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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 194
Thurs. Aug 15, 2013

“You’re Gonna Need Someone On Your Side”
Morrissey

1992

“♫ Someone
kindly
told
me that
you
wasted
eight of
nine
lives
♫”

The dynamic wailing guitar riffs that introduced this first cut from Your Arsenal signaled a new opening sounding salvo missing from Morrissey’s previous albums Viva Hate and Kill Uncle. After creating his first two solo albums with only studio musicians, Morrissey had found a gang of rockabilly ruffians to call his band. Lead by guitarists Alain Whyte and Boz Boorer had finally found the visceral power he longed for since The Smiths disbanded in 1987.

In Simon Goddard’s Mozipedia, Morrissey talked about the relief of finding his first official backing band when he said, “I didn’t have a regular band so I needed to rebuild a gang spirit, to be back permanently with the same persons.” You could hear it on the vinyl; Morrissey was tired of the revolving door of producers and musicians that graced the songs on his previous records. Luckily, Moz found the stability and power with Wyite and Boorer leading his new band to new heights not since experienced with The Smiths.

With Morrissey feeling more comfortable with his new band, that meant the days for his former Kill Uncle collaborator Mark Nevin were numbered. Ironically, the opener was one “You’re Gonna Need” was one of two of the final songs that Mark had completed with Moz on Your Arsenal. “On Your Side” signaled the beginning of a new phase for the former Smiths singer. Moz decided to not continue his working relationships with producers Stephen Street and Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley. Instead, Moz went to former David Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson and it was the Thin White Duke’s production on Your Arsenal that sent Morrissey’s solo career into the stratosphere as Nevin told Johnny Rogan in his book Morrissey when Mark explained, “I think Clive Langer was maybe a bit too clean for Morrissey. When Mick Ronson did the album there was something more immediate about it. It was in your face.”

Nevin was right, Viva Hate, Kill Uncle and most of the songs from Bona Drag had Morrissey hesitating from getting to far away from the successful formula he discovered with Johnny Marr and The Smiths. But it wasn’t until he found Whyte, Boorer and specifically asked Ronson to helm the Your Arsenal session that Morrissey’s life as solo artist went global.

More than just an opening number from 1992’s Your Arsenal, this cut reflected a new modus operandi for the former Smiths singer. “You’re Gonna Need” was the song that introduced Morrissey’s new backing band to the world. After going through a plethora of producers, co-songwriters and studio musicians 1992 signaled a more creative resurrection with the confident guitar sound of Boorer and Whyte. Thanks to producer Mark Ronson, Moz was no longer longing for the old days of The Smiths. “You’re Gonna Need” is the sound of Morrissey mach two and the next phase of his solo career. Moz realized he didn’t have to go at alone, he finally found a backing band to paint powerful rhythms for his eloquent lyrics. Revisit the passion of Morrissey’s new lyrical confidence within the fire gang spark mentality of “You’re Gonna Need Someone On Your Side.”

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