the arrangement!