Morrissey A-Z: "Papa Jack"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member


We kick off ten days of P's with this Morrissey/Whyte composition from the Maladjusted album. (Although it then failed to appear on the 2009 reissue.)

What do we think?
 

Carlisle baz

Cock of the north
Haven’t heard this for years...
And it will be many more years till I hear it again.
The only thing I like about this song is the guitars..
Other than that a nothing song
With Moz rambling on about sod all really
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
i used to dislike it but hearing it for the first time in a long time it doesnt sound so bad,nice easy going.
7 papas/10 jacks.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
Now, this is where my dislike for much of Maladjusted resurfaces. This is surely one of my least favourites: faux pomp rock with lyrics that are too thin for the musical backing. And Moz’s vocals aren’t really up to scratch all over - not saying they’re bad in a “normal” Morrissey tune, but here, there needs to be more to really elevate it. Most of the musical turns just seem clunky and out of place and, again, I wish there was more instrumentation, more drama and more dynamic variety in order for it all to make sense somehow. I’m sorry, but this one isn’t for me (and it’s not even my least favourite on the album - sorry again!)
4/10
 

Phranc & Open

two-timer
Whyte says, Morrissey wanted something WHO-like. I liked it from the very start, because Pete Townshend is my childhood hero. A good, solid album track from that period with lovely backings by Alain. Moz must have his reasons for discarding it later, but he did it with "The ordinary boys" too. Oh well, you never learn. WHY?
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
He’s done far, far worse than this, people. Both musically and lyrically. It’s really not as bad as most make it out to be. Still, though, not a song I seek out to hear nor a song I particularly enjoy when I do hear it. But like I said, he’s done much worse than this.
 

Phranc & Open

two-timer
He didn't play this one live, did he? It's surely made for a Rock workout on stage at that time. But Popa Jack just pushed em away....
 
Last edited:

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
It's not terrible or anything, but it's certainly not good either. The lyrics are sparse and vague, Alain's tune is dull and the production sounds uninspired (which could be said of the production for most of the album).

When Maladjusted was released, I was of the age when I read each and every print review that I could find. Almost every song received a good review or two somewhere, even though the album reviews were understandably average. I didn't read a single positive word about Papa Jack and it should have been relegated to b-side status imo.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 249th from 264 solo songs.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Such depth & meaning in these simple, yet sad, lyrics; they're really quite heart-breaking, especially if you can relate to them. I often wondered if it was aimed at his father, who left the family home, culminating in divorce from Elizabeth, & the regrets he later possibly had & now being older, wishing he could go back in time & do things differently:

"Looking deep
In his heart
Papa Jack
Doesn't like
What he sees
Or the time
On his hands"


Wonderful song which I adore.

It also makes me think of that other wonderful song by Harry Chapin 'Cat's in the Cradle':

 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
It's such an odd song. The verses are rather lovely in a simple, melancholy way, about an old man (father figure? Priest?) thinking back on his life - but then when the chorus kicks in it just has no relationship at all to the verses, musically and it's so, so jarring. Don't think this one's Alain's fault, it's more like Morrissey just couldn't figure out what to do with the melody here.
 

Janice

Well-Known Member
I don’t have the malign for this song that many do.
All things Maladjusted I’m quite fond of.
And with that, I’m going to spin that record now.
💚
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
I don’t have the malign for this song that many do.
All things Maladjusted I’m quite fond of.
And with that, I’m going to spin that record now.
💚
His most underrated/underappreciated album of all time.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
It's such an odd song. The verses are rather lovely in a simple, melancholy way, about an old man (father figure? Priest?) thinking back on his life - but then when the chorus kicks in it just has no relationship at all to the verses, musically and it's so, so jarring. Don't think this one's Alain's fault, it's more like Morrissey just couldn't figure out what to do with the melody here.
Yeah, I can see what you're saying...but to me, the song is mixed, with 2 narrators. The sullen, reflective parts are the 'father' reminiscing & living through his regret; the chorus is the 'children' responding to him & saying, well you had your chance, we tried, you pushed us away. I think the different tempo might be there to reflect this.

"But there was a time
When the kids reached up
Now you can't always
Have it your way"
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Some parts are good like the verses and also the musical outtr, but to my ear, the chorus doesn’t do a good job in connections these parts and the song therefore doesn’t work as a whole. I rate it as a subpar entry in his song catalogue.
 

Phranc & Open

two-timer
Malad.jpg


Be careful, there are a lot of fake vinyl copies of "Maladjusted" out there but I'm really happy to own the original. I trust my dealer.

"Looking deep
In his heart
Phranc & Open
Doesn't like
What he sees
Or the time
On his hands"
 

Phranc & Open

two-timer
The old crew back in the essential threads of old skool Moz. Yeah!
I hate to see reissues covers on this theme. Please just original ones with Popa and Roy.
 
Tags
morrissey a-z
Top Bottom