HOW SOON IS NOW ?

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Oh, of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

There's a club, if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home, and you cry
And you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen "now"
Well, when exactly do you mean ?
See I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does


Undoubtably The Smiths' most famous song, How Soon Is Now ? sees the rocky side of the group, with the unique sound of this song (although its apparently very similar to Elton John's "Can I Put You On ?"), and its long instrumental gaps inbetween unearthly vocal parts from Morrissey. What could have been a chart-topping single was pissed away by Morrissey and Marr, who then consequently moaned about its lack of chart success. Well, sorry lads, but if you want a single to do well, don't put out as a B-side and an album track first ... common sense really ...
The lyrics find Morrissey at his most theatrically introspective, courting observations from ill-minded cynics that Morrissey was just a big kid really - "aw, mum !". I've always been in two minds about this song. When I first heard it I didn't really think that much of it compared to things like The Boy With The Thorn In His Side. Then I grew to adore it; now it's waned a bit again.
The famous "swampy" guitar sound was sampled by Soho for their 1991 hit "Hippychick", which led to Morrissey and Marr claiming a 25% royalty on the song.
The BBC version is very similar, which makes you wonder quite how Johnny Marr did it. Patrick Frawley explains the technique used :

"There is a 'vibrato' or 'tremolo' twist knob on certain guitar amplifiers; some Fender models come to mind. It specifically produces that unmistakable wooga-wooga sound, originally intended to emulate a skilled stringed instrument player's fingered tremoloing (think concert violinists, cellists, etc.). It's basically an electrically-induced volume oscillation; one can hear the chord being played, bouncing back and forth on the volume scale, but Marr's good enough to mask the changes. Early guitar rock god Bo Diddley used it extensively on his Fifties singles, which have influenced generations of guitarists, including (obviously) Marr. The distinctive drumbeat of the track is also a blatant/loving Diddley nick".


 Visit Italian B-side version of this song

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