My Top 1000 Songs #466: How Soon Is Now?

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

The 1984 b-side (later included on different LPs depending on which side of the pond you live in) is inarguably one of the Smiths' most definitive songs, while also their least Smiths-sounding song. Johnny Marr's trademark jangly arpeggios, probably my favorite part of the band, are replaced with a swampy guitar loop with a vague Bo Diddley rhythm, relentlessly persisting throughout the (protracted) length of the song, overlaid with those haunting guitar slides which make the song such great fodder for spooky soundtracks. 

The dark ambience, more Cure than Smiths, is enough for me to tolerate all the Morrissey, about whom I tend to be ambivalent--and even I have to concede that "a shyness that is criminally vulgar" is a pretty ballsy line, and the refrain "I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does" is one of those landmark lyrical phrases that sticks with you long after the song fades.

Of course, when the song fades is the main drawback for me... I don't need a nearly 7-minute Smiths song, even a damned fine one (and I tend to fade it after 3 or 4 minutes when I include it on mixtapes). But duration aside, it's on the shortlist of Smiths songs I truly enjoy.