Morrissey A-Z: "November Spawned a Monster"

Watson

Well-Known Member
It was the best of singles at the best of times...and that video?! Fecking wonderful! Still makes me howl after all these years. Wonderful.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Interesting notes from autobiog:

"We would travel in April to Death Valley in California, where at last I had Sire’s good grace for a proper video with a grown-up budget. The single is November spawned a monster, a pivotal allegro of agitation whose sumptuousness frees me from the recent past. Like it or not, I remain the opposition – regardless of how the rules shift. The dissonant heart appears on Top of the Pops, where no sooner does November spawned a monster begin than I am drowned away by fake applause and I kindly leave the stage."

...
the last part is not strictly true, he gets about 3 mins singing time before he's faded out:

My god, the dissonance in that TOTP clip between the performer/song and the happy-clappy TV format is...monstrous.
 
W

Woolly Monty

Guest
A perfect song... but let's fight between the ones who consider that it's 100% based on the Hermaphrodite of Lautreamont and those who don't.

I am into the Lautreamont team.

Mary M. O'Hare did something AMAZING there... just like LP did something amazing in "It's Over". It's one of his best songs for sure.

I never got why "November"... Anyone has a crazy idea why NOVEMBER spawned this monster and not August or May or any other month? I assume it's a reference to... someone, but hard to know whom (Morrissey was not born during a November, so obviously not a self-reference).
Possibly a reference to Mary Shelley's, rather than the NY Dolls, Frankenstein? From Chapter 5:

"It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs."
 

CJM

Practising troublemaker
I am going to tarnish my already weak reputation by providing my opinion, which seems to run counter to everyone else here. November Spawned A Monster is a wonderful song which has been really, really spoilt by the 50-odd seconds of wailing which kicks in around the 3.10 mark. I just find this wailing painful to listen do – every time I hear it my excitement in the song crashes to the floor.

I have always preferred the wonderful B-Sides on this one, He Knows I’d Love To See Him and Girl Least Likely To get an awful lot of play in my house….
 

Phranc & Open

two-timer
This is a really good song about giving birth. The video is like having Sex.
What else?
England 1 : Germany 2
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I love this comment about the song from dear old Momus on a discussion board, back in 2003:

"It really is lazy, lazy, lazy to say that Morrissey is 'drawn to' right wing positions, and especially to cite this song about a deformed girl as an example of it. Has nobody actually read the lyrics? How could M have been any more clear than with the song's last stanza:

Oh, one fine day
Let it be soon
She won't be rich or beautiful
But she'll be walking your streets
In the clothes that she went out
And chose for herself.

A victory for the outsider character! She is ugly and deformed, but asserts her individuality by choosing and buying and wearing and walking in her own clothes.

Morrissey is appalled by the notion that people consider it 'tactful' to pass over oddballs and mis-shapes and misfits in silence. He derides the 'mad mad lovers', those 'hedonists' who seem game for anything and anyone, but, like the worst 19th century eugenicists, will 'pause and draw the line' when confronted by anything but the most perfectly regular features. What could be less right wing than this song?"
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
henry rollins,close your eyes and its neo from the matrix.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
A major shift from everything that came before it, and maybe it's where Morrissey truly finds his own as a solo artist. A classic and important song for sure... but for some reason, it's a song I liked but never loved. I've never enjoyed cacophony in his music - Black-Eyed Susan is another where I felt it added no value but detracted. Was there ever an edited version of this song?
 

Oh my

Enough! or Too much
The lyrics are intriguing to say the least, but will inevitably lead down so many rabbit holes, as is the case with much of his work. There's the obvious physical disability aspect, but could it also be in part about his own 'disabilities' & self-loathing? The reference to Comte de Lautréamont & Hermaphrodite is interesting, but one source which I read this morning said he pulls the following directly:

"Sleep on and dream of Love
Because it's the closest you will
Get to love"

I couldn't find this as a direct quote in the The Maldoror Chants text.

That's the end of the chapter (or chant) actually... a literal translation of the end of the chant. I don't have an English translation though, but I know both the French version and a couple of Spanish translations. I don't think the English version can be so different unless the translator is crazy.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
A major shift from everything that came before it, and maybe it's where Morrissey truly finds his own as a solo artist. A classic and important song for sure... but for some reason, it's a song I liked but never loved. I've never enjoyed cacophony in his music - Black-Eyed Susan is another where I felt it added no value but detracted. Was there ever an edited version of this song?
That's a good point! If ever a single was screaming out (no pun intended) for a "radio edit" it would be this one, right? [I love the whole song, but the wailing bit isn't exactly radio-friendly, is it?]
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
That's the end of the chapter (or chant) actually... a literal translation of the end of the chant. I don't have an English translation though, but I know both the French version and a couple of Spanish translations. I don't think the English version can be so different unless the translator is crazy.
Maybe you can post it here for everyone, in whatever language version you have?
 
L

Lujissey.

Guest
I love ,Moz young style !!! Great acting I always thought Moz should have been an actor. I know what the lyrics say,but I imagine other things.. Temazoo!!!!!!
 
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