Your Arsenal

The_Beginning

Well-Known Member
This album is highly regarded, sure, but I don't think it sits on the pedestal that it deserves to.

I love the new album. Vauxhall and I and Viva Hate are fantastic. But I can listen to Your Arsenal today and be rendered breathless and totally overwhelmed by the songs and how amazing the album is despite the fact that I've listened to this album for years repeatedly as I have done with all the albums (excepting the new one obvi). No other album on earth evokes this strong a visceral reaction from me.

Songs like "The National Front Disco" just blow everything else out of the water and stand as towering giants. This record saw Morrissey peak and he deserved way more recognition for this album -- one of the best of all time.

Do y'all agree or no?
 
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Chickpea

pithy yet degenerate
Your Arsenal is the album that pushed me over the edge into Morrissey-dom. I didn't discover Morrissey (or the Smiths) until 89/90, so I took in everything that came before YA at once—this was the first album I got to wait for. I remember seeing the ads for YA on MTV and being SO excited for it to come out. I bought it on cassette at Tower Records the weekend after it was released (I lived in a small town with no record store, so I had to wait for the weekend to get into the city) and played it ENDLESSLY. It didn't sound like anything I'd heard Morrissey (or anyone) do before. I remember Kurt Loder referring to it as "surprisingly masculine" on MTV News before rolling the tour dates across the screen…and I knew I had to go to as many shows as possible. I was done for. Life changing!

I'm going to put it on right now. I might have to skip ahead to "We'll Let You Know" and then go back to the beginning…
 

Jamie

Bluff, Ardour & Assoc.
This album is highly regarded, sure, but I don't think it sits on the pedestal that it deserves to.

I love the new album. Vauxhall and I and Viva Hate are fantastic. But I can listen to Your Arsenal today and be rendered breathless and totally overwhelmed by the songs and how amazing the album is despite the fact that I've listened to this album for years repeatedly as I have done with all the albums (excepting the new one obvi). No other album on earth evokes this strong a visceral reaction from me.

Songs like "The National Front Disco" just blow everything else out of the water and stand as towering giants. This record saw Morrissey peak and he deserved way more recognition for this album -- one of the best of all time.

Do y'all agree or no?

It was the first Morrissey/Smiths album I ever listened to so it is hard to not have a tidal wave of affection when I hear it. Funny you posted this, as I was listening to it on the ride home yesterday and thinking - for the umpteenth time - how fresh and ageless it sounds. It's interesting to hear the fulsome praise for his current band and how they upped their game for the new album. Think back to how rough and unprepared Th'Lads sounded on the Kill Uncle tour - and then play The National Front Disco or Seasick Yet Still Docked - talk about a sea change, pardon the expression. Who expected such fully-formed and lock-tight songs? One could argue that the original band far exceeded their expectations the first time out whilst the current band finally lived up to the ones that should have been approached or met years ago on the new album.

To this day - and, in part, due to the additional clarity of the new remaster - I discover new things in its layers or have an "I can't believe I never noticed..." moment. (E.g., the nods to The Jean Genie in Glamorous Glue - then realizing the inclusion of "GLAM" within the title.)

If we think of trifectas within his solo discography, you can listen to YATQ, ROTT, and YOR and hear a great degree of similarity. Compare these to Arsenal, Vauxhall, and Southpaw. Certainly, there are common traits but each album in that trio sounds vastly, vastly different overall.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I prefer Vauxhall, but I agree that Arsenal ( along with Vauxhall) are timeless. Arsenal opens with a great track and the energy continues throughout. Viva Hate is great, but at times can sound a bit 80s. Not so with YA.
 

The_Beginning

Well-Known Member
Your Arsenal is the album that pushed me over the edge into Morrissey-dom. I didn't discover Morrissey (or the Smiths) until 89/90, so I took in everything that came before YA at once—this was the first album I got to wait for. I remember seeing the ads for YA on MTV and being SO excited for it to come out. I bought it on cassette at Tower Records the weekend after it was released (I lived in a small town with no record store, so I had to wait for the weekend to get into the city) and played it ENDLESSLY. It didn't sound like anything I'd heard Morrissey (or anyone) do before. I remember Kurt Loder referring to it as "surprisingly masculine" on MTV News before rolling the tour dates across the screen…and I knew I had to go to as many shows as possible. I was done for. Life changing!

I'm going to put it on right now. I might have to skip ahead to "We'll Let You Know" and then go back to the beginning…

Very interesting; for me being born in 1992 and not being around for much of Morrissey's early career I got the privilege (sort of?) of absorbing everything at once essentially and it's a pretty overwhelming and life changing experience realizing that you've just delved into what is unequivocally your favourite artist and band and yet you've "missed out" on so much.

Maybe the fact that YA was released in 1992 in my birth month has something cosmic to do with the fact that it's at the top of my list.

I just regret (not that it's changeable) that I wasn't in the position you and others were in to buy Your Arsenal (and the other records) at their time of release and I can't even imagine how amazing an experience it would be to get that album home and hear those songs for the first time the "right way". Cue the nostalgia attack.

I guess you must take the bad with the good in regard to the change in the music industry and technology because at least I got to fully discover what I'd missed via the Internet and hear more Morrissey (and the Smiths) than I had heard on the radio beyond "How Soon Is Now?" and "Irish Blood, English Heart" which of course were only portals to the best songs anyway but thank Jesus they at least played those and I made the choice to listen to more of my own accord.
 

The_Beginning

Well-Known Member
I prefer Vauxhall, but I agree that Arsenal ( along with Vauxhall) are timeless. Arsenal opens with a great track and the energy continues throughout. Viva Hate is great, but at times can sound a bit 80s. Not so with YA.

I agree that depending on the mood and what you want to hear Vauxhall is right up there with YA as his best work. But it lacks the killer quality that Arsenal oozed.
 

The_Beginning

Well-Known Member
And it hasn't even been certified Silver in the UK which seems strange. Even Kill Uncle and Southpaw got Silver.

Perhaps it wasn't requested.
 

Chickpea

pithy yet degenerate
I just regret (not that it's changeable) that I wasn't in the position you and others were in to buy Your Arsenal (and the other records) at their time of release and I can't even imagine how amazing an experience it would be to get that album home and hear those songs for the first time the "right way". Cue the nostalgia attack.

There's never a "right way" with timeless music, though. I know what you mean, of course, but everyone was born too late for something. I was 12 years old when the Smiths ended—it was all over with by the time I'd found them! I don't think their music means any less to me than someone who was there from the beginning, but I do regret not having had the experience of watching their (brief) career progress. I can't even imagine how exciting it must have been to buy all of those singles when they were released instead of hearing them on compilations later!

1992 was a fun time to be a new Morrissey fan, to be sure. He was all over MTV/120 Minutes. I remember recording this and watching it over and over and over...

 
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The_Beginning

Well-Known Member
If we think of trifectas within his solo discography, you can listen to YATQ, ROTT, and YOR and hear a great degree of similarity. Compare these to Arsenal, Vauxhall, and Southpaw. Certainly, there are common traits but each album in that trio sounds vastly, vastly different overall.

Agreed. It's nice to see that he has evolved though with the new album because to be honest I didn't expect such a musically adventurous album with World Peace.

Just listen to Swords (which of course compiles b-sides from the singles of all three of those albums) and it's almost impossible to say unless you know by memory which studio album that song was recorded for.
 

The_Beginning

Well-Known Member
There's never a "right way" with timeless music, though. I know what you mean, of course, but everyone was born too late for something. I was 12 years old when the Smiths ended—it was all over with by the time I'd found them! I don't think their music means any less to me than someone who was there from the beginning, but I do regret not having had the experience of watching their (brief) career progress. I can't even imagine how exciting it must have been to buy all of those singles when they were released instead of hearing them on compilations later!

1992 was a fun time to be a new Morrissey fan, to be sure. He was all over MTV/120 Minutes. I remember recording this and watching it over and over and over...


Yes I love that!

The singles would have been the coolest to buy as they came out.

I guess it's easy to look at the past and overrate certain things but as far as new releases it would have been much more exciting than it is today.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I agree that depending on the mood and what you want to hear Vauxhall is right up there with YA as his best work. But it lacks the killer quality that Arsenal oozed.

I can only listen to Vauxhall if it's raining or very cloudy. I know that's weird.
 

Belligerent Ghoul

Hall of Famer
Derek17 -

I don't know if "Your Arsenal" gets the respect it deserves in the cannon of pop music, but certainly Morrissey fans love it very consistently. It may be the best album, in terms of production, credit Mick Ronson. While the album may or may not get the respect, the experience was incredible. Morrissey on MTV. Running home to decipher out the lyrics with a friend and write them down as it came with no lyric book. The tour. Morrissey breaking the record held by The Beatles for selling out the Hollywood Bowl (capacity 17,000+) faster than any artist who had ever played there. "Your Arsenal" was a full-blown experience, not just an album, and in my humble opinion a huge step up from "Kill Uncle" and without question, at the time, unlike anything Morrissey had done before. Nice thread.
 

Chickpea

pithy yet degenerate
Derek17 -

I don't know if "Your Arsenal" gets the respect it deserves in the cannon of pop music, but certainly Morrissey fans love it very consistently. It may be the best album, in terms of production, credit Mick Ronson. While the album may or may not get the respect, the experience was incredible. Morrissey on MTV. Running home to decipher out the lyrics with a friend and write them down as it came with no lyric book. The tour. Morrissey breaking the record held by The Beatles for selling out the Hollywood Bowl (capacity 17,000+) faster than any artist who had ever played there. "Your Arsenal" was a full-blown experience, not just an album, and in my humble opinion a huge step up from "Kill Uncle" and without question, at the time, unlike anything Morrissey had done before. Nice thread.

Yes! All of this—great post. And nothing can ever top that tour.
 
S

Shea

Guest
Yes I love that!

The singles would have been the coolest to buy as they came out.

I guess it's easy to look at the past and overrate certain things but as far as new releases it would have been much more exciting than it is today.

Very cute interview. He looks a little embarrassed by it all. I was only 9 and totally unaware of him, but I wish I had been. It was a very exciting time for him and his fans.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
i think he just looks shy which is expected from a young morrissey on t.v in a foreign land. ronson did an outstanding job on that albums production and it still holds up today no doubt. i could play glamorous glue and tomorrow on repeat forever. ronson was such a fantastic musician
 

fredkocherpepsi

Active Member
Pound for pound, Your Arsenal is my favorite, only once in a while edged out by Vauxhall & I depending on my mood. It’s front to back great. Derek17 - I was 11 when it came out and was somewhat aware of him because of the “Tomorrow” video being played on MTV but at that point it wasn’t really my thing. I was at the height of grunge and Guns ’N Roses worship then. It wasn’t until a few years later when Maladjusted was the newest one that I took note and dove straight in to The Smiths and then later, solo. Nice thread. We needed this on here, for sure.
 

No1uno

Member of the Month™
Subscriber
And for all the other drama, this is the gold of solo. Sharing what is important to us about our experiences over the music

Standouts for me in 1992. Saw a slew of shows. Got pics and met morrissey. Got on stage several times for the complimentary hug (I was gentle).
NYC paramount, I ended up getting video of me getting onstage and watched it over and over. It was the exciting year with morrissey. We broke the front 5 rows of seats because we were all standing on them. I remember when the lights went on, I thought, oh we f***ed this place up and it was so worth it.
 

fredkocherpepsi

Active Member
And for all the other drama, this is the gold of solo. Sharing what is important to us about our experiences over the music

Standouts for me in 1992. Saw a slew of shows. Got pics and met morrissey. Got on stage several times for the complimentary hug (I was gentle).
NYC paramount, I ended up getting video of me getting onstage and watched it over and over. It was the exciting year with morrissey. We broke the front 5 rows of seats because we were all standing on them. I remember when the lights went on, I thought, oh we f***ed this place up and it was so worth it.


Man, I would’ve loved to have attended one of those 90’s shows.
 

Chickpea

pithy yet degenerate
Standouts for me in 1992. Saw a slew of shows. Got pics and met morrissey. Got on stage several times for the complimentary hug (I was gentle).
NYC paramount, I ended up getting video of me getting onstage and watched it over and over. It was the exciting year with morrissey. We broke the front 5 rows of seats because we were all standing on them. I remember when the lights went on, I thought, oh we f***ed this place up and it was so worth it.

I was right there with you! The show was absolutely INSANE, and remains one of the best memories of my life. Did you got to all of the 1992 NYC shows?

I didn't get on stage (I've always been too shy…), but I did manage to get a tiny bit of shirt scrap. :D Is that video online?? I'd love to see it, even if it's terrible quality.

chickpea_shirt.jpg
 

The_Beginning

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the positive response folks, nice to see!

Even just watching the Youtube videos of shows from that period it's clear how special a time it was and how much Morrissey was loving it.

I kind of wish he delved deeper into rockabilly because he was untouchable back then.

Makes you wonder what might have happened if Mick Ronson was around to produce a second album (not at the expense of Vauxhall though).
 
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