"The Morrissey Effect" - Joe Chiccarelli, Maxime Le Guil in Sound on Sound (Feb. 2018)

From Dominic:

LIHS producer Joe Chiccarelli interview in Feb Sound on Sound mag:

"I've said my piece and I have nothing else to say." - Morrissey

Article online (paywall for full version):

The Morrissey Effect - Sound On Sound
Joe Chiccarelli & Maxime Le Guil: Recording Low In High School

42050_le_guil_chiccarelli.jpg

Team photo: producer Joe Chiccarelli (right) and engineer Maxime Le Guil were reunited for Low In High School, having worked together on Morrissey’s previous album in 2012.


Scan from Dominic:

42049_chiccarelli_sound_201802.jpg
 
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g23

Always crashing in the same car
"I've said my piece and I have nothing else to say."

Maybe if he listened to the people trying to help him, things would go a little better for him.
Honestly, even a lot of the modern songs that I don't necessarily care for on the studio versions come to life (well obviously) when played live. They possess an immediacy and vitality that is often lacking. Is it laziness or conviction? Because if he's said all he needs to say, why does it sound completely dull in some cases yet more polished and passionate when he's not expected to "work" to make it so?
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
"I've said my piece and I have nothing else to say."

Maybe if he listened to the people trying to help him, things would go a little better for him.
Honestly, even a lot of the modern songs that I don't necessarily care for on the studio versions come to life (well obviously) when played live. They possess an immediacy and vitality that is often lacking. Is it laziness or conviction? Because if he's said all he needs to say, why does it sound completely dull in some cases yet more polished and passionate when he's not expected to "work" to make it so?

Hasn't he always done this, though? Pretty sure I've read several interviews which talk about him mostly recording a single take and 'declining' the opportunity to do it again. Perhaps he's trying for the immediacy you mention (ie by not over-rehearsing).

I always found it odd that in some of his recordings he sings out of tune, but these versions still ended being released. This was especially true in his Smiths days - Shakespeare's Sister I find almost unlistenable because of the awful intonation. I have wondered in idle moments how this came about. Were they scared to tell him? Did he point blank refuse to do a second take? Did this set a pattern for his entire recording career? Possibly.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
"I've said my piece and I have nothing else to say."

Maybe if he listened to the people trying to help him, things would go a little better for him.
Honestly, even a lot of the modern songs that I don't necessarily care for on the studio versions come to life (well obviously) when played live. They possess an immediacy and vitality that is often lacking. Is it laziness or conviction? Because if he's said all he needs to say, why does it sound completely dull in some cases yet more polished and passionate when he's not expected to "work" to make it so?

CONVICTION.

He knows what sounds good to him, the final word is his. He's been doing it since 83, so, peoples criticisms( good &bad), & advice, doesn't seem to matter to him. And lets face facts... he's done well and continues to do so, listening to himself.



<>
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think it’s more about keeping the performance special to him which he probably feels helps him connect to the emotion he’s trying to express. He’s talked about wanting to keep the studio experience special in his mind and I bet this is a similar thing. Lots of musicians have talked about how doing multiple takes and rehearsals can start to diminish the feeling of a song to them. After the eight time you sing like it’s breakjng your heart has got to make you feel phoney and loose enthusiasm after a while. In front of an audience is different as you get to feed off the emotion projected back at you. Imo all of the vocals on lihs sound great. If the vocal on Israel is a first take then bravo
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
I think it’s more about keeping the performance special to him which he probably feels helps him connect to the emotion he’s trying to express. He’s talked about wanting to keep the studio experience special in his mind and I bet this is a similar thing. Lots of musicians have talked about how doing multiple takes and rehearsals can start to diminish the feeling of a song to them. After the eight time you sing like it’s breakjng your heart has got to make you feel phoney and loose enthusiasm after a while. In front of an audience is different as you get to feed off the emotion projected back at you. Imo all of the vocals on lihs sound great. If the vocal on Israel is a first take then bravo

WIdpruD.jpg
 

javert

Super Moderator
Moderator
Subscriber
For some songs, sure it works nicely - HISAQM could of been one of them with emotion. What i don't like, is him doing it for ATYP, of which had so much potential, when i heard it live, but was let down greatly.
 

g23

Always crashing in the same car
Hasn't he always done this, though? Pretty sure I've read several interviews which talk about him mostly recording a single take and 'declining' the opportunity to do it again. Perhaps he's trying for the immediacy you mention (ie by not over-rehearsing).

I always found it odd that in some of his recordings he sings out of tune, but these versions still ended being released. This was especially true in his Smiths days - Shakespeare's Sister I find almost unlistenable because of the awful intonation. I have wondered in idle moments how this came about. Were they scared to tell him? Did he point blank refuse to do a second take? Did this set a pattern for his entire recording career? Possibly.
He has always done this, yes, but if you listen to some of the Smiths demos, his vocal is the weak point. Out of tune, wobbly, weird, whatever. I have no way of knowing if he was pushed in a different direction or chose to go that way, but he never sounded bored. That's my issue with some of the finished product nowadays, is he sounds like he can't be arsed, and then the same song played live can slay.
 

g23

Always crashing in the same car
CONVICTION.

He knows what sounds good to him, the final word is his. He's been doing it since 83, so, peoples criticisms( good &bad), & advice, doesn't seem to matter to him. And lets face facts... he's done well and continues to do so, listening to himself.



<>
Let's define "well" because 2016-2017 looked like a one way ticket to shitsville from where I stand.
The other flaw in that thinking is that sure, he knows what sounds good to him. I sound amazing to myself when I sing along with the radio in the shower, but I'd never expect anyone else to want to hear it.

I don't argue that the final word is his. Free will is an important thing. However, when you're selling a product, market research and listening to your consumers is also an important thing. Otherwise all of those noble intentions amount to a vanity project made by and for one's self.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
That’s to assume that the number one priority is selling the product which i think is obviously not the case. I’m also not sure I believe that what art needs today is more market research
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
CONVICTION.

He knows what sounds good to him, the final word is his. He's been doing it since 83, so, peoples criticisms( good &bad), & advice, doesn't seem to matter to him. And lets face facts... he's done well and continues to do so, listening to himself.



<>

...and - aside from the loathesome, spiteful vitriol and whining that spews from his gullet - THIS is why he sounds like a cut-rate, washed-up, off-strip Vegas lounge act - that NOBODY wants to work with.

...but with low-expectation-having fans like you, why even bother making an effort? He can keep cheese on his table and wool on his back without worrying about subtle nuances like lyrical and tonal quality.

Thanks for popping out of his colon for a breather. You can head back up now.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
He has always done this, yes, but if you listen to some of the Smiths demos, his vocal is the weak point. Out of tune, wobbly, weird, whatever. I have no way of knowing if he was pushed in a different direction or chose to go that way, but he never sounded bored. That's my issue with some of the finished product nowadays, is he sounds like he can't be arsed, and then the same song played live can slay.
Interesting. Any examples in particular? I do think his intonation has improved vastly over the years. I wonder if the two things are linked?
 

g23

Always crashing in the same car
Interesting. Any examples in particular? I do think his intonation has improved vastly over the years. I wonder if the two things are linked?
I can't think of anything too specific because I haven't had any breakfast combined with a too late night, but they're out there. :lbf: I agree that he really came into his voice in later years. The boredom I speak of can be heard all over the last 3 albums though. A perfect example would be Young People. I was pretty happy with the live version prior to the album and he sounds like pilled up Elvis on the album.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
That’s to assume that the number one priority is selling the product which i think is obviously not the case. I’m also not sure I believe that what art needs today is more market research
I think Morrissey would disagree. I suspect selling the product is quite high on his priority list. How else do you think he affords those 5* hotels? Why do you think he gets his knickers in such a knot over chart places? All art must do a deal with commerce to reach an audience, and to enable the artist to wear Alexander McQueen.
 

g23

Always crashing in the same car
That’s to assume that the number one priority is selling the product which i think is obviously not the case. I’m also not sure I believe that what art needs today is more market research
When I say "Market Research" I mean "Boy the crowd sure went for a drink/piss en masse when I played that one."
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
Hasn't he always done this, though? Pretty sure I've read several interviews which talk about him mostly recording a single take and 'declining' the opportunity to do it again. Perhaps he's trying for the immediacy you mention (ie by not over-rehearsing).

I always found it odd that in some of his recordings he sings out of tune, but these versions still ended being released. This was especially true in his Smiths days - Shakespeare's Sister I find almost unlistenable because of the awful intonation. I have wondered in idle moments how this came about. Were they scared to tell him? Did he point blank refuse to do a second take? Did this set a pattern for his entire recording career? Possibly.

I can't remember which producer said it but apparently he peaks on either his first or second take and everything from then on goes downhill. I guess you get what you get in those takes and that's that. I guess coming back to do it another time is out of the question...
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Let's define "well" because 2016-2017 looked like a one way ticket to shitsville from where I stand.
The other flaw in that thinking is that sure, he knows what sounds good to him. I sound amazing to myself when I sing along with the radio in the shower, but I'd never expect anyone else to want to hear it.

I don't argue that the final word is his. Free will is an important thing. However, when you're selling a product, market research and listening to your consumers is also an important thing. Otherwise all of those noble intentions amount to a vanity project made by and for one's self.

'because 2016-2017 looked like a one way ticket to shitsville from where I stand.'

Well, yes you're not standing in his place. Don't know, thought the last two records were pretty good, to say the least.



'However, when you're selling a product, market research and listening to your consumers is also an important thing. Otherwise all of those noble intentions amount to a vanity project made by and for one's self.'

ART IS FOR ONE'S SELF, FIRST. IF HE CARED THEN HE WOULD DO WHAT ALL THE OTHER SCUM BAGS OUT THERE DO, AND THEN HE WOULDN'T BE WHAT HE IS. WHICH IS :thumb:IN MY BOOK.




:cool:
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
I can't remember which producer said it but apparently he peaks on either his first or second take and everything from then on goes downhill. I guess you get what you get in those takes and that's that. I guess coming back to do it another time is out of the question...

Yes, I've heard that also and it goes back to The Smiths. I don't know that doing more vocal takes would help his albums sell any better. But after 1-2 takes he's already lost patience/bored with a brand new song? I guess it's the "good enough is good enough" vs the perfectionist mentality.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
I think Morrissey would disagree. I suspect selling the product is quite high on his priority list. How else do you think he affords those 5* hotels?

'I suspect selling the product is quite high on his priority list.'

YES :thumb:

BUT ON HIS TERMS.

:cool:


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