The song was written shortly before (October 1984?) the band went into Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey in January 1985 to record it. It was mixed later in the month at Utopia Studios in Primrose Hill. The Smiths (actually mostly Johnny) acted as producers, with Stephen Street as recording engineer.
This song has never been performed specifically for radio or television.
This song has never been done live, either by the Smiths or, unsurprisingly, by Morrissey. It was soundchecked on the North American leg of the Queen Is Dead tour but never made the setlist.
No demos or studio outtakes of this song have leaked to the general public at this point in time.
"Initially the very notion of instrumentals was motivated by me. I suggested that 'Oscillate Wildly' should be an instrumental; up until that point Johnny had very little interest in non-vocal tracks. There was never any political heave-hoing about should we-shouldn't we have an instrumental and it was never a battle of powers between Johnny and myself. The very assumption that a Smiths instrumental track left Morrissey upstairs in his bedroom stamping his feet and kicking the furniture was untrue! I totally approved but, obviously, I didn't physically contribute."