Morrissey A-Z: "The Harsh Truth of the Camera Eye"

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Love the sinister mood and atmosphere. And the “I don’t want to be judged anymore...” part is gorgeous. All in all, an underrated song off of a weird and underrated album.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
I’m sorry, but this is one of his worst songs. An absolute dirge with thin lyrics and an extremely grading fairground organ, needlessly extended with countless unimportant sound effects. No discernible tune either. The very worst of Kill Uncle.
2/10
 

MrShoes

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Love, love this song. Same with the "Morrissey goes bowling" image above. Yes, yes - lotsa folks rank it low or even hate it. Alright fine.

I've always found it haunting in a way. Keyed on the piano, the clicking, snapping of the shutters, even Moz's voice breaking halfway through - all interesting. While potentially a bit excessive, the use of samples and sound design help illustrate the song further.

Infinitely quotable, and with lyrics like these - its classic Moz from a classic time.

"Oh I don't want
To be judged anymore
I don't want to be judged
I would sooner be Loved
I would sooner be
Just blindly Loved."
 

Oh my

Enough! or Too much
I love it.
Kill uncle is truly a weird album and this song is probably the strangest one there.
The melody of the song is absolutely strange and I don't really know ANYTHING that sounds even close to this song.
Honestly, if this song was the only one that morrissey had ever recorded, it would be hilarious to ask someone: "I love this song, do you know any band that sounds a bit like this song?"... There would be no answer, the song is simply very strange. It has a strange retro-sci fi sound (I don't know if that was intentional).

The lyrics, I don't care much about them... They are fine, but probably there isn't something amazing to say on the subject... BUT I do love the absolutely surreal atmosphere of the song. I would not be surprised if he has never played it live, maybe he did, I am not sure.
 

MrShoes

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
I love it.
Kill uncle is truly a weird album and this song is probably the strangest one there.
The melody of the song is absolutely strange and I don't really know ANYTHING that sounds even close to this song.
Honestly, if this song was the only one that morrissey had ever recorded, it would be hilarious to ask someone: "I love this song, do you know any band that sounds a bit like this song?"... There would be no answer, the song is simply very strange. It has a strange retro-sci fi sound (I don't know if that was intentional).

The lyrics, I don't care much about them... They are fine, but probably there isn't something amazing to say on the subject... BUT I do love the absolutely surreal atmosphere of the song. I would not be surprised if he has never played it live, maybe he did, I am not sure.

I'll take strange any day and twice on Sunday. The piano outro ditty at the end seals the deal.
 

Thewlis

Junior Member
It really is nowhere near as bad as its reputation at the time of ‘worst Morrissey-song’. Really enjoyed that Moz decided to include it on This is Morrissey a couple of years ago. It’s ok and fun to hear every once in a while but the song is too long and doesn’t really go anywhere.

6,7
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
nah not for me and i like nearly all his songs.i can see why it would divide people.
 

MrShoes

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
nah not for me and i like nearly all his songs.i can see why it would divide people.
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Flibberty

Well-Known Member
A dull tune that is alarmingly overlong. On a slight album like Kill Uncle, you really can't afford to be blatantly stretching lethargic songs like this.

The "I don't want to be judged..." section is the most interesting lyric, but it's not enough to save this one. Otherwise it feels like Morrissey at his least inspired, and you can see why he was so ambivalent towards the album even before it had been released.

Clive Langer tries to add some atmosphere, but it deserves its poor reputation.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 262 from 264 solo songs.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
thing about M is when you get a duffer theres usually a classic just round the corner.
 

Phranc & Open

Just Frenk!
I think the crude waltz would also have made a perfect background for the possible theme song "Kill Uncle". The piece allows itself the luxury of tipping over into an instrumental almost halfway through. The atmosphere is claustrophobic and the lines around "I don't want to be judge,..." legendary. As written elsewhere, I like Kill Uncle a lot. Morrissey should sound british and anachronistic. Nevin knows that and produces adequately. Well, things have changed. We all know that.
 
D

Deleted member 29421

Guest
The lyrics have become more relevant today when your average Joe Bloggs can be unknowingly snapped (especially if they're under the influence). The song he originally sang about himself now says something to me about my life.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Hmm. I remember thinking this song sucked, the first time I ever played the album when it came out. And sadly my opinion hasn't changed very much. Although I can sort of the see the appeal for fans who are more into the less pop/rock side of Morrissey.
If it stopped at the 3:30ish point it would be just about a half-decent B-side, but nothing more than that.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Dirge is the right word. One of his weakest songs, and in the bottom 10 for me. There would be nothing wrong with the creepy funfare music if this was brief, or developed musically. but it just drones on and on with that damn repetitive bass line thumping out in a straight 1,2,3,4 for five and a half agonising minutes.
Morrissey puts in a great vocal performance, but as the sole epic on the incredibly slight 'Kill Uncle', this really needed some weighty lyrics to match - instead we get someone miffed about having their photo taken - whoopy doo. It's all so light and throwaway, and yet takes up so much space on an album only 33 minutes long. Frustrating. [ 3 out of 10.]
 

CJM

Practising troublemaker
The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye; a dark and unexpected passage from a slight and breezy album, an album which was my first foray into the solo world of Morrissey. The building background noise in the opening 30 or so seconds always reminds me of two things: the camera shutter noise which runs through Red Light by Siouxsie and the Banshees, and then the (in my mind) overlong mid-section of Black Eyed Susan. Probably just me! Once The Harsh Truth gets going in earnest it is a lovely little number – admittedly, it isn’t going to raise the roof at a drunken wedding party, but there is a time and a place for almost every Morrissey song.

Fast forwarding 30-odd years, and I feel that The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye on Kill Uncle has similarities with The Secret Of Music from I Am Not A Dog On A Chain – both slow and divisive numbers, occasionally referred to as 'dirges'. Surely we all need the odd dirge now and then?
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye; a dark and unexpected passage from a slight and breezy album, an album which was my first foray into the solo world of Morrissey. The building background noise in the opening 30 or so seconds always reminds me of two things: the camera shutter noise which runs through Red Light by Siouxsie and the Banshees, and then the (in my mind) overlong mid-section of Black Eyed Susan. Probably just me! Once The Harsh Truth gets going in earnest it is a lovely little number – admittedly, it isn’t going to raise the roof at a drunken wedding party, but there is a time and a place for almost every Morrissey song.

Fast forwarding 30-odd years, and I feel that The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye on Kill Uncle has similarities with The Secret Of Music from I Am Not A Dog On A Chain – both slow and divisive numbers, occasionally referred to as 'dirges'. Surely we all need the odd dirge now and then?
Yes, good point about "The Secret of Music" - definitely something of a similar vibe. (And I suspect that song will be equally divisive when we get to it!)
 
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