"How Soon Is Now?" is a song by the British alternative rock band The Smiths. Written by Smiths singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, it was originally a B-side of the 1984 single "William, It Was Really Nothing". "How Soon Is Now?" was subsequently featured on the compilation album Hatful of Hollow and on U.S., Canadian, Australian and Warner UK editions of the group's second album Meat Is Murder (1985). It was belatedly released as a single in the UK in 1985, where it reached number 24 on the UK Singles Chart.
Sire Records chief Seymour Stein called it "the 'Stairway to Heaven' of the Eighties", while co-writer Johnny Marr described it as "possibly our most enduring record. It's most people's favourite, I think." Despite its prominent place in The Smiths' repertoire, however, it is not generally considered to be representative of the band's style. Although a club favourite, "How Soon Is Now?" did not chart as well as expected. Most commentators put this down to the fact that the song had been out on vinyl in a number of forms before being released as a single in its own right. The original track runs for nearly seven minutes; however, the 7" single edit cut the length down to under four minutes. The complete version is generally used on compilations. The song has been widely praised for, among other things, the artistry of its lyrics.
A cover of the song by Love Spit Love was used in the soundtrack for the 1996 film The Craft, and later appeared as the theme song of the television series Charmed for all eight of its seasons. The song briefly made an appearance in the 4th episode of BBC's show Inside the Human Body.
The song's title was inspired by a line in Popcorn Venus: Women, Movies and the American Dream by Marjorie Rosen, which Morrissey picked as one of his favourite books in NME in 1983.
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