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Encyclopedia > How Soon Is Now?
"How Soon Is Now?"
"How Soon Is Now?" cover
Single by The Smiths
from the album Hatful of Hollow
Released January 28, 1985
August 31, 1992 (re-issue)
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded Mid-1984
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:53 (7"), 6:43 (12")
Label Rough Trade
RT176 (7"), RTT176 (12")
Writer Johnny Marr
Morrissey
Producer John Porter
The Smiths singles chronology
"William, It Was Really Nothing"
(1984)
"How Soon Is Now?"
(1985)
"Shakespeare’s Sister"
(1985)
Alternate covers
European edition (Autumn 1984)
US 7" edition (1985 re-issue)
US 12" edition

"How Soon Is Now?" is a 1984 song written by Morrissey and Johnny Marr and first released by their band The Smiths. Sire Records chief Seymour Stein called it "the 'Stairway to Heaven' of the Eighties",[1][2] while co-writer Johnny Marr described it as "possibly our most enduring record. It's most people's favourite, I think."[3]. Despite its prominent place in The Smiths' repertoire, however, it is not generally considered to be representative of the band's style.[4] Image File history File links Smithshowsoonisnow. ... A collection of various CD singles In music, a single is a short recording of one or more separate tracks. ... The Smiths were an English rock band active from 1982 to 1987. ... Hatful of Hollow is a compilation album by The Smiths that features BBC Radio 1 studio recordings and two contemporary singles with their B-sides. ... is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... A collection of various CD singles In music, a single is a short recording of one or more separate tracks. ... For the record label, see 12 Inch Records. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Alternative music redirects here. ... In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. ... Rough Trade Records, now a member of the RIAA[1], began as an independent record label, based in London, England. ... A songwriter is someone who writes the lyrics to songs, the musical composition or melody to songs, or both. ... Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 in Ardwick, Manchester) is a prolific English guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player and singer. ... For other uses, see Morrissey (disambiguation). ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, organizing and scheduling production budget and resources, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... John Porter is a British musician and record producer. ... The Smiths were an English rock band active from 1982 to 1987. ... William, It Was Really Nothing is a song by British band The Smiths. ... Shakespeares Sister is a non-album single from British band The Smiths, released in 1985. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... For other uses, see Morrissey (disambiguation). ... Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 in Ardwick, Manchester) is a prolific English guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player and singer. ... The Smiths were an English rock band active from 1982 to 1987. ... Sire Records Company is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group and distributed through Warner Bros. ... Seymour Stein is an entrepreneur in the music industry whose career spans from the 50s onwards. ... For other uses of Stairway to Heaven, see Stairway to Heaven (disambiguation). ... Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 in Ardwick, Manchester) is a prolific English guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player and singer. ...


Originally a B-side with "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" on the 12" single version of "William, It Was Really Nothing" in 1984, the song was subsequently featured on the compilation album Hatful of Hollow and on US, Australian and Warner UK editions of Meat Is Murder. It was belatedly released as an A-side in the UK in 1985, reaching #24 on the singles chart. The single did not make the US Top 40. “B-Sides” redirects here. ... William, It Was Really Nothing is a song by British band The Smiths. ... Hatful of Hollow is a compilation album by The Smiths that features BBC Radio 1 studio recordings and two contemporary singles with their B-sides. ... Meat Is Murder is The Smiths second studio album, released in February of 1985. ... “British Hit Singles” redirects here. ...


Although a club favourite, "How Soon Is Now" did not chart as well as writers Morrissey and Marr had 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 ran for nearly 7 minutes; however, the 7" single edit cut the length down to under 4 minutes. The complete version is generally used on compilations. For other uses, see Morrissey (disambiguation). ... Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 in Ardwick, Manchester) is a prolific English guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player and singer. ...

Contents

Music and lyrics

The song contains only one verse which is repeated twice, plus a chorus and a bridge. The subject is an individual who cannot find a way to break out of his shyness. Two couplets from the song are well known in pop culture, the opening to the verse: "I am the son, and the heir, of a shyness that is criminally vulgar / I am the son and heir, of nothing in particular", and the chorus: "I am human and I need to be loved / Just like everybody else does". The opening was adapted from a line in George Eliot's Middlemarch: "To be born the son of a Middlemarch manufacturer, and inevitable heir to nothing in particular".[1] While the track is cited as having changed US media perception of the band as "some wacky gay-rock crusade", the lyrics have also been taken as specifically relating to contemporary Manchester gay club culture.[1] Mary Ann (Marian) Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), better known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist. ... See also Middlemarch, New Zealand. ... This article is about the City of Manchester in England. ...


The tune is built around a guitar chord that rapidly oscillates in volume. As to how the distinctive resonant sound was achieved, Marr gave the following account to Guitar Player magazine in 1990: Oscillation is the variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value (often a point of equilibrium) or between two or more different states. ... Guitar Player magazine contains articles, interviews, reviews and lessons of an eclectic collection of artists, genres and products. ...

The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. I put down the rhythm track on an Epiphone Casino through a Fender Twin Reverb without vibrato. Then we played the track back through four old Twins, one on each side. We had to keep all the amps vibrating in time to the track and each other, so we had to keep stopping and starting the track, recording it in 10-second bursts... We did it in three passes through a harmonizer, set to some weird interval, like a sixth. There was a different harmonization for each pass. For the line in harmonics, I retuned the guitar so that I could play it all at the 12th fret with natural harmonics. It's doubled several times.[5]

Epiphone Casino VT The Epiphone Casino is a true hollow body electric guitar manufactured by Epiphone, a branch of Gibson. ... The Fender Twin Reverb is an all-tube guitar amplifier with two 12 speakers made by Fender. ... In acoustics and telecommunication, the harmonic of a wave is a component frequency of the signal that is an integral multiple of the fundamental frequency. ...

Releases

The song was originally included as a bonus track on the 12" single release of The Smiths' "William, It Was Really Nothing", released in the UK on 24 August 1984. According to John Porter: "I thought 'This is it!'...but I don't think the record company liked it...They totally threw it away, wasted it".[6] The track was subsequently included on The Smiths' compilation album Hatful of Hollow, relased on 12 November 1984. William, It Was Really Nothing is a song by British band The Smiths. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... John Porter is a British musician and record producer. ... A compilation album is an album (music or spoken-word) featuring tracks from one or multiple recording artists, often culled from a variety of sources (such as studio albums, live albums, singles, demos and outtakes. ... Hatful of Hollow is a compilation album by The Smiths that features BBC Radio 1 studio recordings and two contemporary singles with their B-sides. ... is the 316th day of the year (317th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ...


The Italian 12" pressing of "William, It Was Really Nothing", on Virgin Records, featured an out-take version of "How Soon Is Now?", which has not been released in other territories. Virgin Records was a British recording label founded by English entrepreneur Richard Branson, and Nik Powell in 1972. ...


The song was released on Sire Records in the US, backed with "Girl Afraid", in November 1984. It was expected to sell well and, for the first time, a video was made to promote a Smiths track. However, the song failed to chart. Rough Trade boss Geoff Travis blamed poor promotion: "I can't understand why 'How Soon Is Now?" wasn't a top 10 single, but perhaps I'm being naive. If only their singles had been played on the radio".[7]. Morrissey expressed his disappointment in an interview with Creem magazine: "It's hard to believe that 'How Soon Is Now' was not a hit. I thought that was the one..."[8]. Sire Records Company is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group and distributed through Warner Bros. ... Rough Trade Records, now a member of the RIAA[1], began as an independent record label, based in London, England. ... CREEM, Americas Only Rock n Roll Magazine, was a monthly rock n roll publication started in 1969 by Barry Kramer and founding editor Tony Reay. ...


"How Soon is Now?" was released as an A-side in the UK on January 28, 1985. The 7" featured an edited version of the track, and the B-side was "Well I Wonder", from the about-to-be-released Meat Is Murder album. The 12" single included a new instrumental track, "Oscillate Wildly". In spite of being considered, by this time, something of a classic, "How Soon Is Now?" only managed to rise to #24 in the UK singles chart. According to John Porter, "Everybody knew the Smiths' fans already had it".[2] is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Meat Is Murder is The Smiths second studio album, released in February of 1985. ...


Following the acquisition of the Rough Trade catalogue by Warner Bros. Records, "How Soon Is Now?" was issued again as a single in the UK in September 1992. A 7" single and cassette featured the editied version, backed with a live version of "Handsome Devil", recorded at The Haçienda on 4 February 1983 (this had originally been the B-side to The Smiths' first single "Hand in Glove"). Two CD singles featured tracks from The Smiths back-cataolgue which were, following the demise of Rough Trade, unavailable in the UK at that time. The re-issue reached #16 in the UK singles chart. Warner Bros. ... Handsome Devil is a punk band that consists of members Danny Walker (vocals, guitar), Billie Stevens (guitar), Keith Morgan (drums), Brian Wedmore (bass). ... Fac 51 Haçienda (better known as simply The Haçienda) was a nightclub and music venue in Manchester, England. ... is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ... Hand in Glove was the first single from British band The Smiths, released in May 1983. ...


Reviews

"Morrissey and co have once again delved into their Sixties treasure-trove, and produced a visceral power capable of blowing the dust off Eighties inertia. The majestic ease of Morrissey's melancholic vocals are tinted with vitriol, as they move through vistas of misery with plaintive spirals around the pulse of Johnny Marr's vibrato guitar. The string's muted strains conjure wistful signs that bridge the schism between crass sentimentality and callous detachment. Each repeated phrase intensifies the hypnotic waves, with results that outflank anything since 'This Charming Man'. Catharsis has rarely been tinged with so much regret, and shared with so much crystalline purity." - Melody Maker, 2 February 1985 This Charming Man is a song by British rock band The Smiths, released as their second single in October of 1983 on the indie label Rough Trade. ... Melody Maker, published in the United Kingdom, was (until its closure) the worlds oldest weekly music newspaper. ... is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ...


"For the most part, Morrissey is the Hilda Ogden of pop, harassed and hard done-by. I guess what seems like meat to one man sounds like murder to another." - Gavin Martin, New Musical Express, 9 February 1985 Alexander in character as Hilda Ogden, in a still from an episode first aired in the early 1970s. ... The New Musical Express (better known as the NME) is a weekly magazine about popular music published in the UK. It is unlike many other popular music magazines due to its intended focus on guitar-based music and indie rock bands, instead of mainstream pop acts. ... is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ...


Artwork

The single's cover art was a still from the film Dunkirk (1958) featuring British actor Sean Barrett, praying but looking sufficiently as though he was holding his crotch to have the sleeve banned in the US,[9] where a photograph of the band backstage at the 1984 Glastonbury Festival was used instead. According to Morrissey: "'How Soon Is Now?' was released in an abhorrent sleeve - and the time and the dedication that we put into the sleeves and artwork, it was tearful when we finally saw the record..."[10] Dunkirk is a 2nd World War film made in 1958, starring John Mills with Bernard Lee. ... The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or Glasto, is the largest[1] greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world. ...


Music video

A music video was made using the 7" edit of the song. It intercut clips of the band playing live (including a shot of Johnny Marr showing Morrissey how to play the guitar), an industrial part of a city, and a girl dancing. Whilst unauthorised and heavily criticised by the band[1] (Morrissey: "We saw the video and we said to Sire, 'You can't possibly release this... this degrading video.' And they said, 'Well, maybe you shouldn't really be on our label.' It was quite disastrous")[10] the video has been credited with helping make the song their most famous in the US, along with heavy exposure on college radio.[11]


Live versions

"How Soon Is Now?" was always considered a "major problem" to play in concert, and live versions are rare.[1] One was used to open Morrissey's album Live at Earl's Court. Another was recorded during the concert for The Smiths' live album Rank, but was not used. Instead, a raw version of this song (and entire concert) appeared on the bootleg A Bad Boy from a Good Family. The song was recently performed live by Morrissey at the Rock Am Ring Festival in 2006. Rank is a live album by English band The Smiths. ... Rock am Ring (Rock at the Ring) is a rock music festival held annually in Germany at the Nürburgring racetrack. ...


Cover versions

"How Soon Is Now?" has been covered by various artists, including the Russian pop duo t.A.T.u. (their cover of the song is featured on the album 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane) in 2002 — a version which is "just silly" according to Johnny Marr[12]; UK indie band Hundred Reasons; US post-core band Quicksand (bonus track on their Slip album) in 1993; US post-grunge band Everclear; UK band Paradise Lost (on the limited edition Say Just Words EP); and industrial rockers Snake River Conspiracy. This article is about the Russian singing duo. ... How Soon is Now? is the third single from t. ... Alternate covers Japanese Obi Cover Russian Album Cover Singles from 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane Released: September 2002 Released: May 2003 Released: June 2003 Released: July 2003 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane was the first English-language studio album released by t. ... Hundred Reasons are a British rock band, originally signed to Columbia Records in mid-April 2001 after fourteen months of near-constant touring. ... Quicksand was a post-hardcore band from New York City, and retrospectively one of the most influential rock acts of that era, led by former Gorilla Biscuits guitarist Walter Schreifels. ... Everclear is a rock band formed in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 1992. ... Paradise Lost are a heavy metal band formed in 1987 in Halifax, England. ... Snake River Conspiracy is a rock band currently composed of Jason Slater (bass guitar, producer) & Matt Lucich (drums). ...


The guitar track was sampled, with the band's approval, in 1990 by indie-dance band Soho on their UK Top 10 single "Hippychick". Cover art from the Hippychick single Soho is the name of a pop-music trio from England, consisting of sisters Jacqueline (Jackie) Cuff and Pauline Cuff, with Timothy London. ...


The song became well-known to television viewers as the theme from Charmed, in a cover version performed by Psychedelic Furs spin-off band Love Spit Love; the same recording had earlier featured on the soundtrack for another tale of young witches, the film The Craft. For other uses, see charm. ... The Psychedelic Furs are an influential British post-punk band founded in the late 1970s. ... Love Spit Love was a musical group founded in 1992 by singer Richard Butler following the initial disbanding of the Psychedelic Furs. ... This article is part of the Witchcraft series. ... The Craft is a 1996 movie directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Rachel True, Fairuza Balk and Neve Campbell. ...


Critical standing

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine rated the song #486 in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at #28 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. In 2006, "How Soon Is Now?" was voted runner up in VH1’s "Top Lyrics" poll for the lyrics, "So you go and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own, and you go home, and you cry, and you want to die" and marginally missed out on top spot to U2’s "One".[13] In May 2007, NME magazine placed "How Soon Is Now?" at # 7 in its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever. This article is about the magazine. ... The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time was the cover story of a special issue of Rolling Stone magazine published in November 2004. ... Q is a music and entertainment magazinepublished monthly in the United Kingdom. ... VH1 (VH-1: Video Hits One until 1994) is an American cable television channel that was created in January 1985 by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, at the time a division of Warner Communications and owners of MTV. VH1 and sister channel MTV are currently part of the MTV Networks division... This article is about the Irish rock band. ... Achtung Baby track listing Even Better Than the Real Thing (2) One (3) Until the End of the World (4) The Best of 1990-2000 track listing Electrical Storm (William Orbit Mix) (4) One (5) Miss Sarajevo (6) U218 Singles track listing Sunday Bloody Sunday (11) One (12) Desire (13... For other uses, see NME (disambiguation). ...


Track listing

7": Rough Trade / RT176 (UK)

  1. "How Soon Is Now? [edit]" – 3:53
  2. "Well I Wonder" – 4:00
  • in original green sleeve

12": Rough Trade / RTT176 (UK)

  1. "How Soon Is Now?" – 6:43
  2. "Well I Wonder" – 4:00
  3. "Oscillate Wildly" – 3:24

Etchings on vinyl

UK 7" and 12": THE TATTY TRUTH / none


Appearances in popular culture

  • The song is featured in the movies The Midnight Hour (1985), The Craft (1996), The Wedding Singer (1998), and Closer (2004).
  • The song is referred to in Capcom's video game Killer7, its title scrawled on a wall. The message is part of a puzzle, incorporated due to the game's protagonists, the Smith Syndicate.
  • The song is featured in the American version of Queer as Folk (Season 1).
  • The opening of the song was used as background music for a Lexus commercial.
  • The record sleeve is featured in the film The Science of Sleep. It sits above Stēphane's bed.
  • One of the song's instrumental sections also appeared in the mid-1990s on a UK radio station 95.8 Capital FM jingle.
  • In Max Brook's book, World War Z, the song is referenced as being performed instrumentally to a movie.
  • Instrumental portions of the song were used in a Labatt Ice Beer commercial featuring Alexander Godunov (circa 1992)

The Midnight Hour is a 1985 made-for-tv film that stars Shari Belafonte and LeVar Burton. ... The Craft is a 1996 movie directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Rachel True, Fairuza Balk and Neve Campbell. ... The Wedding Singer is a 1998 romantic comedy film written by Tim Herlihy and directed by Frank Coraci that stars Adam Sandler as Robbie Hart, a wedding singer, and Drew Barrymore as Julia Sullivan, the object of his affections. ... Anna and Dan. ... For the original NASA meaning, see capsule communicator. ... killer7 is a video game jointly developed and published by Grasshopper Manufacture and Capcom for the GameCube and PlayStation 2. ... Queer as Folk is an American and Canadian television series co-production, produced by Showtime and Temple Street Productions which was based on the British series of the same name created by Russell T. Davies. ... Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation. ... The Science of Sleep, or (literally The Science of Dreams), is a 2006 surrealist film, written and directed by Michel Gondry. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e Simon Goddard (2004). The Smiths - Songs That Saved Your Life: pp.107-114
  2. ^ a b Johnny Rogan (2006). Morrissey: The Albums: p.38
  3. ^ Uncut, March 2007: p.48
  4. ^ All Music Group review
  5. ^ Guitar Player magazine, January 1990. Retrieved from http://foreverill.com/disc/howsoon.htm
  6. ^ Johnny Rogan (1994). The Smiths: p.75
  7. ^ Johnny Rogan (1994). Op Cit: p.103
  8. ^ Creem magazine, 1987
  9. ^ David Bret (2004). Morrissey: Scandal & Passion: p.58
  10. ^ a b Creem magazine, 1985
  11. ^ Johnny Rogan (2006). Op Cit: pp.53-54
  12. ^ Uncut, March 2007: p.48
  13. ^ BBC News, April 2006

Simon Goddard is a British music journalist and author. ... Johnny Rogan is an Irish author who has written several rock music biographies, covering artists such as The Byrds, Roxy Music, Van Morrison and Neil Young. ... Uncut special issue on Queen. ... Uncut special issue on Queen. ...

References

  • Simon Goddard (2004). The Smiths - Songs That Saved Your Life. ISBN 1-903111-84-6.
The Smiths
Morrissey - Johnny Marr - Andy Rourke - Mike Joyce
Craig Gannon - Dale Hibbert
Discography
Albums: The Smiths | Meat Is Murder | The Queen Is Dead | Strangeways, Here We Come | Rank (live)
Singles: Hand in Glove | This Charming Man | What Difference Does It Make? | Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now | William, It Was Really Nothing | How Soon Is Now? | Shakespeare's Sister | That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore | The Boy with the Thorn in His Side | Bigmouth Strikes Again | Panic | Ask | Shoplifters of the World Unite | Sheila Take a Bow | Girlfriend in a Coma | I Started Something I Couldn't Finish | Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me | There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
Band-assembled compilations: Hatful of Hollow | The World Won't Listen | Louder Than Bombs
Other compilations: Stop Me | Best...I | ...Best II | Singles | The Very Best of The Smiths
Related
Rough Trade Records

 
 

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