“How Soon Is Now?” is a song by the English rock band the Smiths, written by singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr. 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 US, Canadian, Australian, and Warner UK editions of Meat Is Murder. Belatedly released as a single in the UK in 1985, it reached No. 24 on the UK Singles Chart. When re-released in 1992, it reached No. 16.
In 2007, Marr said “How Soon Is Now?” is “possibly [the Smiths’] most enduring record. It’s most people’s favourite, I think.” Despite its prominent place in the Smiths’ repertoire, it is not generally considered to be representative of the band’s style. Although a club favourite, it 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.