Morrissey A-Z: "The Last of the Famous International Playboys"

The.Truth.

about Ruth
But in contrast to LotIP, SATH condemns the young criminal rather than idolising him. The song is rather sneering about the sorts of things that defence lawyers say in courts in mitigation of their clients, albeit in a rather hyperbolic and comedic way.
I don't see it that way at all. "She was old and she would have died anyway" isn't exactly something a lawyer would say. He's talking about the chaos of a certain lifestyle and how romance (lol) can still exist there.
 

The.Truth.

about Ruth
Ah, I'm not so sure they're really that different. The way he sings it is so nonchalant and I always felt like you can definitely sense some admiration for the hooligan between the lines. As is so often the case with Morrissey, it's very ambiguous and there's clearly a romanticising aspect to it.
Yes, if you've ever known anyone who did terrible things and had some familiarity with them you realize they are not always that same person that did the terrible thing. Truman Capote fell in love with one of the killers when he was writing In Cold Blood. Part of it is just lust. It can excuse all kinds of things.
But the song is humorous too so that's probably the most important part.
 

Carlisle baz

Cock of the north
One of Morrissey's best songs ever, second only to Sunday..
I absolutely adore this song , one of my go to tracks ..
Yes interesting times for the British music scene in 89.
I can remember things had been changing for a couple of years and I didn’t like it, all the rap crap and house shite...
Then to see Moz on the pops with this song , it brought hope back.
And a new entry at no6 ...
Many years later Irish blood and you have killed me charted higher
Reggie 10/ Ronnie 10...
 
P

Private Widdle

Guest
This song is evidence that The Smiths could have continued without Marr. Was it ultimately just a legal issue that Marr wouldn't let Morrissey use the name? I'm not saying this is the same as the Morrissey/Marr body of work, but it's a natural evolution. If 'Viva Hate' had been credited to The Smiths and had featured Joyce and Rourke on drums/bass, with a traditional Smiths-type cover, nobody would have been batting an eyelid by the time 'Playboys' was released and became their biggest hit to date. Sure, folks would still have been missing Marr, but I think the general verdict would have been that Morrissey had successfully kept the band going. Not that I really care. On the whole, I think it's for the best that The Smiths ended; just saying though, that I don't buy into the thinking that there was no way they could have survived and thrived once Marr left.
I concur. To me Bona Drag is sort of the last Smiths album. There's another universe in which Moz didn't part from Stephen Street. We're in the wrong universe.
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
Part of The Very Very Very Best of the entire output of Morrissey and The Smiths.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
I love how little there is to say about a song like this. It's perfect, there's almost nothing to dissect. The energy, the romance, the self-aggrandizing and the self-loathing...it's all classic Morrissey. It also has the benefit of sounding better and meaning more the longer it kicks around; I certainly prefer the versions from 2007 onward to the one in 1991.
 

Janice

Well-Known Member
I wouldn’t personally say the demise started after this song. Drug still made the top ten, and though Ouija Board didn’t, it was still a strong song. It was around the time after Ouija that the crest of a wave Moz had been on started to wane: the following May only saw November stall at 12 and by the time Piccadilly made 18 (IIRC) in the October, followed with BD only hitting number 9, I think it was clear to say, charts positions and sales was on the slide. The was murmurings of would he/wouldn’t he tour again, and maybe that impacted the slide. Who knows
 
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Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I wouldn’t personally say the demise started after this song. Drug still made the top ten, and though Ouija Board didn’t, it was still a strong song. It was around the time after Ouija that the crest of a wave Moz had been on started to wane: the following May only saw November stall at 12 and by the time Piccadilly made 18 (IIRC) in the October, followed with BD only hiring number 9, I think it was clear to say, charts positions and sales was on the slide. The was murmurings of would he/wouldn’t he tour again, and maybe that impacted the slide. Who knows

Do you mean that number 9 was the highest chart position for Bona Drag?
That would seem odd, considering how much love there is for this album among long time fans
 

Janice

Well-Known Member
Do you mean that number 9 was the highest chart position for Bona Drag?
That would seem odd, considering how much love there is for this album among long time fans
Yes. That’s correct.
9 was the highest position it reached. Then KU was 8 from memory.
 

Mike Rourke

Active Member
Do you mean that number 9 was the highest chart position for Bona Drag?
That would seem odd, considering how much love there is for this album among long time fans
Love for albums from fans, and sales/chart positions are often two separate things. Your Arsenal pretty much always makes the top 3 best solo albums poll but it remains one of his worst selling albums ever in the UK (selling even fewer than Kill Uncle).
Also, Bona Drag was not marketed as a 'best of'. Rather, it came out as a rather odd mixture of singles and some of their B-sides, at a time when Morrissey's profile was probably at its lowest point to date.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Love for albums from fans, and sales/chart positions are often two separate things. Your Arsenal pretty much always makes the top 3 best solo albums poll but it remains one of his worst selling albums ever in the UK (selling even fewer than Kill Uncle).
Also, Bona Drag was not marketed as a 'best of'. Rather, it came out as a rather odd mixture of singles and some of their B-sides, at a time when Morrissey's profile was probably at its lowest point to date.
To answer to you and Janice, I was just double checking.
It is true that what will ultimately be considered as an artist's great work by fans or even critics, is not necessarily successful or well received upon release. One can hope that these albums make up for their poor start by continuing to sell copies over a long time. I am sure that is what happened with the Smiths records, but I don't know in the case of Morrissey solo.
 

Mike Rourke

Active Member
To answer to you and Janice, I was just double checking.
It is true that what will ultimately be considered as an artist's great work by fans or even critics, is not necessarily successful or well received upon release. One can hope that these albums make up for their poor start by continuing to sell copies over a long time. I am sure that is what happened with the Smiths records, but I don't know in the case of Morrissey solo.
Good point - I often thought Vauxhall was considered enough of a classic album to go on selling strongly over the years but it appears not.
 
An absolutely tremendous song. Found myself horrendously poorly singing it, for no reason, driving to B&Q yesterday. No idea why; wasn't on the radio or anything. Surprisingly enough. :)
 
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