The Smiths – How Soon Is Now – I Am Human And I Need To Be Loved

How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths

“How Soon Is Now” was released by The Smiths in 1985 as a B-side, but eventually ended up on the album Meat Is Murder. By capturing a somber melancholic atmosphere that describes with chilling confessional detail the dark essence of utter despair and choking alienation, the Smiths forged an Expressionistic musical masterpiece. Its insistent, anxiety ridden opening chords and accompanying paranoiac guitar screams were the product of guitarist Johnny Marr’s imaginative and intuitive sense for creating distinct moods. Morrissey then added the lyrics and, with his eccentrically emotive baritone, indelibly furnished one of the most prolific vocal performances of the decade. He opens with the strikingly personal but resigned admission that gives voice to a paralyzing social anxiety that resonated with his audience, “I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar.” Beneath the resignation, however, is a desperate need for human connection.

Where other 80s bands attempted to convey alienation and nonconformity with a contrived visual and musical formula , The Smiths naturally and effortlessly exuded it. This inherent authenticity was achieved by Marr’s keen sense for creating atmosphere and both Morrissey’s comprehensive talents as a singer/songwriter and the dynamic aura he was able to project as a frontman for the band. In retrospect, he was the voice of his generation. His appeal, bleeding through Marr’s swirling, unstable guitar, is for compassion and is one of the most memorable moments in music history, “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 the 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 the 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”

  • Liam Logan

    It’s hard to believe that bands like the Smiths and R.E.M. were so huge, but are almost completely unheard of in the current millennial generation that I am a part of. Morrissey and Stipe are Musical geniuses that incredibly incorporated imagery into their songs, and it is a shame to see how their name is slowly vanishing over time.