Five tracks that sample The Smiths, for good or ill

The Weeknd’s track ‘The Enemy’, intriguingly samples/quotes The Smiths’ ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’. Of course, Morrissey and co. were innate funksters any hip-hop/R&B artist would want to crib from…. what’s that? Oh. Well, it’s happened more times than you’d think – usually with Johnny Marr’s vibro-guitar effect from ‘How Soon Is Now’, the kind of unlikely groove sampladelicists swoop for. Here are five examples, from poor to pretty good.

How Soon Is Now?

5.  Kid Rock – ‘Back From The Dead’ (1992)
Be fair, sampling ‘How Soon Is Now’ is quite imaginative for everyone’s favourite dufus rapper from Michigan. Then again, it’s just a one-man Beastie Boys without the juvenile smarts.


4. M.A.D./Mexican Mack – ‘Profile Of Juvenile’ (1993)

M.A.D. gives us a slice of N.W.A.-lite that pushes The Smiths’ ‘How Soon Is Now’ up against utterly natural bedfellows Soul II Soul (‘Back To Life’) and ESG (‘UFO’), and it all sort of works.


3. Venetian Snares – ‘Nobody Really Understands Anybody’ (2002)

Grim D&B perversion from Canadian breaks wizard Aaron Funk. He throws in ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’ like it’s nothing, but it sets up camp in our nightmares. Cheers Funkman.


2.  The Avalanches – ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’ (2000)

OK, pedants, more of a mash-up than a straightforward sample, but let’s consider the legendary ‘Gimix’ mixtape one long track and this a mere extended sample in the middle of it. Good. And the elusive Aussies manage the improbable feat of melding it with De La Soul’s ‘A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays”’ – it sounds both incredibly out of tune and brilliant.


1. Soho – ‘Hippychick’ (1991)

‘How Soon Is Now’ AGAIN, but this time it’s a protest song! “Got no flowers for your gun,” trill twins Jackie and Pauline Cuff over an endless loop of Marr’s rerouted guitar, and… Oh God, this sounds really dated now. In 1991 it was more cutting edge than Bryan Adams. Serious.

Any more? We’ve spared you Mr. French Junior’s ultimo-tinny eurodisco appropriation of – yes – ‘How Soon Is Now’, so please return the courtesy. Get ready for The Weeknd.