Morrissey A-Z: "Neal Cassady Drops Dead"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member




Today's song is this Morrissey/Manzur composition from the WPINOYB album. (The second clip shows Cassady and Ginsberg chatting away at a bookstore event in 1965 - great fun!)

What do we think of this one?
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Complete nonsense. I guess it’s (kind of) fine musically/melodically, but all in all it’s nonsense. He can do endlessly better and shouldn’t settle for stuff like this.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
Don’t mind this song at all - it’s actually quite good! The little synth intro leads into some - admittedly overused - crunchy guitars, but instead of the track becoming an uphill slog like it may have done in the Ringleader era for example, Chicarrelli enlivens the mix with whirring and burbling synths and other effects to keep the staccato lick going. Also, while most of the lyrics are ridiculous, Moz’s intriguing rap-style delivery also sets this one apart from many others, and his wordless crooning near to the end is also great. The extended ending begins well, but - as “extended” suggests - does feel a little overdone: no one would’ve minded if it was a bit shorter. Overall, though, a pretty underrated track. It isn’t one of the absolute best on World Peace but doesn’t touch the bottom either.
6.5/10
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Don’t mind this song at all - it’s actually quite good! The little synth intro leads into some - admittedly overused - crunchy guitars, but instead of the track becoming an uphill slog like it may have done in the Ringleader era for example, Chicarrelli enlivens the mix with whirring and burbling synths and other effects to keep the staccato lick going. Also, while most of the lyrics are ridiculous, Moz’s intriguing rap-style delivery also sets this one apart from many others, and his wordless crooning near to the end is also great. The extended ending begins well, but - as “extended” suggests - does feel a little overdone: no one would’ve minded if it was a bit shorter. Overall, though, a pretty underrated track. It isn’t one of the absolute best on World Peace but doesn’t touch the bottom either.
6.5/10
Yes, it's the rap-style delivery in that section that intrigues me, too. The lyrics do verge on gibberish but Morrissey's latter-day obsession with close, tight-knit rhymes is so similar to the style of a lot of hip hop lyrics, it's weird!

And I like the crooning at the end, too.
 

gordyboy9

its not me its you.
his voice is good on this,its different,rap bit doesnt bother me,its experimenting with different styles.
love world peace,great album.
8 rabies/10 scabies.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
In stark contrast to yesterdays A-Z tune, this one is frankly a mess. Although I still let the track run when it arrives, for me it's the worst track on, what is, a great album. Lyrically, in places, it's a complete stinker (babies/rabies/scabies); musically & instrumentally, I think he & Chiccarelli threw the kitchen sink at this - synths, aggressive guitar chugs, Spanish guitar, overly heavy drums, et al. Yet somehow, amidst all of this, the musical madness actually works, & I do find myself singing along to it, especially the li-di-de-di-di-de-di-dow's. Bonkers.
 
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A stand out track from WP, for me..
Love all the guitars.
Lyrically it’s bonkers but works, can cope with the rap bit as well.
I was with you , until you said " rap" as that is just lazy . There is nothing "rap" about it . In my mind. Its more Mark E Smith , more "scat" jazz


his voice is good on this,its different,rap bit doesnt bother me,its experimenting with different styles.
love world peace,great album.
8 rabies/10 scabies.

I think it's more " scat" jazz than rap, no?
Which sits nicely with the reference beat ref point. Though lots of Mozzers 2021 fan base is, as we know, as thick as pig shit, so they wouldn't have even considered that.

I agree, I think the LP is rather good. It picked up on the general feeling of the powers that be, squeezing us. In fact, as the years have gone on, the theme of the lp has become more and more relevant.
The pandemic treatment has become a form of repression, the BLM free pass , while you couldn't go to a 10 person funeral of your own mom.
The riots that came from high up race grifters. etc

Skinny Pete and a few others like to make out Moz is a pop star who has no idea what is going on in the "real" world. In reality, he's still, all these years later, more in touch than most artists, even ones half is age.
Certainly, more in the know than lots of lefty Brits who hardly spend any real time away from their grey wet country
 

Nikita

Senior Member
First time since The teachers are afraid of the pupils that Morrissey exits his comfort zone and I have to say that it was a great surprise.

I like the music and the words are typical Morrissey, hilarious and melancholic at the same time.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I know this isn't to everyone's tastes, but I don't have an issue with Morrissey taking a new lyrical approach and find some of it quite amusing.

This album received very strong reviews at the time and the NME, in particular, lavished praise on this song. "It’s sad, it’s strange and it’s oh-so-funny. In short, it’s Morrissey."

In the poll on the Hoffman board this ranked 220th from 264 solo songs.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The production has everything including the kitchen sink thrown at it, and the attempt by Morrissey to do something 'different' is admirable - but in the final analysis the song leaves me completely cold. Nothing about it engages me emotionally - it says nothing to me about my life, it just goes in one ear, and out the other. It's not actively offensively bad, just a complete nothing of a song. Every one of the bonus tracks on disc 2 are better than this, so personally I don't think this should have made the final cut on the main album, but I can fully understand Morrissey wanting something to show he was vaguely contemporary and not mired completely in the past. [5 out of 10]
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH #FBPB
Horrific!
 
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Trans

Guest
I love this song. For sure those who think morrissey is rapping here clearly don’t listen to rap music. I mean its definitely more in line with jazzy beat poetry which the subjects of the song are associated with. I like the theme about being an adventurer in life. Ginsberg also is a champion of experimenting with your life but he also loved Cassidy and it was his adventures that took that love away from him. Gotta be a hard publicly player out contradiction. Life’s rewards often come to those who take risks but is the risk worth it if it takes away a person who makes life’s rewards meaningful. I dunno
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><><><><>
“It's not really rap”



Morrissey goes off during the song on a free-associative spiel about "babies with rabies," before asking, "Victim, or life's adventurer?" Producer Joe Chiccarelli told Radio.com that he jokingly called it," "the rap section," much to the singer's chagrin.

"Moz looked at me and said, 'It's not really rap,'" he added. "He's very quick-witted, he's very colorful. But I thought of the 'babies/rabies' thing as a poem. If you come from the punk rock school, it's about pushing the limits and seeing what you can get away with. He's a master of words, he's a novelist more than anything."

 
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TPB

Guest
It is not scat singing at all and the music isn't jazz. Scat is usually improvised and often wordless. A rap is a mostly spoken verse which can be done over any type of music. Definitely more rap than jazz, but it's merely pop music.
 

Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
I weirdly quite like it, but it's not a song that I would die on a hill for. I like the silly lyrics in this instance, quite like the music on display, and the production. Solid album track that I find quite interesting.
 
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