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The song lasted only 2:09 minutes, which record label boss Geoff Travis deemed too short. Smiths drummer Mike Joyce recalled to Mojo magazine: "We didn't always choose the right singles. 'How Soon Is Now? ' was originally a B-side remember. Geoff Travis was very sniffy about the length of 'Shakespeare's Sister' but the fact people said we were wrong only fired us up." (Source Shakespeare’s Sister Songfacts).

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