Steve McQueen is an almost faultless pop album. The first five or so tracks are quite awesome. Desire As comes in later down the album play list and it's got a lovely laid back groove. It builds slowly and Paddy McAloon's vocals are sweet. It's a nice track, make no mistake.
15 Mar 04 ·Mike: I love Prefab Sprout and Paddy is a great songwriter. Having said this, I do think I would love the band and their output even more were Paddy's vocals LESS SWEET! I mean, just about everything in their entire output seems to be bathed in honey, syrup, or treacle from his sugar-lined voicebox. 13 Jul 05 ·kkkerplunkkk: Yes but isn't that the point of Prefab Sprout? That it was the sweetest pop you could taste. The best love song writer I've ever heard.
The lady may have left the stage, but her spirit lives on in her recordings, and this is among her finest!! Sadly unreleased in the US for 28 years, this gloriously somber song was included in the 1995 anthology box set. Dusty sings with a sadness in her voice as she vocally paints a picture of a dreary day. While the overcast sky fails to crush her spirit, it does provide an opportunity for introspection and reflection. She is accompanied only by piano and orchestral strings which give this song a beautifully sad sound that make it perfect for playing on a rainy day.
22 Apr 04 ·delicado: I must say, this is a quite brilliant recording; thanks for mentioning it! I heard the original Randy Newman version the other day, but to me, neither the arrangement or vocal performance were a patch on Dusty. Not that I'm biased or anything!
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...
Another great performance by the woman I am in constant awe of. The great people at Fontana saw fit to record one of her live shows at the legendary London jazz club, Ronnie Scott's and it's truly a great thing because Blossom is in perfect form and truly pours her heart and soul into her set. The audience sits in reverant silence during this track and witnesses the great Ms. Dearie's intimate recital of this great song right up until the last word is sung and they can no longer contain their need to applaud and cheer. Much to my dismay, this is just about the only recording that is currently available from her years with Fontana in the UK, and the others remain hard to find if not completely out of reach.
What happens when a record company dusts off an old obscure folk song from 1970 and hands it over to a British electronica band? Greatness! With an irresistable dancy beat and a great bass line, the Happy Mondays put a great spin on this old "sandals-and-granola meets Billy Jack" relic without insulting or demeaning the original song. The 1991 remix is sure to twist your melon... and the colored girls sing, "he's gonna step on you again!"
from Pills, Thrills, And Bellyaches (Electra 60986), available on CD (60986)