My daughter and I were listening to XM Radio – 1st wave this morning when The Smiths classic “How Soon is Now?” came on.
She really liked the song, so I started explaining to her that it is possibly THE classic alternative song. As I was explaining it, I was struck by how timeless and perfect the song it.
The song has three different hooks or riffs working in it. At the same time, no one had ever heard guitar work like that anywhere before, establishing Johnny Marr as one of the great alternative rock guitarists.
Lyrically, it also cemented the equation Smiths = depression in the minds of alt-music fans everywhere. Although “depressing,” the lyrics are extremely poignant and visceral.
What also stands out about it is that they threw away all convention by ignoring the three minute pop song, opting instead for over six minutes of guitar-driven angst.