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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ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
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.
Jesus. That's awful. I knew from your second sentence but found myself hoping the end would be different. That's just terrible.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
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.
I think the whole thing went into decline when Alain left and eventually stopped writing the music. And yet I love the last 3 Moz albums. They are not Viva Hate or Quarry or Vauxhall standard but they are light and fun. I really enjoy listening to them. Especially Dog On A Kinky Choke Chain.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
I think the whole thing went into decline when Alain left and eventually stopped writing the music. And yet I love the last 3 Moz albums. They are not Viva Hate or Quarry or Vauxhall standard but they are light and fun. I really enjoy listening to them. Especially Dog On A Kinky Choke Chain.
Yeah, the music’s one thing, and Alain’s departure is definitely one reason and the change in musical direction is another, but Morrissey as a person also changed, it seemed. Physically he was in poor health, of course. But he seems to have been in a much darker place mentally since then as well.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
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.

One of the times, I’m sure. I suppose many may have their own ‘great time to be a fan’.
The decline since then is undeniable on a multitude of levels.

what ‘decline’.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
One of the times, I’m sure. I suppose many may have their own ‘great time to be a fan’.


what ‘decline’.
You don't have to take everything as a personal insult. Moz isn't as popular as he once was. Most of that might be self induced via constantly complaining in the few interviews he does and always upsetting the woke brigade of self abusing twats. Part of it is that a lot of people now prefer manufactured processed pre-prepared microwave music dinners over a fine meal. But I highly rate the last 3 albums and still think a Moz concert is one of (or perhaps THE) most exciting concerts to be at. I have to say that Suede are also amazing (also cos I got to hold up Brett in the audience) as is John Grant. Ooh and Peter Hook, and The Cure (prior to '93)....OK there are a lot of great artists still going strong. But a Moz concert is extra special.
But I'd happily go to any concert right now. I've missed Suede/Hooky/Nick Cave/Pixies already due to this bloody lockdown. I just hope Moz tours Dog Chain in Ireland when the flu dust settles.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
You don't have to take everything as a personal insult.

Chillax.

Just offering a different view point,
don’t take it so personally.

Anyway, don’t you stick up for people that you love or even strangers that you feel are being mistreated? Or do you just keep your mouth shut and move on?

Moz isn't as popular as he once was.

Everyone becomes not as popular as they once were, but change doesn’t need to be described as a decline. Wouldn’t you say?


Most of that might be self induced via constantly complaining in the few interviews he does and always upsetting the woke brigade of self abusing twats. Part of it is that a lot of people now prefer manufactured processed pre-prepared microwave music dinners over a fine meal.

Sure ok.

But I highly rate the last 3 albums and still think a Moz concert is one of (or perhaps THE) most exciting concerts to be at.
cool.
I have to say that Suede are also amazing (also cos I got to hold up Brett in the audience) as is John Grant. Ooh and Peter Hook, and The Cure (prior to '93)....OK there are a lot of great artists still going strong.

Yeah, different strokes, and all that.
But a Moz concert is extra special.

Especially if you’re a ‘fan’ or as Morrissey would call his audience members ‘friends’.
 

Hovis Lesley

Well-Known Member
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.
I’d agree it represents a change of direction. On Refusal Morrissey begins to fully realise the more composed and wistful direction merely hinted at on Quarry and Ringleader. I personally love the album because it’s the sound of an artist growing into himself—he’s less Slaughter and the Dogs and more Julio Iglesias. Formerly, the bias was the other way.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
I’d agree it represents a change of direction. On Refusal Morrissey begins to fully realise the more composed and wistful direction merely hinted at on Quarry and Ringleader. I personally love the album because it’s the sound of an artist growing into himself—he’s less Slaughter and the Dogs and more Julio Iglesias. Formerly, the bias was the other way.
Vauxhall is the sound of an artist growing into himself. Refusal is the sound of an artist descending into self-parody as his collaborators cobble together the dregs of their talent to churn out 45 mediocre and derivative minutes of music.
 

Emotional Guide Dog

Chairman Of The Bored
I like Ringleader, it's a good old easygoing sort of record and it's got a good set of b-sides too (I'm in the Sweetie Pie fanclub, it's got a membership of one).

That said, I've never quite forgiven anyone involved in Dear God Please Help Me for inviting Ennio Morricone to score it then chucking most of his work in the bin.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
I like Ringleader, it's a good old easygoing sort of record and it's got a good set of b-sides too (I'm in the Sweetie Pie fanclub, it's got a membership of one).

Make that two! Sweetie-Pie finds my lost heart...
 

dneuer

Member
, and Pigsty acting as a pivot in the middle of the album hasn't been topped either before or after.
I won't go so far as to say "before", but certainly after. I've made the same comment recently. There have been some great tunes since, but nothing has topped Pigsty.
 
V

Vegan Cro Spirit .777

Guest
I agree, but I just meant that in her mind she’s doing a good thing, thinking she is doing Moz a favor. She isn’t, but until someone from Camp Moz tells her to stop, she will keep going.
:mad:

FFS what is this? a skinny troll parade? skinny trailed by minions radish, bgvelcro and salsa as the caboose:blushing:
 
J

jfhwebv4t

Guest
as i always say,its easy to criticise,lets face it people on here hate her for who she is and it doesnt matter what she writes it will always be criticised by skinflint and his cohorts.
i would like to see one other person give their own reflections on ringleader so we can see the utter genius that hangs around here.
Well said.
I'd love to see examples from the deriders here as to exactly why they think her writing is so bad in this recent piece. Perhaps they could copy and paste a portion they think awful and rewrite it to show us how they think it could be improved. That I'd love to see. I'd have to assume if her articles were constantly criticising Morrissey rather than complimenting him, then they'd heap praise upon her rather than piling on like back seat drivers afraid to take the wheel themselves.

marred.
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
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.

Or take the train with Julie...? ;)

.
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
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.

Once more unto the breach Anaesthesine? All hail. We're really missing you round here. And you're not even gone?

Indeed, agreed, them ROTT daze was lovely. í never knew you were at the final showdown at the Palladium? Me too. We should have met. í was likely one of the motherless balcony birds. í do remember gliding and swooping all the way back to my hotel along Oxford Street.

For what it's worth, the last time that í saw Morrissey was at the same venue, nearly 3 years ago now, and í would say that it reached tantalisingly close to the heights of sublimity of 2006. His Mother was in the Royal Box, Kevin Cummins in the balcony front row {capturing the stage invasions on his iPhone} and Morrissey was in complete command of his voice, his body and our minds. As í zoomed across the city to catch the Sleeper Train back up North {the ROTT tour was probably the last time í could afford hotels; 2006, when money was still actually worth something real}, í do recall thinking to myself, 'if this ended up being the last evah Morrissey concert that í attended, then í could cry a happy man'. This holds true.

Be Well.

.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
I’d agree it represents a change of direction. On Refusal Morrissey begins to fully realise the more composed and wistful direction merely hinted at on Quarry and Ringleader. I personally love the album because it’s the sound of an artist growing into himself—he’s less Slaughter and the Dogs and more Julio Iglesias. Formerly, the bias was the other way.
Haha, I’d say it’s completely the opposite. Surely the hard, confrontational sound of YOR is more Slaughter and the Dogs (to use your comparison) than Quarry and ROTT? I love YOR, but to call it wistful seems absurd.
 
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