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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most underated Morrissey album is a real treat
If you've looked up this album then you most likely know that it'sa mid 90's solo album by Morrissey, that he used to be in the Smiths and that he has written some fantastic lyrics in his time. If you know all this then you are most likely a Morrissey fan, and if so you really should own this CD. Not because you are a Moz crazed completist but because it really is a good...
Published on 16 Jan 2006

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Indulgence hampers good songs
The songs on this effort from Morrissey are on the whole good. Southpaw is an epic closer and one of Moz's best. But, and there is a big but - to listen to this record you have to put up with some terrible indulgent musical whims. Why oh why introduce the song The Operation with a two minute drum solo? The Operation is a great song, but having to fast-forward...
Published on 13 Mar 2006


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most underated Morrissey album is a real treat, 16 Jan 2006
By A Customer
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If you've looked up this album then you most likely know that it'sa mid 90's solo album by Morrissey, that he used to be in the Smiths and that he has written some fantastic lyrics in his time. If you know all this then you are most likely a Morrissey fan, and if so you really should own this CD. Not because you are a Moz crazed completist but because it really is a good album. If you are new to Morrissey, get Vauxhall & I, then come back for this.
Saddly Southpaw Grammer often gets a bashing from critics, Boz Borer (Moz guitarist) described it as "an album to far" and even Morrissey slated the artwork in an Uncut interview. It should be noted that some strange choices were made during Southpaws recording: instead of a 'full album' there are only 8 tracks, the excellent Nobody Loves Us and You Must Please Remeber were thrown away as Bsides on the Dagenham Dave single, potential stand out track The Operation is bogged down with a two and half minute drum solo and lastly, the great Morrissey 2 minute slice of indie pop is thrown out and replaced with two 10 minute rock epics that bookend the album. It's hard to see why these things were done.

But.... it comes from the same production team as 'Vauxhall' (still hailed as his best solo album), it's his heavest album to date with some real rock n roll moments, and most importantly it features some excellent songs. The two singles Boy Racer & Dagenham Dave are good enough, but the other six tracks are all among the best of Morrisseys solo work (just use itunes to edit out 'that' drum solo).

It's strange how music critics and fan communities change their minds. Kill Uncle, by far Morrissey's weakest collection of songs (and home to some truly dismal lyrics and arrangements) is now hailed by many as "a forgotten master piece", a title that Southpaw Grammer might just live up to. It isn't the Morrissey album anyone expects on first listen and it's certainly hard to imagine RCA records anticipating what we have here (which might explain why only 10 tracks were recorded for the label, later single Boy Racer being padded out with live songs). But Southpaw Grammer is a great rock album that you will come back to again and again.

Re issue edit - May 19th 2009:
Amazon have copied this review to the remastered, reorder, repackaged re issue of Southpaw so I thought I ought to address that briefly.
Personally, I don't like the reordering of the tracks but I do like the new tracks (especially 'Honey you know where to find me'). It's a shame that 'You must please remember' has been left out. The packaging is so so, although it's always good to get some liner notes from the man himself (even if they don't always make much sense). The changes do make it more accessible and at it's heart the reissue is still good old Southpaw. It's still an essential album for a Morrissey fan and it's at least the equal of his recent albums.
Shame they didn't do as good a job with Maladjusted, but there you go.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turns out Moz was right all along, 23 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. S. A. Taylor (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you're a fan of Moz's latest work - years of refulsal and quarry (and to a lesser extent tormentors) you'll love this. But it is a rock album - and an extremely good one at that. The songs on this remastered and rearranged 2009 version have the guitars turned up, delightfully so - Moz's voice soaring above them. Boy Racer kicks off the album and sets the tone for what you're going to get. You can listen to the samples and get a good idea of what the soms are like and decide for yourself. I think it's a cracking album. If you're hoping for something that sounds like the Smiths, this is not the album for you. But if you want great rock songs, lovely guitar work, superb singing and fantastic lyrics it's just what you're after. It's worth buying the album just for the lyrics of 'you should've been nice to me' but every word is precious and wuite a lot is very quotable.

"He thinks he's got the whole world in his hand, at the urinal" Boy Racer
"Head in the clouds and a mouthful of pie, head in a blouse, everybody loves him, I see why" Dagenham Dave
"More breakfast in bed, and bring the paper in later" Best Friend on the Payroll

Oh, and the operation begins with with a drum solo - get over it!

Moz is finally happy with the album, you will be too.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'And now, there is something that you should know...', 16 July 2008
By 
Mr. A. Dickson (Harrogate, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Southpaw Grammer (Audio CD)
I agree with the sentiment shared amongst most of these reviews; Southpaw Grammar is a fantastic Morrissey record, demonstrating a darker, more menacing side to his song writing. This is conveyed in the heavy guitar driven soundscape, with some of the longer tracks sounding almost prog-rock.

Perhaps the critical backlash this record received had something to do with the track 'Reader Meet Author', which is basically an attack on middle class journalists trying to emphasise with the working class, with their patronising writing style ('You don't know a thing about their lives, books don't save them 'cos books aren't Stanley Knives').

Many of the lyrics in Southpaw Grammar are embedded in the ideology of the English working class; perhaps more so than any other Morrissey or Smiths album.
Dagenham Dave refers to everyone knowing a bit of a 'Jack the lad' who has a way with women, but little intelligence. The chorus reflects this mundane character, with the words 'Dagenham' and 'Dave' repeated constantly in a catchy yet purposely irritating way.

'The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils'; one of the two over 10-minute tracks that bookend the album, is perhaps the most chilling piece of music in Morrissey's back catalogue. Here, the psychological suffering of an inner city teacher is dissected, with some genuinely disturbing lyrics ('mucus on your collar. A nail up through the staff chair. A blade in your soap, as you cry into your pillow. To be finished would be a relief.'). 'You're The One For Me Fatty' this is not. This is daring territory for Morrissey, but thought provoking a provocative throughout.

There are some lighter moments throughout the album, along with Morrissey's traditional moments of humour (such as in the track Boy Racer: 'He thinks he's got the whole world in his hand, stood at the urinal'). The track 'Do Your Best And Don't Worry' appears to be Morrissey's reassuring hug to the listener, but don't be fooled be the title, this is no 'Everybody Hurts'.

Another highlight is 'Best Friend On The Payroll' which appears to be a bit of rhyming slang on the word 'Dole'. In the song Morrissey creates a picture of his own 'Odd Couple', where an unemployed guest has outstayed their welcome ('I turn the music down, and I don't know why, this is my house!').

The final track 'Southpaw' is another epic tale reflecting on innocence of youth giving way to bitter disappointment with life. In some ways this song encapsulates Morrissey's own tale of losing faith in the humanity, as young life in northern England slowly fills him with resentment. ('You were a boy before you became a man: I just don't see the joy. And you ran with your pals in the sun: You turned around...and they were gone'). A slightly disheartening close to the album then, but perfectly in keeping with the other tracks.

Southpaw Grammar for me is the most cohesive album of Morrissey's career. Re-released with some of the b-sides added to bulk up the running time it may gain some of the attention it deserved first time around, hopefully not at the expense of the original themes explored. If you are dipping your toes into Morrissey music for the first time, start elsewhere. This is an album greatly enhanced with a knowledge of what came before it, and the contrast with his earlier work makes it all the more interesting.

'I could say more, but you get the general idea...'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Did his best, didn't worry!, 27 Aug 2009
In 1995 liking Morrissey was a euphemism for condoning right wing thuggery, or so the press would have had you believe. The man had fallen from grace in a style only he could perpetrate...by just about upsetting everyone. A commendable effort, as the last time anything or anyone had rocked the boat of the fickle British Music press was in 1977 when Johnny and the boys sneered and spat their way into history's less desirable annals.

Southpaw Grammar was originally released in August 1995, sandwiched in between the underrated `Boxers' and the criminally overlooked `Sunny'. It reeks of the same glam rockism's which lent themselves to `Your Arsenal' but unlike that peach of an album there is no room for sentimentality here. Moz is clearly asking the public to have a go if they think they're hard enough! A revised running order here helps things move along at a nice pace and choosing the mighty `Boyracer' as the opening track is like blowing the whistle in the trenches of the Somme. With a riff clearly lifted from `Action' by The Sweet, this storming beauty reflects Morrissey's annoyance at not being able to convert to the seemingly indestructible mindset of the everyday John who gets away with everything and bats not one eyelid in the process. `Dagenham Dave' is a similar take on the same subject and as singalongable as anything else Morrissey has turned out. Both were single releases from the original album. Nobody Loves Us, the B-side to Dagenham Dave is at last given it's rightful place on the remastered album and it is astonishing to think as to why it was relegated to the flip of a relatively poor charting single. Singing as though he were trapped in the body of a 14 year old, it is without doubt up there with Morrissey's finest recordings and is lyrically amusing and astute.

A point often overlooked on this album is the standard of musicianship shown by Morrissey's backing band of this period. The roles of Whyte, Boorer, Cobrin et al are phenomenal throughout here and a shame it is that they are seldom more than a footnote on a glittering page. The melodies and breaks which run through `Do Your Best and Don't Worry' and `Reader Meets Author' are refreshing on the ear and considering how many bands the `Britpop era' flung into the frontline around this time, few managed to even come close to competing with these boys. Speaking of Britpop, the extra track `Honey You Know Where To Find Me', is very Pulpish for want of a better expression, and is indeed `of it's time'. Listenable nevertheless.

The epics `The Teachers Are Afraid...' and `Southpaw', once condemned for exceeding 2mins30secs, are here in all their proggish glory and admittedly deserve the odd `skip'. That having been said, without them there would have been no cake to ice and they eventually become an integral part of the LP if you let em'. The other two extra tracks are by no means throw aways. `Fantastic Bird' is very glammish and punkish at the same time while `You Should Have Been Nice To Me' is at least good B-side material.

The original package was covered in early 70's RCA repro logos, an obvious nod to the influence of Bowie (whom he supported, albeit briefly, on the back of Southpaw remember) and The Sweet, as well as a homage to Morrissey's Glam Rock shrine. The booklet contains much of the same alongside an interesting as well as frank essay from the man which makes this reissue complete and to this fellow, a worthy purchase. I have to admit to not really being a Morrissey fan until `Vauxhall and I', and `Southpaw' was the first album I purchased by him. It's as powerful now as it was then and fits in nowhere else. Just like it's artist. Try it on for size ol' pip.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Indulgence hampers good songs, 13 Mar 2006
By A Customer
The songs on this effort from Morrissey are on the whole good. Southpaw is an epic closer and one of Moz's best. But, and there is a big but - to listen to this record you have to put up with some terrible indulgent musical whims. Why oh why introduce the song The Operation with a two minute drum solo? The Operation is a great song, but having to fast-forward through the solo hampers ones enjoyment. Witness the pots and pans clanging that destroys the B-side to the single Sunny, Blacked-Eyed Susan - there was a strange detructive urge inhernet in Moz's works in 95. Also Southpaw and the opener Teachers are Afraid of the Pupils stretch themselves out way beyond what anyone would need. Dagenham Dave also has perhaps the worst, or least lyrically inspired chorus ever. So, if you are a fan you'll pick through the bones and find the ever-present genius of Morrissey, but a 5* album this is not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A confident return by Manchester's finest, 16 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Southpaw Grammar (Audio CD)
Morrissey has followed up the magnificent 'Vauxhall and I' with easily his most confident work to date. With a new emphasis on instrumentation, 'Southpaw' rocks out like no other Moz album. Moz inverts the fear of school of 'The Headmaster Ritual' in opening track 'The Teachers are Afraid of the Pupils,' uttering the spiteful refrain "to be finished would be a relief." Moz has been criticised by many for the radio-friendly anthems such as 'Dagenham Dave' and 'Boy Racer,' yet most of the songs sparkle with classic Smiths-esque world-weariness and despair. From the two-minute drum solo intro of 'Operation' to the ambient fadeout of 'Southpaw,' this album is a roller-coaster ride through Morrisseyworld - miss out at your peril.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Essential Re-Work Of Under Appreciated Album', 26 April 2009
By 
Antony May (East Sussex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Firstly, let me state that this is a review of the EXPANDED version of 'Southpaw Grammar' and NOT of the original album as so many of the reviews for this product are here.

That said, here we go...

Like a lot of people in this world, I am a devotee of Stephen Patrick Morrissey. Also like a lot of people, I have, over the years, become to feel that I know and understand him pretty well. In reality of course, this is ( and always has been) the man's greatest talent - the ability to make people feel that way about him - he, a person that in real life they DO NOT know and (in all probability) NEVER will.

Morrissey on the contrary I believe, is acutely aware of himself and his feelings towards life (perhaps even painfully so). His need to be 'properly' understood and yearning within to 'shout what he cannot even bear to mutter', therefore ultimately leads him to 'revealing acts' such as compiling his own 'Greatest Hits' album (a mistake in my view) and this expanded and re-worked version of his most over-looked work 'Southpaw Grammar'.

It was with this perception in mind (right or wrong!) that I approached this album...

Happily, this time, the great man's personal intervention in re-compiling the album proves not only very wise but necessary. This expanded edition even comes complete with a hard backed cover and a very interesting and insightful essay by Morrissey himself.

The remastered sound of the album has much more 'top end' and thus the previously rather 'muddy' 'The Boy Racer' proves a powerful and confident start to the album. In fact, all in all Morrissey's new running order works very well indeed and his intervention has given the album a much more cohesive sound and feel. Long tracks like the title track and 'The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils' now seem part of the 'natural progression' of the album rather than 'bookends' like they were on the original proving how much the man himself is in tune with his creation. The fact that it also provides us with further 'clues' as to the man himself all adds to the enjoyment of this release.

Here, tracks like 'Do Your Best And Don't Worry', 'Reader Meet Author' (Morrissey's favourite track apparently)
and even the mystifying 'The Operation' suddenly leap out at you and scream 'Classic Morrissey' whereas before they made little impact.

As for the unreleased tracks: Well, the production is not as good as on some of the other tracks so they do stand a 'little proud' during the listen. They are all well worth acquiring though especially 'You Should Have Been Nice To Me' and 'Honey you Know Where To Find Me'. I do believe however, that there are only THREE unreleased songs on this album not FOUR as the sticker promises. 'Nobody Loves Us' I suspect has been confused as an unreleased track but in fact it was a b side. It is a classic Morrissey tune though and a great way to finish a great record. If you have not been in the habit of buying singles for the b sides ( though with Morrissey fans I doubt this very much!) then you should get this for this track alone!

So then, a triumphant 're-issue, re-model, re-package' (as the man himself might put it!) and one that has successfully persuaded me that I also need to buy the re-vamped 'Maladjusted' (even though I have all of the tracks!).
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, poorly resequenced. A flawed reissue., 26 April 2009
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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At the time of release, "Southpaw Grammar" was perhaps, Morrissey's first career mis-step. After twelve years of near constant success, Morrissey cut himself free from EMI Records and took on all comers. Perhaps somewhat arrogantly, and with the perfect "Vauxhall And I" as his last word, Moz and his now stable band (the core of which lasted thirteen years) returned invigorated to Moz's sixth studio record and a poor game plan that scuppered his commercial standing for a decade.

With a one-album deal with RCA, and the revolutionary Britpop at the heart of his constituency, Moz found himself for the first time reeling from the punch of rejection. A combination of factors scupper this records artistic and commercial performace. Morrissey toured the record only briefly, and then only performing to half-full halls supporting David Bowie before pulling out halfway through the tour. The singles failed to dent the higher ends of the charts : not helped by poor choices , dull videos, and half-bothered lazy sleeve designs. The overall impression from the curious bystander was that Morrissey was falling into self-parody, uninterested in charting any new directions, reeling the same old quotes out by rote to interviewers, and none of this was helped by an determindedly ugly, uninterested sleeve and poor reviews.

To me, when it was released, it was very clear that this was the closest Morrissey had come to shelving his ego and letting his musicans dictate the content. The original - and far superior - album running order saw "Southpaw" bookended by the two most experimental and aggressive songs he would ever record : the lolloping, huge "The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils."

A decade-on sequel to "The Headmaster Ritual", this song showcases the immense prowess and confidence of his band, a huge, intricate, song that saw the band lock into a tight and controlled framework and explore the sounds within the variations. This alongside the nostalgic, and equally sprawling "Southpaw" and underloved additions to the Moz canon. These two songs - totalling 21m:15s in length were the closest Moz would ever come to prog-rock, built on variation and exploration, and clearly designed to be listened to intently. The sudden, and harsh fall of the gavel that ended the album originally was the perfect closer to the albums thematic journey. On this reissue, this meanwhile is utilised half-way through, and the record itself ends on the largely unmemorable, undramatic "Nobody Loves Us", which is at best, pretty good B-side fodder.

Aside from these two songs, the rest of the album is an assured, muscular rock album that recalls a dirtier version of the tarnished glam rock that made "Your Arsenal" Morrissey's signature record. Each song itself is strong, lyrically gifted - aside from the lazy "Dagenham Dave" - memorable and worthy. This running order though, does the record no favours. Whilst Morrissey may have seen this reissue as a immensely personal project, ultimately, what he has done has deconstructed and reduced a strong but flawed album into a poorly-assembled compilation lacking any structure.

Sequencing is all.

After all, if you watch a film out of order it doesn't make any sense, most of the time. Same here. "Southpaw" is a good record that unfairly suffered at the time of release thanks to a hostile climate and an apathetic public and a truculent, difficult artist. This reissue does the music no favours by destroying the original order and structure of the record. On the plus side there are three unreleased songs and a B-side : but even this isn't comprehensive (where is the not-astoundingly good "You Must Please Remember"?). Overall, if you can find it, but the original album. And if you absolutely must have more of the same, buy this for the unreleased songs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardly a KO, 16 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Southpaw Grammar (Audio CD)
Coming after 'Vauxhall & I', I understood (i think..) where the 1995-released 'Southpaw Grammar' was coming from, and I enjoyed it, and loved it for what it was. Although the songs were not as strong as those on the preceding album, there was a rocking belligerence to the proceedings that was very comforting, like a nice cup of tea (with no sugar). Alas, the best song from those sessions 'Nobody Loves Us' was incomprehensibly omitted from the track list. This reissue has corrected that, but also includes several other tracks which has upset the rhythm of the punches. That makes this reissue a non-KO. But hey, it's still kicks 'Ringleader of The Tormentors' butt any day.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not worse by a long chalk, 16 Nov 2006
I love all things Moz, and can not understand why people down talk this album; its deep, thoughtfull and meaningfull. I love it not only for Morrisseys words and voice, but also for the long, lingering guitar work that lets you drift away into yourself, or at least thats my view for what its worth.
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