Struggling With the Smiths

Morrissey and his former conduit The Smiths trouble me. I am told by virtually all presenters on 6 music that I should admire his and their obvious genius. That is where the problem starts. I understand that the Smiths connected with many and spoke for a disaffected generation. I could never get past the feeling that he was an intellectual snob who sang through a internal vocal bugle (what the fuck was with the gladioli in the back pocket). I also missed Punk, not really understanding why they were all so pissed off. When they got anarchy, what were they going to do with it? Joy Division sounded dreary and angry and their phoenix New Order sounded just crap. Feargal Sharkey irritates rather like nettle rash. Its painful but not too bad to give much of a shit about. I loved John Peel bless but not always his musical choices.
I was brought up in semi rural Kent with nothing to rage against (till older and wiser). When I wanted to listen to something raging and angry, I turned to my first musical love – The Who(now they were cross).
I have listened to everything from classical to reggae, absorbing and sorting my likes and dislikes. I fell in love with XTC (greatest ever british band in my opinion), Half Man Half Biscuit, Belle & Sebastian, Dodgy, The Bees, Eels, Elbow, Guillemots, Led Zeppelin, the list goes on.
The point is that musical taste dictates what you can’t get your head around as much as what turns you on. I was told by many friends about the true genius that is Bob Dylan and what a poet. I found this out when realising that he himself did not see the profundity in his words. ‘I just sit at the typewriter and write. I don’t know what the fuck it means’ Dylan apparently told Joan Baez once. That made me feel much better about appreciating him and turned me on to his genius. The simplicity and beauty of his work is enough for me. I discovered Nick Drake and John Martyn all on my own and I am eternally grateful. My friend is worried about my strange liking of 70s disco but I what the hell.
The truth of the matter is that however much people tell how wonderful something is, until you discover what that element is, you just don’t get it. I know someone who has very definite ideas about what they like and how popularity ruins bands and performers. Its the ‘I saw them when they were starting out but now they’ve sold out’ bollocks. People shut their minds to the possibility that anything good can come from experienced musicians. Robert Plant has constantly changed since the demise of Zeppelin mostly with great success. XTC brought out probably two of their finest albums ‘Skylarking’ and ‘Oranges and Lemons’ 10 years after their beginnings. In 2010, Tom Jones released ‘Praise and Blame’ and incredible album at the age of 70.
So to all those who disagree, that is fine. I want you to discover and fall in love music, just don’t tell me I am wrong because I can’t get what you like. believe me, I have spent a lifetime trying


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