On November 12th, 1984 The Smiths released “Hatful of Hollow”, a compilation that in essence is a BBC Peel Sessions work, for the most part, featuring various alternate versions of singles, and album tracks from the band’s self-titled debut record, but most importantly—a few noteworthy b-sides!

This record was in fact, released just a month after “The Smiths”, a rapid-fire effort to capitalize on the hype generated by Morrissey, Marr, Rourke, and Joyce’s Manchester magnificence, following the success of the singles “What difference does it Make”, and “This Charming Man” (“Hand in Glove” initially failing to chart).

Besides features the band’s debut single, “Hand in Glove”, and The Smiths two most recent singles prior to Hatful of Hollow’s release, (“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”, and “William, It Was Really Nothing”, with their respective and might I add superior b-sides “Girl Afraid”, “How Soon Is Now?”, and “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”.

There’s an interesting story involving the track selection of Hatful of Hollow involving a previously unheard alternate take of “Girl Afraid” and an alternate take of the most famous Smiths song of all, “How Soon is Now”

Featured on a Rough Trade Records reference cassette dated Aug. 24, 1984, that as presented would have made this particular version of “How Soon is Now” more widely known—as it has only ever has been released as the B-side to the rare Italian 12-inch single of “William, It Was Really Nothing.”

How Soon is Now? Alternate Version

If anyone has the alternate version of “Girl Afraid”, please let us know. according to Passions Just Like Mine, This alternative version of “Girl Afraid” “has yet to surface anywhere, whether officially or as an unofficial leak on the internet. This unreleased version features a different intro and is described in Simon Goddard’s essential The Songs That Saved Your Life.”

At the time of its release, Hatful of Hollow offered the best selection of songs from The Smiths catalog that you could get at that point on a single record, and still to this day is an essential record in anyone’s post-punk album collection.


1. “William, It Was Really Nothing” (Single A-side)
2. “What Difference Does It Make?” (John Peel session, 5/18/83)
3. “These Things Take Time” (David Jensen session, 6/26/83 *)
4. “This Charming Man” (John Peel session, 9/14/83 *)
5. “How Soon Is Now?” (B-side of “William, It Was Really Nothing”)
6. “Handsome Devil” (John Peel session, 5/18/83)
7. “Hand in Glove” (Single A-side mix)
8. “Still Ill” (John Peel session, 9/14/83 *)
9. “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (Single A-side)
10. “This Night Has Opened My Eyes” (John Peel session, 9/14/83)
11. “You’ve Got Everything Now” (David Jensen session, 6/26/83 *)
12. “Accept Yourself” (David Jensen session, 8/25/83 *)
13. “Girl Afraid” (B-side of “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”)
14. “Back to the Old House” (John Peel session, 9/14/83 *)
15. “Reel Around the Fountain” (John Peel session, 5/18/83)
16. “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” (B-side of “William, It Was Really Nothing”)

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