Morrissey A-Z: "Boxers"

D

Deleted member 29235

Guest
I don't know if this is the best song that Morrissey ever wrote and recorded as a solo artist but I can't think of one better.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
Soothing, sober, somber. I was pleased then, as now, as it served as the interstitial single between Vauxhall and Southpaw.

I can understand the imagery relative to Moz' fascination with the sport at the time. But I always thought that he could have done better with the videos, album/single covers, etc. (For me it marks the beginning of less-care in his image and products.)

I actually had tickets to the ill-fated Boxers Tour concert in LA that was to be held in an old boxing gym. But alas, "nobody told" Morrissey of this scheduled show date and it [US] was cancelled before it even began.

MrShoes
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Vauxhall and I had been triumphant success, especially considering some of the bad press prior to it, but Morrissey really couldn't afford to take his foot off the accelerator at this point.

I can understand his contrary nature causing him to want to rebel against his poetic image, but I don't think anybody was looking for him to attempt such an unconvincing tough guy pose. Some of the videos from this era are indeed cringeworthy, and a boxing themed song was never likely to be a huge hit for him - especially one with little to really say. This single and the accompanying tour gave the press another chance to lay into him and they took full advantage. It would be 9 years before his career recovered.

That's not to say that it's all bad as Alain's tune is pleasant, if a little slight, and it's all very easy on the ear. It would have been better suited to being an album track, though imo.

It also proved to be a worrying harbinger of what was to come on Southpaw Grammar.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 54 from 264 solo songs.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I don't know if this is the best song that Morrissey ever wrote and recorded as a solo artist but I can't think of one better.

I know what you mean. For me, this is one of the most gorgeous and empathetic and human pop songs I've ever heard. No other singer in the history of popular music could have written these lyrics and sung them so beautifully over the (nice, but nothing spectacular) backing music. I have a crystal clear memory of listening to the Top 40 on Radio 1 the week this entered the charts and it just sounded so...out of time. So out of...everything. The way he doesn't even sing the last chorus properly because really, what's the point.

Apologies for the hyperbole, I just really f***ing love this song.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
to take a subject like boxing which i loved at the time and to have lyrics about a boxer losing a fight was really something special at the time,still holds up as a great song in my opinion.
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
A lovely song indeed -- and the last thing Morrissey released before his fall from grace. After this came Dagenham Dave, Southpaw Grammar, the endless label struggles and so on. The Britpop should have been the ideal era for Morrissey to thrive, but he responded by releasing the weakest material of his career so far.
 

Orson Swells

Well-Known Member
I always thought the boxing theme was a metaphor for his career at the time and the criticism he'd been receiving from the NME, etc.
 

Watson

Well-Known Member
Absolute favourite of mine - love the live version ("wrestlers" :p) - and one I always come back to when I need a reminder of why I've stuck with Morrissey for so long. I'm not sure I bought into the boxing/hard man/gangster shtick he was peddling at the time, but this is a truly great song.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
Absolute favourite of mine - love the live version ("wrestlers" :p) - and one I always come back to when I need a reminder of why I've stuck with Morrissey for so long. I'm not sure I bought into the boxing/hard man/gangster shtick he was peddling at the time, but this is a truly great song.

Its elementary, Watson! Well maybe a nod to his interest in gangsters like the Crays, etc., and the 'romance of crime', eh?
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Masterpiece. Absolute f***ing masterpiece. Up there with NMHIF, The Never Played Symphonies and maybe a few others as his best ever solo songs. Warm, heartfelt, empathetic and drenched in what feels like quite English melancholia. Just the way I like my Mozzer. Aesthetically and looks-wise, he was at a peak around this time as well. Gorgeous denim/western shirts, perfect hair and grade A sideburns.
 
T

Trans

Guest
“That's not to say that it's all bad as Alain's tune is pleasant, if a little slight, and it's all very easy on the ear. It would have been better suited to being an album track, though imo.”

I kinda agree with this. The lyric is fantastic and the way he sings them brings out all the weariness of the words and its imagery. The vocal melody is pretty good but not my fav. This was a good period for him but it’s a little placid at times for me
 

born to mourn and yawn

Well-Known Member
One of my top 10 Moz songs, which shows that it doesn't need much to touch the chords; a gentle and modest voice, some comforting words for someone who feels like a loser and who can't live up to the ideal any longer, and a appeasing melody.
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
An underrated gem of a single which was "a huge hit.....nowhere". Absolutely adore this song probably because it takes me back to the York Hall, Bethnal Green and 90s days of yore. A great time to be in one's late teens and early twenties with retrospect.

At the time there was a song doing the rounds which sounded like Morrissey called Melanie and I always remember Radio One promising the new play of the Morrissey single (see Radio One occasionally played Mozzer in those days despite his protestations) and playing this. I Always thought it was a very good parody but others disagreed, see below links

The lyrics went....

Oh Melanie
You say you really love me
You say that I'm the best thing that's ever happened to you
Oh Melanie
You keep telling me you love me
You say that no one else in this cruel world has ever loved you like I do
Oh Melanie, honestly
There's something really troubling you
If what you say is true
Why do you continue to inject yourself?
Inject yourself, inject yourself
Oh, inject yourself, inject yourself, inject yoursel

Further chat on this

https://www.morrissey-solo.com/article.pl?sid=01/01/24/0753251 and https://www.morrissey-solo.com/article.pl?sid=01/01/26/093221

Been nice to pop in, see you after I get vaccinated in 2024
 
Last edited:

scabbycoco

Member
One of my top 10 Moz songs, which shows that it doesn't need much to touch the chords; a gentle and modest voice, some comforting words for someone who feels like a loser and who can't live up to the ideal any longer, and a appeasing melody.
Exactly my feeling.... I got into the Smiths in 2003, fell in love with them, and decided to check further into that Morrissey singer solo career... this was the first song I heard from him after a totally random search on Soulseek, and I immediately fell in love with it, everything in the song spoke to me.

Timing was pretty good, since Quarry was to be released a couple of months later, that sealed my eternal devotion to Morrissey :)
 
'A Tune-Shy Meander' was how one music publication reviewed this one.

At the Winter Gardens gig in February 1995 he introduced this by saying 'This was a hit...nowhere'

To keep the boxing terminology up, this was far more lightweight then heavyweight.

For so long Moz had been so much more interesting than what was going on around him at the time.

Now, for the first time, the tables were turning.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I always thought the boxing theme was a metaphor for his career at the time and the criticism he'd been receiving from the NME, etc.
I also thought that. Take for example the line "Hell is the bell that will not ring again". It refers to the end of the boxing career, a farewell to the boxing ring. But it might as well be the end of his own performing career and a farewell to the concert stage (artists also hear a bell when it is time to go on stage). Or likewise "Losing in front of your hometown, the crowd call your name, they love you all the same".

It is a sad song about the end of a boxing career (was it about Jake's?), which is delivered with warmth and empathy. The music showcases Alain's gift for melancholy and serenity - you never get that in a Boz co-write - and is addictive. Also up there with my favorites.
 
Tags
morrissey a-z
Top Bottom