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The Smiths — How Soon Is Now
Album: Meat Is Murder
Avg rating:
8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 8534









Released: 1984
Length: 6:38
Plays (last 30 days): 4
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
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
Comments (1123)add comment
Meat is murder.
Tasty, tasty murder.

(from a T-shirt)
Great lyrics, great music, great everything about this tune.
Shit hot..
Mr. Marr is a total fucking legend.
"Of nothing in particular"

Morrissey bugs me, but the delivery of this line makes me smile.


 Andrew_C wrote:

BLEAGH!  Make it stop, PLEASE!

Can we have a rating several below 0?



Yeah  -22
(So far,  for your comment.) 
What a time-marker tune this shall always be! CU undergrad days, summer nights roaming The Hill, looking for the next party to crash... -- Found it! Party vibe coming from inside, this Smiths song, this album blaring from front porch speakers nestled right next to the keg set-up...and everywhere the fragrant wafts of advanced terpene aromatherapy...U2, B-52s, Talking Heads, REM, Dire Straits, The Who, Lou Reed, and David Gilmour were also played, but this was what pulled me up onto the porch and into the party that married and carried us all away till dawn... I am happily still only a few blocks down the street from so many of these precious, indelible memories -- and happily still at Standard Orbit and then some, thanks to RP!
Some of the best stuff kicked out in the 80s
Oh my! Watch the movie "The Killer" with Michael Fassbender.
Total knockout Smiths soundtrack on it.
And, I loved the movie.
This is as tight as a gnat's jockstrap and oh the memories I have of dancing to it at The Hacienda in Manch.
Stone cold classic. One of the few straight 10s in my book.
 Critty wrote:

Yeah, I have never been able to stand Morrissey but I still love this song. 



I Agree!  GREAT TUNE!!  Morrissey is creepy!
 Madness1954 wrote:

It's Johnny Marr's guitar work that really makes this so outstanding.


Yeah, I have never been able to stand Morrissey but I still love this song. 
 springof63 wrote:

skip!




 springof63 wrote:

skip!



In the words of 10cc  "How Dare You" !!
skip!
Morrissey is a subpar singer, and holds some pretty lousy viewpoints.

But this song still slaps, almost four decades on.

Godspeed Andy!
 Madness1954 wrote:

It's Johnny Marr's guitar work that really makes this so outstanding.



Absolutely, Marr's creativity and studio alchemy with the guitar sounds make this song great.  I personally had never heard anything like it upon first listen, and I don't think I've ever heard anything similar since.
 sjccroquet wrote:

This song just shines in FLAC.



Yes! I Agree!
 Madness1954 wrote:

It's Johnny Marr's guitar work that really makes this so outstanding.


This song just shines in FLAC.
The way they achieved the pulsating guitar effect was with syncing multiple guitar amps that would constanty need adjusting during the recording, it's worth a read  if you have the interest.  
They recall the session as being accompanied by heavy marijuana use. "We used to smoke dope from when we got out of bed to when we got back to bed",

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Reverb and Plaintiveness will get me everytime...
 Jakethemuss wrote:

I’ve loved this since the minor’s strike.


After that the miners became so mainstream.  I liked them better when they were underground.

KJET -
1600 AM Radio
SEATTLE
1985
Long live Johnny!
 wonderunit wrote:


Well that, and the innovative production.


And the whistling - so many great songs have whistling. 
KUSF 1984. Howie Klein.
The Smiths have long been one of my absolute favourite bands, despite how much less I like Morrissey with every passing year. Yeah, they were emo before emo, but despite his incredible obtuseness, there was a self-awareness about Morrissey. Always teetering on self-parody. You can almost laugh to it (indeed, the subtle humour is lost on many), but that inner 14 year old in you still really gets it on some completely serious level.  

It's true that this really sounds like nothing else in their catalogue, and yet it still is quintessential Smiths. And the musicianship as always, second to none. I love this band, and I love this overplayed song.

Top shelf stuff.
How soon is now - well now it's sad when you get older - your nose fattens and you start looking like your grandfather ...
 nate917 wrote:

Marr is quoted on the subject in Wikipedia, from an interview:

"The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. I put down the rhythm track on an Epiphone Casino through a Fender Twin Reverb without vibrato. Then we played the track back through four old Twins, one on each side. We had to keep all the amps vibrating in time to the track and each other, so we had to keep stopping and starting the track, recording it in 10-second bursts... I wish I could remember exactly how we did the slide part — not writing it down is one of the banes of my life! We did it in three passes through a harmonizer, set to some weird interval, like a sixth. There was a different harmonization for each pass. For the line in harmonics, I retuned the guitar so that I could play it all at the 12th fret with natural harmonics. It's doubled several times."



I’ve loved this since the miner’s strike.
 acolt wrote:


Because then you'd get a whole bunch of people saying "HOW IS THIS SONG ONLY A 16" or some such.



LOL!! TOO FUNNY!!  But, true!
 jp33442 wrote:
Always wondered why the ratings don’t go to 20



Because then you'd get a whole bunch of people saying "HOW IS THIS SONG ONLY A 16" or some such.
GODLIKE!!! 
the brilliancy of this song starts with its title. Can´t think of a title that made me think that much.
Excellent!!
 The_Enemy wrote:

How come the ratings don't go to 12?

Always wondered why the ratings don’t go to 20

GODLIKE!!
How come the ratings don't go to 12?
Cheer up Morrissey.  You'll be famous some day.
Be So much better as an instrumental... 😶
The Smiths - reinvented music at the time - they created something that nobody else could do. Unique and wonderful.
 rdloewen wrote:

sucko-barfo



Your Nick Name? ...eh?
I'm currently reading Morrissey and Marr: The Severed Alliance and listening to every album from first to last. I'd forgotten how brilliant they were. 
 mortmodre wrote:

This is overrated



So is your mom.
Morrissey is based
 mortmodre wrote:

This is overrated



Almost a plain stated, three word sentence. Go against your trusty, detailed, heartfelt description and throw a reliable punctuation period in there and it'll just be a perfectly valid, worthless statement.
This is overrated
 Madness1954 wrote:

It's Johnny Marr's guitar work that really makes this so outstanding.



Well that, and the innovative production.
It's Johnny Marr's guitar work that really makes this so outstanding.
I'm not a great Smiths fan, I can do suicidal thoughts without any help from Morrisey 
But this, I have always loved this!!!
This SO Rocks. On all cylinders.
 Critty wrote:


But for me, only this song and it is mainly because of Johnny Marr. 


Yup. Totally identify. I bought a Smith's album in the 80's because I liked the cover (The Queen is Dead). Hated the music. But now... umm... kinda... like it again.
 xkolibuul wrote:

Couldn't stand The Smiths in the 80s.  But I have to admit now, three decades later, this is kinda growing on me.  



But for me, only this song and it is mainly because of Johnny Marr. 
...... "
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 "..... wow
The repeating guitar wail in the background envisions a distant and fading train whistle, which, after reading the lyrics, makes sense. 
The perfect match of music with his voice. No matter what you think of Morrissey, this track worked.
bloody hell, I had to check that I wasn't playing my favourites channel! all 10 ratings for the last few songs
 Andrew_C wrote:
BLEAGH!  Make it stop, PLEASE!

Can we have a rating several below 0?
 

I would just respectfully request that you listen to the guitar & base work on this song.  Pretty incredible - just sayin'
Fucking Johnny Marr!
I don't know why some people think they have to defend themselves for eating meat. Every violence starts in the mind and should be stopped right there.  
KJET - Seattle - 1984
 On_The_Beach wrote:


Premo!
 
'Nition!
Such a brilliant, atmospheric song. Perfect for these difficult times, and strangely uplifting.
I just love the gridding guitar in the back. Such a powerful moving sound. Gets you inside. You just feel tough!
 Henkjan wrote:
one of the greatest songs ever.
 
are you ignoring the lyrics?
 Oxen1morale wrote:
?? I guess i'm missing something as well.  What do you mean?
 
sunnyS wrote:
Is there anybody out there?
Buffy?!?

I think I am the wrong generation;)
 

 

Oh sorry, I totally missed it. The song was used in the "charmed" Intro. A 90th series. The same generation as Buffy the vampire slayer. That's why I misstook it. Shame on me. I didn't know it is a Smiths song.
 kcar wrote:
ableape wrote:

I used to think he was singing, "I am the sun and the air" until I realized it made more sense that he's "the son and the heir". Brilliant.

 
ShamanManu wrote:

me too! 
 

Wikipedia sez...
the lines


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



were adapted from a passage in George Eliot's novel "Middlemarch" :

"To be born the son of a Middlemarch manufacturer, and inevitable heir to nothing in particular"
 
Phew! Good call, man, good call.
?? I guess i'm missing something as well.  What do you mean?
 
sunnyS wrote:
Is there anybody out there?
Buffy?!?

I think I am the wrong generation;)
 

Is there anybody out there?
Buffy?!?

I think I am the wrong generation;)
The voice of an entire Emo generation that came into being about 20 years after its release.
 Proclivities wrote:
 SquiddlyDiddly wrote:
. . . if we have a race of rabid aliens descend on planet earth and start farming us. . . then I'd suggest anyone who is still comfortable eating other sentient animals should not have any argument with that. 

Just saying. 


 
 I assume you mean "fanatical" aliens, and not aliens who have rabies.  Either way, it's difficult to know for sure until they show up.  Do you really think rabid, carnivorous aliens would spare vegetarians and vegans?  It doesn't seem likely.  It could make for a fun sci-fi story.

Already been done...See the old TwilightZone episode "To Serve Man"...
"It's a cookbook!"

Tony in NJ
W.A.S.T.E.
 

Excelente!
Genius!
ableape wrote:

I used to think he was singing, "I am the sun and the air" until I realized it made more sense that he's "the son and the heir". Brilliant.

 
ShamanManu wrote:

me too! 
 

Wikipedia sez...
the lines

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



were adapted from a passage in George Eliot's novel "Middlemarch" :

"To be born the son of a Middlemarch manufacturer, and inevitable heir to nothing in particular"
I have memories of throwing myself around the dancefloor to this back in the early 90's.
 ableape wrote:
I used to think he was singing, "I am the sun and the air" until I realized it made more sense that he's "the son and the heir". Brilliant.
 
me too! 
 cavemanleong wrote:
Channeling my inner Morrisey
 

Better don’t ;)
Best Smiths Tune Ever!!! I was just thinking, "I havent heard the Smiths lately"...and you played them. Wow. Thanks. Alot!
sucko-barfo
 Andrew_C wrote:
BLEAGH!  Make it stop, PLEASE!

Can we have a rating several below 0?
 
Yep, so far your rating is -3
 nate917 wrote:

Marr is quoted on the subject in Wikipedia, from an interview:

"The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. ... "

 

The flange on the bass is also gorgeous.   
Wow, this reminds me of when I first went into the Army. Great memories and I've always liked this song. Thanks RP.
BLEAGH!  Make it stop, PLEASE!

Can we have a rating several below 0?
 spidergraham wrote:
One of the finest songs ever created. Johnny Marr on Guitar doesn't hurt either!
 

Superb guitar sound!
The Smiths are hit or miss for me. This song is one of their hits for me! ...GREAT song!
Thanks Bill ... this one of those songs that pull you in.
 Ihatethissong wrote:
emo before emo was emo
 

Premo!
First time I heard The Headmaster Ritual was on RP. would love to hear it soon again
One of the finest songs ever created. Johnny Marr on Guitar doesn't hurt either!
 nate917 wrote:

Marr is quoted on the subject in Wikipedia, from an interview:

"The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. I put down the rhythm track on an Epiphone Casino through a Fender Twin Reverb without vibrato. Then we played the track back through four old Twins, one on each side. We had to keep all the amps vibrating in time to the track and each other, so we had to keep stopping and starting the track, recording it in 10-second bursts... I wish I could remember exactly how we did the slide part — not writing it down is one of the banes of my life! We did it in three passes through a harmonizer, set to some weird interval, like a sixth. There was a different harmonization for each pass. For the line in harmonics, I retuned the guitar so that I could play it all at the 12th fret with natural harmonics. It's doubled several times."

 

I like how Marr is the guy lurking behind Morrissey in the Wikipedia band photo.


Thanks RP.
I'm a musician and guitar player, and I've read this part over and over and I STILL don't get how it was done. I need like an animation or something that shows how it was built up from organic instrumentation.

 nate917 wrote:

Marr is quoted on the subject in Wikipedia, from an interview:

"The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. I put down the rhythm track on an Epiphone Casino through a Fender Twin Reverb without vibrato. Then we played the track back through four old Twins, one on each side. We had to keep all the amps vibrating in time to the track and each other, so we had to keep stopping and starting the track, recording it in 10-second bursts... I wish I could remember exactly how we did the slide part — not writing it down is one of the banes of my life! We did it in three passes through a harmonizer, set to some weird interval, like a sixth. There was a different harmonization for each pass. For the line in harmonics, I retuned the guitar so that I could play it all at the 12th fret with natural harmonics. It's doubled several times."

 

I cannot stand this band, especially the twat at the front. The only decent song they've ever done IMHO. 8.
Not a particular fan of the Smiths but this tune is awesome!
Not a fan of Morrisey, but I really liked The Smiths.  Johnny Marr does some brilliant things with his guitar.  
 thewiseking wrote:
A Masterpiece. Of course it is a simple riff on Disney's Whistle While You Work.
 LOL!

Sadness, hopelessness and despair has never sounded more beautiful than in this song! Raising from 8 to 9!
One of the best songs to come out of the 80s.  I am transported every time I hear it.  
27 years as a veggie, I did my time. Now I eat my steaks blue.

This tune and everything they did is genius. No-one but you gives a monkey's about your diet though; take it off RP. Let's discuss the majesty of the music instead.
How can anyone say there wasn’t great music in the 80’s!?!? When this came out I was 6 months sober. Blew me away!!!
A Masterpiece. Of course it is a simple riff on Disney's Whistle While You Work.
 Lyndont wrote:
horrible!!
 

What is with this tune - I always cringe when I hear the 1st few notes. 
horrible!!
Best Smiths song, Johnny Marr killin' it!
 first heard this on Miami Vice.  It still holds up well.  
Did anyone ever see the Smiths perform this one live?  Wondering how they handled the vibrato thing that according to Marr took all sorts of audio gymnastics.

Also wondering why it took someone so long to sample that (1  hit wonders Soho, Hippychick, 1990) amazing riff.
Marr and Mozza. Sound and Lyrics. Never to be repeated.
That was groovin' I might just get this house cleaned
Liked this when it came out. Heard it on the radio a fair amount of time here in Seattle. KJET - 1600 - End of the am dial !
(The truck I drove had an am radio only.)
It was cool though - Lot of good new wave/alt stuff out in 1984.
 HectorPascal wrote:
okay... I admit. This is a good piece of work. But that man Morrisey.... Ugh.
 
But that guitar!!!! 
 unclehud wrote:
To be clear ... veggies are murder, too.
 
...and salad is mass murder. 
okay... I admit. This is a good piece of work. But that man Morrisey.... Ugh.
 SquiddlyDiddly wrote:
For me, it is a case of being conscious. Once I woke up to what I was actually doing by consuming animal flesh I simply could not continue. 

Saying 'thank you' to the animal for giving up its life for a mouthful of meat nowadays, when it is easy to avoid eating it in the first place, seems to me to be a huge cop out. 

I had a thought the other day. If you believe (as I do) that aliens exist, and if you accept some are likely to be much more advanced than us in many areas, then if they look on a 'sub-species' like us as a food source, is it any different from us playing the same card on the animal world? Therefore. . . if we have a race of rabid aliens descend on planet earth and start farming us. . . then I'd suggest anyone who is still comfortable eating other sentient animals should not have any argument with that. 

Just saying. 
 
Vegans eat plants that have been killed.  How is that different from eating animals?  Do you -- a believer in aliens --  assume beans and corn are non-sentient?

What about carnivorous animals?  Are they as disgusting as me and my prayer over a can of tuna mixed with corn and tomatoes?

I don't believe aliens exist, but will engage in your scenario.  As has been stated by others here, if human-eating aliens invade, do you think they'd spare you because you're vegan?

Food for thought.  

Respectfully,
A conscious human and loving pet owner

 johnrah wrote:
this song is 4 minutes too long, oh, you all love it.
 
Oh that we do. Solid 9.
this song is 4 minutes too long, oh, you all love it.
 SquiddlyDiddly wrote:

For me, it is a case of being conscious. Once I woke up to what I was actually doing by consuming animal flesh I simply could not continue. 

Saying 'thank you' to the animal for giving up its life for a mouthful of meat nowadays, when it is easy to avoid eating it in the first place, seems to me to be a huge cop out. 

I had a thought the other day. If you believe (as I do) that aliens exist, and if you accept some are likely to be much more advanced than us in many areas, then if they look on a 'sub-species' like us as a food source, is it any different from us playing the same card on the animal world? Therefore. . . if we have a race of rabid aliens descend on planet earth and start farming us. . . then I'd suggest anyone who is still comfortable eating other sentient animals should not have any argument with that. 

Just saying. 
 
No, I wouldn't have an argument against it. I wouldn't like it, but that's the way life works. It's called a food chain.

Your reasoning reminds of the folks who think we should give the United States back to the Native Americans. My question is, which ones? There were many nations when we got here. The only reason the Sioux were in South Dakota is because they ran off the tribe that was there before they got there. Why are they any more entitled to the land than we are? Or the folks they displaced? The entire planet is populated by the last occupying army.
To be clear ... veggies are murder, too.