As a music fan, there’s nothing quite as sonically satisfying as when one of your favorite artists covers another one of your favorite artists — it’s like getting a gift and unwrapping it and finding out that within that gift, there’s another gift. The simile is imperfect. What I mean to say is, when I heard that Radiohead had covered the Smiths, I freaked out.
During the band’s headlining performance for the first night of Austin City Limits, the band briefly covered the Smith’s “How Soon Is Now?” before segueing into their own song, “2+2=5.”
In video of the performance, you can hear fans screaming out in recognition of the snippet of a cover. And it really, truly is a snippet:
However, if that Radiohead/Smiths crossover didn’t sate you, rest assured that Thom Yorke and co. did a full cover of the Smith’s “The Headmaster Ritual” in 2007, as part of a webcast:
But the reason that particular Smiths song — “How Soon Is Now?” — would be perfect for a cover is that its ominous-sexy vibe is a perfect fit for Radiohead’s sound. Yorke’s falsetto is very tender, but as evidenced by his own discography, that tenderness is oftentimes in service of some pretty strange and creepy ideas. I submit this as evidence:
Anyway, we’ll be daydreaming of a full “How Soon Is Now?” Radiohead cover; until then, we can still always watch the man himself do his thing: