In 1980s Manchester, The Smiths, made up of Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke, and Mike Joyce, made music that not only resonated with the disaffected youth of Thatcher’s England, but of disaffected youth worldwide. Their songs of missed opportunities, unrequited love and anger at the government still speaks to generations today. It’s not just real people who feel that Morrissey’s melancholic lyrics tinged (or more often than not dripping) with sarcasm and Johnny Marr’s jangling, multilayered guitars express more than they themselves ever could. Their music is drawn on in film, literature and television, beloved by the characters that inhabit those worlds.
A song that becomes central in articulating the themes within Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the Smiths’ track “Asleep”. Given Chbosky himself is directing, it will be surprising if it doesn’t appear on the soundtrack for the upcoming film adaptation, set for release in cinemas in September.
The recently released trailer doesn’t feature Morrissey and company, so while we wait for the film we can remember some of the movie moments in which The Smiths provided the soundtrack not only for the film, but also for the characters’ lives.