I Started Something I Couldn't Finish

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"I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"
I Started Something I Couldn't Finish single cover.png
Single by The Smiths
from the album Strangeways, Here We Come
Released 6 November 1987
Format 7", 12", MC
Recorded The Wool Hall, March 1987
Genre
Length 3:46
Label Rough Trade
Songwriter(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)
"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 English rock band the Smiths. Released in November 1987, it reached No. 23 in the UK Singles Chart.[2] It was the second of three UK singles from the band's fourth and final studio album, Strangeways, Here We Come, and was released after the band had announced their split.

Background[edit]

Rough Trade 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, with Morrissey asking: "Okay Stephen, shall we do that one again?"

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written 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

Artwork and matrix message[edit]

The cover of the single features actress Avril Angers in a still from the 1966 film The Family Way.[3]

The British 7" and 12" vinyls contain the etching: "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 last album Strangeways, Here We Come, but it also was where Morrissey, at the time of this single's release, was recording his first solo album Viva Hate. One of Morrissey's pseudonyms, Sheridan Whiteside is the title role in the play The Man Who Came to Dinner. The B-side etching is a reversal of "You are sleeping, you do not want to believe",[4] a sample heard at the end of the Smiths song "Rubber Ring".

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Ireland (IRMA) 13
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 23

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]