I Started Something I Couldn't Finish

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"I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"
Single by The Smiths
from the album Strangeways, Here We Come
Released 2 November 1987
Format 7", 12", MC
Recorded March 1987 in Bath
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:46
Label Rough Trade
Writer(s) Johnny Marr, Morrissey
Producer(s) Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Stephen Street
The Smiths singles chronology
"Girlfriend in a Coma"
(1987)
"I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"
(1987)
"Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me"
(1987)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]

"I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" is a song by The Smiths. It was released as a single in November 1987, reaching #23 in the UK Singles Chart.

It was the second of four UK singles from the band's last studio album Strangeways, Here We Come, and was released after the band had announced their split. The record company had originally intended to release "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" as a single in the UK but felt this would be inappropriate following the Hungerford massacre (the lyrics contain a reference to "mass murder").

"Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" was still released as a single in other countries, but its promotional video—which featured Morrissey plus a large number of Morrissey lookalikes—was used in the UK to promote "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish".

The track features an outtake during the fade-out at the end, with Morrissey asking "Okay Stephen (Street, the Producer) shall we do that one again?"

The cover of the single features actress Avril Angers in a film still from the 1966 film The Family Way.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Morrissey and Johnny Marr, except where noted. 

7" RT198
No. Title Length
1. "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"   3:46
2. "Pretty Girls Make Graves" (Troy Tate version) 3:35
12" RTT198
No. Title Length
1. "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"   3:46
2. "Pretty Girls Make Graves" (Troy Tate version) 3:35
3. "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" (live) 5:03
Cassette RTT198C
No. Title Length
1. "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"   3:46
2. "Pretty Girls Make Graves" (Troy Tate version) 3:35
3. "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" (live) 5:03
4. "What's the World" (live) (James) 2:05

Etchings on vinyl[edit]

UK 7" and 12": "MURDER AT THE WOOL HALL"(X)STARRING SHERIDAN WHITESIDE / YOU ARE BELIEVING, YOU DO NOT WANT TO SLEEP

The Wool Hall was the recording studio in Bath where The Smiths had recorded their latest album Strangeways, Here We Come, but it also was where Morrissey, at the time of this single's release, was recording his debut solo album Viva Hate. Sheridan Whiteside was one of Morrissey's pseudonyms (taken from the name of the main character in The Man Who Came To Dinner). The B-side etching is a reversal of "You are sleeping, you do not want to believe",[3] a sample heard at the end of the Smiths song "Rubber Ring".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish rating". Allmusic. Retrieved on 29 October 2012.
  2. ^ Goddard, Simon. The Smiths: Songs That Saved Your Life, page 340. Reynolds & Hearn 2006. ISBN 1-905287-14-3
  3. ^ Image of etching Huttinger, Robert. "Image of etching". Roberthuttinger. 

External links[edit]