Morrissey A-Z: "It's Hard To Walk Tall When You're Small"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member




Our song for today is a relatively strange one as it exists in two quite different forms, and I hope those more well informed than me can shed some light on the history, here.

Anyhow, the released version (the first clip, above) is a Morrissey/Whyte composition, one of the B-sides to "Irish Blood, English Heart" and later compiled on the Swords album. The unreleased (earlier?) version of the song is in the second clip.

What do we think?
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Spencer tune 2nd vid.
Alain tune 1st vid.

Spencer's FB reaction (when soundcloud leaks happened) via an old post:

"There are posts appearing on FB and Morrissey-solo.com of an unfinished/unreleased track I co-wrote with Morrissey, 'It's Hard To Walk Tall When You're Small', this recording was part of the b-side sessions (which included, 'Lost') that followed the recording of Maladjusted. Amazed to hear this track after so long and though the track is unfinished and was never released I am glad it is seeing the light of day after so many years."

Regards,
FWD.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
good song.always liked this.vocal isnt too stretching for M.who is ringo,im going for johnny ringo who was the outlaw who killed wyat earps brother,i know its not but i wish it was.spencers version is much more relaxing and laid-back,both are good in their own right.
8 talls/10 smalls.
 
Last edited:

Southport Grandma

Active Member
good song.always liked this.vocal isnt too stretching for M.who is ringo,im going for johnny ringo who was the outlaw who killed wyat earps brother,i know its not but i wish it was.spencers version is much more relaxing and laid-back,both are good in their own right.
8 talls/10 smalls.
Isn’t there a reference to Alain being “Ringo Whyte” in “Peepholism” iirc it’s the page(s) about the “Certain People I Know” video.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Isn’t there a reference to Alain being “Ringo Whyte” in “Peepholism” iirc it’s the page(s) about the “Certain People I Know” video.
Screenshot_20210502-081933~2.png


Yes, page 137.
Regards,
FWD.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I thought it was typical Morrissey for him to add the Cobrin version to the live shows and I enjoyed hearing it at the MEN Arena. It's not a work of genius, but would have been a decent b-side. (While his setlist selections are far from perfect, he does add more obscurities than most of his contemporaries)

I seem to remember that some fans speculated that the song was written about Spencer, but didn't realize that it was originally written with him.

Listening to the Alain version at the time, it felt like throwaway gibberish and that's how it still feels now. Not a terrible b-side, but not one of the stronger tracks from 2004.

In the poll on the Hoffman board the Cobrin version ranked 224th from 264 solo songs.
In the poll on the Hoffman board the Whyte version ranked 172nd from 264 solo songs.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Spencer's version shows promise as a demo, but 'Lost' is clearly the better song, and they obviously didn't need two tracks in the same dreamy style at the time. Whyte's version is a nice punchy rocker, and my favourite of the two by quite a distance.
 

Janice

Well-Known Member
the version that appeared in Bergen and then Manchester doesn’t really do it for me. I’m glad it’s been shelved.
the real effort would have been somewhat more appreciated.
instead we get If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look At Me for two years solid.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
the version that appeared in Bergen and then Manchester doesn’t really do it for me. I’m glad it’s been shelved.
the real effort would have been somewhat more appreciated.
instead we get If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look At Me for two years solid.
if you dont like it dont listen to it.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I remember a post from here years ago from someone convinced the whole song was about sexual intercourse, with "success is just a mess"referring to the...ahem...big finish. 😆
 
M

Musician

Guest
Given that the first version was writren when Spencer was still with M, I highly doubt it's about him. As i recall, at the time of the release it was obvious to all it's most likely about Joyce. Don't forget on its parent album (Quarry) Morrissey still couldn't just let it go (egal legal eagles and so on)
 
The Cobrin version showed everything about the malaise of the maladjusted era. Even Moz sounds like he's waiting for the music to catch up with him.

The Whyte version was yet more pub rock from the University of No Creativity, but that section 'I burst into...the public bars' is one I really liked even though I thought the lyric was 'Public Baths' originally.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
Go away, you simpleton. You’re boring.
iv been called many things in my time,boring has never been one of them.your account is 22 days old,got a lot to say for yourself.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I like the music of the Cobrin composition, but Morrissey was seemingly unable to come up with a strong vocal harmony at that time, so it was kept on the shelves. He was able to fix that problem on the Whyte composition, but the music is very disappointing on that one, just boring indie-rock. So it's not a song I care about.
 

MozIsGod

Active Member
Does anyone have the rare Dec 2004 Janice Long BBC version of this song? I've looked for ages on YouTube and cannot find it.
 
T

Trans

Guest
I like the music of the Cobrin composition, but Morrissey was seemingly unable to come up with a strong vocal harmony at that time, so it was kept on the shelves. He was able to fix that problem on the Whyte composition, but the music is very disappointing on that one, just boring indie-rock. So it's not a song I care about.

change very disappointing to find and nix the bit after and this is how i feel
 
Tags
morrissey a-z
Top Bottom