Fiona Dodwell: "Ringleader in Reflection: A Look Back at Morrissey’s 2006 Album, Ringleader of The Tormentors" (March 31, 2021)

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Ringleader in Reflection: A Look Back at Morrissey’s 2006 Album, Ringleader of The Tormentors


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Regards,
FWD.


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Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I don't think he ever wanted to be a mainstream entertainer. He hates the business and whenever he came close to it, the good old 'unlimited self-sabotage' made sure he wouldn't make it to the top.
It's at the very core of his being. And strangely, I love him for that.

Yeah - same. I don't think he lost the childhood feeling of wanting it to be real - if he was going to be properly commercial about it he would end up painting on a smile & all that jazz.
 

Hovis Lesley

Well-Known Member
Bore off, you yawn-inducing self-repeat machine.
Unfortunately, he’s correct. Morrissey thirsts mainstream success, and when it defies him he puts his foot in it to make it feel like he’s in control. And for the uninitiated, it might appear that way too.

If you wanted a crystalline model of self-defeating behaviour (as that involves heaps of ego, and the related self-deception of a personal agency denied) Morrissey is unequivocally it. Speaking as someone who’s actually read the text books, he’s the text book example to the letter.

Skinny himself runs a close second.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
ROTT if I'd been in charge might have been this:

You Have Killed Me
Ganglord
Good Looking Man About Town
If You Don't Like Me, Don't Look at Me
Dear God Please Help Me
On the Streets I Ran
The Father Who Must Be Killed
Life Is a Pigsty
I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now
Christian Dior
At Last I Am Born
I love the additions but don't like the omissions! 'I will see you in far off places'?!! 'To me you are a work of art'?! Etc. A great album would be the original track list plus all those additions on an extra disc.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
The ‘self-sabotage’ does his working-class credentials no harm at all: he is profoundly Colin Smith. But by 2006 it was losing its romance for me: I wanted Morrissey to breakthrough like Richard Burton, rather than fall short like Tom Courtney.

He did flail in the limelight.

But he does have a strong charisma - it's stuff that could be rediscovered, rather than him becoming ordinary.
 

Hovis Lesley

Well-Known Member
He did flail in the limelight.

But he does have a strong charisma - it's stuff that could be rediscovered, rather than him becoming ordinary.
His artistic strength comes through when he embraces his ordinariness. The paradox of Morrissey is that his ordinariness is what he fears most—and there’s nothing more commonplace than that.
 
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GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
There's no doubt he likes the idea of mainstream fame. And of course he craves success.

I was talking about the reality of actually being a mainstream artist though. There's no way he would want to or be able to do what it takes to become that.
 

Banbury Moz Army

Active Member
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Ringleader in Reflection: A Look Back at Morrissey’s 2006 Album, Ringleader of The Tormentors


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Regards,
FWD.


Related item:
A brilliant album. I have a vivid memory of hearing "You have Killed me" played for the first time one evening on the radio. I still think this song represented Moz at the peak of his powers. He is almost on auto pilot and swaggers through the song. The album has aged well. "I just want to see the boy happy" was a terrific single and his peformance on the R Brand show is one of my all time fav live peformances.
He appeared on the 4 music show to promote the Album. His peformance on this show is one of the greatest live peformances by any Singer. Ever.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
A brilliant album. I have a vivid memory of hearing "You have Killed me" played for the first time one evening on the radio. I still think this song represented Moz at the peak of his powers. He is almost on auto pilot and swaggers through the song. The album has aged well. "I just want to see the boy happy" was a terrific single and his peformance on the R Brand show is one of my all time fav live peformances.
He appeared on the 4 music show to promote the Album. His peformance on this show is one of the greatest live peformances by any Singer. Ever.

Still Ill on 4 Music is out of this world. And the next world.
 

Hovis Lesley

Well-Known Member
A brilliant album. I have a vivid memory of hearing "You have Killed me" played for the first time one evening on the radio. I still think this song represented Moz at the peak of his powers. He is almost on auto pilot and swaggers through the song. The album has aged well. "I just want to see the boy happy" was a terrific single and his peformance on the R Brand show is one of my all time fav live peformances.
He appeared on the 4 music show to promote the Album. His peformance on this show is one of the greatest live peformances by any Singer. Ever.
Bollocks.

Let’s start here...

 

Ketamine Sun

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There's no doubt he likes the idea of mainstream fame. And of course he craves success.

I was talking about the reality of actually being a mainstream artist though. There's no way he would want to or be able to do what it takes to become that.


Skinny’s a turd. Of course he would want mainstream success, but on his terms. It’s always on his terms, and this is why it hasn’t happened and will never happen.
I believe he knows this, even when he’s complaining about chart positions, etc.
Also he has (or had)what it takes to be a mainstream artist, but refuses to put on a happy face, perform like a seal for music moguls, and play ball.


Anyway, to talk about mainstream success for him at this stage is a bit silly. That boat has passed, surely he knows this and will continue doing his finest work while paddling his own canoe.


Viva Moz !!!


:cool:
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
It rends like another album review to me, with only limited reflection on why this is still a great album after 15 years. It should at least be remembered as Morrissey’s most liberated and happiest album, his passion for everything Italian / Roman as reflected in the lyrical reference as well as his apparence, and the inclusion of the all time classic “Life’s a pigsty” .

I am confident that Morrissey will be happy with every bit of attention given to this album. Too bad that plans to reissue the album were aborted. There will be another chance 5 years from now.
 

Hovis Lesley

Well-Known Member
Skinny’s a turd. Of course he would want mainstream success, but on his terms. It’s always on his terms, and this is why it hasn’t happened and will never happen.
I believe he knows this, even when he’s complaining about chart positions, etc.
Also he has (or had)what it takes to be a mainstream artist, but refuses to put on a happy face, perform like a seal for music moguls, and play ball.


Anyway, to talk about mainstream success for him at this stage is a bit silly. That boat has passed, surely he knows this and will continue doing his finest work while paddling his own canoe.


Viva Moz !!!


:cool:
Bands like Crass don’t play ball.

Morrissey plays ball as much as any similarly ‘difficult’ artists have to if they want a high public profile.

Supreme, for example, never got their money back despite apparent and fundamental creative differences—ultimately Morrissey compromised for the cash. Most do. And he’ll behave in exactly the same way in/for his record deals.
 

Ketamine Sun

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Bands like Crass don’t play ball.

They compromised by playing chords on guitars, sell outs.
Now, Throbbing Gristle did NOT comprise, nor did they play ball.
Morrissey plays ball as much as any similarly ‘difficult’ artists have to if they want a high public profile.

A high public profile is NOT mainstream success.
Supreme, for example, never got their money back despite apparent and fundamental creative differences—ultimately Morrissey compromised for the cash.

We all comprise in our ways, this is not about compromise.
Most do. And he’ll behave in exactly the same way in/for his record deals.

He’ll behave as he’s always behaved...

by not playing ball.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
I’ve said it before, but the mid 00’s was a fantastic time to be a Morrissey fan. The hype, the albums, the b-sides, the interviews, the look, the hair, the TV appearances, the gigs. I miss those days a lot. In fact, I miss a lot from those years.

Ringleader is a flawed album, but it’s still very special to me. @GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn said it best when she said that the lesser songs on YATQ still have more personality than the ones on ROTT. That’s its biggest flaw.

But I still kind of love it. I love how Moz, despite the album being about death, guilt and yearning (among other things), sounds like a man completely at ease and in love with life. He sounds calm, suave and comfortable in his own skin - more than he has ever done before or since. I love the fact that he sounds inspired and passionate even on the songs that suffer a bit from a lack of personality and/or purpose. He makes meh songs sound fun and meaningful, at least to him.

Even though I liked the album as a whole much more back in 2006, it’s still very dear to me. Everything he has released since has been colder (even though I thoroughly enjoy YOR). Moz himself has seemed colder, sadder, more cynical in the years since.
 
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