Vauxhall and I

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Vauxhall and I
Studio album by Morrissey
Released 14 March 1994
Recorded Summer 1993
Genre Alternative rock, indie rock
Length 39:53
Label Parlophone
Producer Steve Lillywhite
Morrissey chronology
Your Arsenal
(1992)
Vauxhall and I
(1994)
Southpaw Grammar
(1995)
Singles from Vauxhall and I
  1. "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get"
    Released: 28 February 1994
  2. "Hold on to Your Friends"
    Released: 30 May 1994
  3. "Now My Heart Is Full"
    Released: 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Blender 5/5 stars[1]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[2]
Q 5/5 stars[3]
Sputnikmusic 3/5 stars[4]
Stylus (highly favorable)[5]

Vauxhall and I is a 1994 Parlophone album by British singer Morrissey. Q listed it as one of the top ten albums of 1994.[6] The release cemented Morrissey's success in the US, giving him a top 20 album and his first hit single there with the song "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get". This was Morrissey's second solo album to reach the top of the charts in Britain, the first being Viva Hate.

Vauxhall and I reflects the course Morrissey's life has taken. With its blend of guitar rock, largely acoustic ballads, and wry classic rock, Vauxhall and I stands in stark contrast to Morrissey's other work. It is distinguished by its ironic and introspective nature as well as its sombre and emotional mood.

Morrissey had recently suffered the loss of three people close to him: Mick Ronson, Tim Broad, and Nigel Thomas, which may have had the cumulative effect of giving Vauxhall and I a somewhat funereal feel. Indeed, just two years later Morrissey acknowledged that he felt at the time that this was going to be his last album, and that not only was it the best album he'd ever made but that he would never be able to top it in the future.

The lead single off the album, "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get", became the only song by Morrissey or The Smiths to achieve chart success in the United States, where it reached #46 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also became a #1 Modern Rock Tracks chart hit. In the United Kingdom, the song hit #8 and was the only single by Morrissey to reach the top ten during the 1990s.

In February 2006, Q magazine voted it at #91 on a list of the best albums ever.

In January 2006 in NME, Vauxhall and I was voted at #57 in the Top 100 British Albums.

Steve Lillywhite's production style is a marked departure from that of his predecessor on Your Arsenal, Mick Ronson. Vauxhall and I has a pared-down, sparser, more ethereal and at times dream-like character. Lilywhite's influence is clear when listening to the two samples of the track "Why Don't You Find Out for Yourself". The unreleased version is a guitar-driven rocky version, which has the hallmark sound of Alain Whyte running through it. The album version appears only to retain the original vocal.

Cultural references and influence[edit]

The album's title appears to be a reference to the 1987 film Withnail and I. Vauxhall is an area of London noted for its gay clubs (it is also an area of Liverpool), and there is also a British car manufacturer of the same name.

The line "Don't leave us in the dark" at the end of "Billy Budd" is sampled from the 1948 David Lean film adaptation of Dickens' Oliver Twist. This was said by one of Fagin's pickpockets to Fagin when the mob was closing in on their hiding place. The song itself shares the title with a novella by Herman Melville.

The song "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" is parodied on the television show Bill Nye the Science Guy.

The Killers covered "Why Don't You Find Out for Yourself" and can be found on the limited edition 7" box set of Hot Fuss.

"Spring Heeled Jim" contains the audio bits of dialogue from a documentary called "We Are the Lambeth Boys".[7] On the album they have arranged the bits of one conversation and edited it in some cases to sound like one train of thought. The part of this video [1] that features the dialogue is at: 24:36–24:42, 25:02–25:38, 29:55–30:05?, 30:50–31:00 and 31:24–31:29.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Morrissey

No. Title Music Length
1. "Now My Heart Is Full"   Boorer 4:57
2. "Spring-Heeled Jim"   Boorer 3:47
3. "Billy Budd"   Whyte 2:08
4. "Hold on to Your Friends"   Whyte 4:02
5. "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get"   Boorer 3:44
6. "Why Don't You Find Out for Yourself"   Whyte 3:20
7. "I Am Hated for Loving"   Whyte 3:41
8. "Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning"   Boorer 3:42
9. "Used to Be a Sweet Boy"   Whyte 2:49
10. "The Lazy Sunbathers"   Whyte 3:08
11. "Speedway"   Boorer 4:30

Personnel[edit]

  • Morrissey – vocals, main performer
  • Alain Whyte – guitar
  • Boz Boorer – guitar
  • Jonny Bridgwood – bass
  • Woodie Taylor – drums
  • Greg Ross – art direction
  • Dean Freeman – photography
  • Chris Dickie – producer, engineer
  • Steve Lillywhite – producer
  • Danton Supple – assistant engineer

References[edit]

  1. ^ link[dead link]
  2. ^ "ALBUM REVIEW : *** MORRISSEY, "Vauxhall and I"; Sire/Reprise - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1994-03-27. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  3. ^ "Q Magazine | Music news & reviews, music videos, band pictures & interviews". Q4music.com. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  4. ^ "Morrissey - Vauxhall and I (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  5. ^ "Morrissey - Vauxhall & I - On Second Thought". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  6. ^ "Rocklist.net...Q magazine Recordings Of The Year". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  7. ^ "The Smiths / Morrissey FAQ: Lyrics". Compsoc.man.ac.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
Preceded by
Music Box by Mariah Carey
UK number one album
26 March 1994 – 1 April 1994
Succeeded by
Music Box by Mariah Carey