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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Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Glad it was a fantastic time for you.




and if true, so what. We all have our ups and downs.
Of course we do, and I should know. I wasn’t slagging him off. I just want to see the boy happy...
 

Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
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.
Agree completely. Morrissey was riding the crest of his third wave (and it was one hell of a good time). Vocally he was untouchable; as an icon he was fully self-possessed and magnetic.

My favorite memory from the ROTT era came at one of the final gigs of the tour at the London Palladium. The energy in that room could have powered the city for a day. Even for Morrissey it was pandemonium: banners, stage invaders, screaming, crying, chanting, folks on the balconies looking like they were ready to fly. It was a truly remarkable gig.

But the best moment was purest Moz: singing "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" to a hysterically loving crowd of fans for whom he'd always be a hero (or so it seemed at the time). It was hilarious. It was bathos as high art.

Now it seems somewhat prophetic.
 
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Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Agree completely. Morrissey was riding the crest of his third wave (and it was one hell of a good time). Vocally he was untouchable; as an icon he was fully self-possessed and magnetic.

My favorite memory from the ROTT era came at one of the final gigs of the tour at the London Palladium. The energy in that room could have powered the city for a day. Even for Morrissey it was pandemonium: banners, stage invaders, screaming, crying, chanting, folks on the balconies looking like they were ready to fly. It was a truly remarkable gig.

But the best moment was purest Moz: singing "I'll Never Be Anyone's Hero Now" to a hysterically loving crowd of fans for whom he'd always be a hero (or so it seemed at the time). It was hilarious. It was bathos as high art.

Now it seems somewhat prophetic.
Best thing I’ve read on here for a long time. Beautifully put.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Who's is paying her ? And why a blogger receives an exposure on this website ?
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
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.
Speaking of Richard Burton, I re-watched The Medusa Touch on TV last weekend. Scared me almost to death back in the late 70's. I reckon Moz has a bit of the Medusa Touch in his own career from time to time.

Nikos-work-medusa_touch2-UPLOAD6.jpg
 

Hovis Lesley

Well-Known Member
Speaking of Richard Burton, I re-watched The Medusa Touch on TV last weekend. Scared me almost to death back in the late 70's. I reckon Moz has a bit of the Medusa Touch in his own career from time to time.

Nikos-work-medusa_touch2-UPLOAD6.jpg
This, Equus and Wild Geese are my favourite Richard Burton films. Morrissey would be great singing the theme to the latter film; it’s wonderful.
 

Stanley the 2nd

Active Member
Never really understood why so many people raved about how good ROTT was. Pigsty and Dear God aside I just couldn't get into the album. Seemed to be mainly filler. It should have been good with Visconti at the helm but just didn't do it for me.

YATQ almost had Morrissey back in mainstream appeal, all the hip bands were citing him as an influence. Instead of riding the wave he just released a plodding album which only the hardcore fans would buy. A missed opportunity.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
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.
Though I didn't much care for the music on Ringleader (and still don't), the tour that followed gave me some of my most cherished Morrissey memories. 2002 - 2006 was indeed a great time to be a fan. The decline since then is undeniable on a multitude of levels.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
If the last I spoke to Carol is on the album, I love that song. It was actually the last I spoke to Carol because she was a work colleague and she used to ride pinion on a motorbike with her husband. I made her plug the headphones in and listen to the song because it was her namesake. She said Morrissey had a lovely voice. She'd never heard of him before. Anyway, I'll always remember we were coming up to a bank holiday and Carol asked me how I'd be spending it. I said 'oh Carol, I need to stay off the drink' She said 'Paul, it's the bank holiday... Enjoy yourself' During the holiday she'd gone riding up the motorway in pinion on her husbands bike and they hit a pile up and went straight into the back of a car. Carol was thrown onto the motorway and her neck was broken. I'll never forget how she told me to enjoy myself.

That's just horrible. Poor Carol.
The song is on Years Of Refusal. A great song on a truly great album.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Though I didn't much care for the music on Ringleader (and still don't), the tour that followed gave me some of my most cherished Morrissey memories. 2002 - 2006 was indeed a great time to be a fan. The decline since then is undeniable on a multitude of levels.
To me, it feels like something happened after or during Refusal. Something got lost. The pre Refusal Moz and the post Refusal Moz are, to me, two completely different people and artists. Something happened. I don’t know what.
 

Hovis Lesley

Well-Known Member

Carol was thrown into the middle of the road and broke her neck and died. She was riding pinion on the back of her husbands motorbike. She was my work colleague and I played her the song because it was her namesake. She said Morrissey had a beautiful voice. Before she departed she said 'Paul, stop being hard on yourself and try to enjoy life' I was, as ever, lamenting my lack of will. I'm glad she heard Morrissey before she went.
An astonishing song. Just before the album was released Stuart Maconie and Mark Riley played it as an exclusive on their (much missed) Radio 2 evening show. I was alone listening whilst walking on the moors and it was pitch black, and it was freezing, and it was perfect.
 
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