"I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"
collectors appendix


UK 7" [Rough Trade RT198]
View front and back artwork from the menu on the left. The sleeve is thick and glossy and opens from the side. Labels are forest green with grey text in the classic Rough Trade layout. Different editions of the record have been reported. Here are the two known versions of this format:

  • push-out centre
    Initial pressing of the 7" has a push-out centre, as requested by Morrissey.
    RT 198 A1 / RT 198 B1
  • solid centre
    Later pressings, or perhaps pressings for a foreign market such as Ireland, have a solid centre.
    RT 198 A-1U-1-1-5 / RT 198 B-1U-1-1-2

UK 12" [Rough Trade RTT198]
The 12" features slightly alternate artwork to the 7" format (view front and back from left menu). The labels are also green with grey text in the classic Rough Trade layout. The inner sleeve is glossy and green to match the labels. It shows the catalogue number in white in the top right corner.
RTT 198 A1 / RTT 198 B1

UK CMS [Rough Trade RTT198C]
The artwork was adapted for the cassette format, it shows more of the original image than the other formats do (view left). The track listing appears in black over beige below the cover photo. The spine is very cluttered with titles, logos and catalogue number, but on the other hand the back only shows a barcode. All of this is in beige over dark green. The insert unfolds once for song credits, then once again for band, artwork and label credits. All this text is printed over a very pale beige tinted detail of the cover art, namely the roses on the cover star's dress. The cassette itself is made of black plastic. Its labels are dark green with grey text.

UK sheet music [Warner Bros Music Ltd and IMP 21078]
The sheet music for this single includes tabs to all songs featured on it. View here.


UK 12" promo [Rough Trade RTT198]
This single was mainly promoted with white label copies of the 12" format. These may be the most common of all promo white labels of Smiths releases, along with the ones produced for the band's next (and final) single. They were usually distributed inside a white paper die-cut bag but some copies have found themselves paired with a stock record sleeve.
RTT 198 A-1U-1-1-x1 / RTT 198 B-1U-1-1-x1

UK 7" promo [Rough Trade RT198]
Stock copies with a plugger sticker on the front were distributed for more limited promotional purposes. The sticker is white with red text and red image of some dancing animal.

UK promo poster 30cm x 60cm (12" x 24")
View here.

UK promo poster 100cm x 150cm (40" x 60")
Subway size poster. View here (better flat photo needed).

UK ad 30cm x 40cm (12" x 16")
Black and white ad. View here.


UK 7" test pressing [Rough Trade RT198]
Three different 7" test pressings have made into the hands of collectors.

  • white label test pressing
    This version has plain white labels that were stamped with the date "12 OCT 1987" and have "RT 198 A&B 1U" handwritten on them.
  • Mayking test pressing
    This version has Mayking labels that were stamped with the date "13 OCT 1987", the side letter ('A', 'B') and have "RT 198" handwritten on them.
  • injection-moulded test pressing
    This one is the rarest of all three versions. It has silver injection-moulded labels with nothing printed on them.

UK proof of cassette insert
This printers proof shows the complete cassette insert unfolded, with registration and proofing bars. There doesn't seem to be any difference between the artwork here and the definitive one.

UK proof of "Stop Me If You Think..." 7" sleeve - orange text on back
"Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" was originally intended as a single in the UK before plans were changed in favour of "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish". This proof shows the unfolded 7" sleeve, with flaps above and under the front half to be folded over the back side. This early artwork shows the same Avril Angers image on the front, but it was given a paler tint of green and the name of the band appears in black instead of beige. The back shows the same background, but all the text and the barcode box appear in orange and the title is, of course, "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" instead of "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish".

UK proof of "Stop Me If You Think..." 7" sleeve - beige text on back
This is identical to the above, but the text on the back appears in beige instead of orange. The barcode box is also beige, but unlike the above, it was left empty.

UK proof of "I Started something..." 7" sleeve
As on definitive release, front and back.

UK proof of "Stop Me If You Think..." 12" sleeve - beige text on back
This is the 12" counterpart to the above item. The proof shows the unfolded sleeve's front and back and there are no flaps to be folded from the front over the back. The front image is paler green than the final "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" artwork, the name of the band appears in black, and all the text on the back (including title "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before") appears in beige. The barcode box is beige and empty.


Germany 7" [Rough Trade RT198]
UK copies of this 7" single were distributed in Germany with a Rough Trade Deutschland sticker on the reverse of the sleeve.


Germany press sheet
This single was not released in Germany (the German label went for "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" instead), but stock copies of the UK "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" single were sent to media in Germany with a 2-sided press release. The press release has a dark blue Rough Trade Records GmbH header with an address in Herne and a grey stripe at the bottom. The text consists of the track listing and catalogue numbers of the two vinyl formats and information about the music and the single's artwork. There is also information about Morrissey working with Stephen Street and Vini Reilly on solo material.


Portugal 7" [Rough Trade/Transmedia RT198]
The front of the Portuguese 7" is identical to that of its UK counterpart. The back features an additional Transmedia credit at the bottom. The sleeve opens from the top instead of the side. Information about the labels is needed.


Spain 12" [Nuevos Medios 41-291M]
From the matrix numbers it appears that the Spanish 12" was made in the UK. The front is identical, and the back different only by the addition of Nuevos Medios catalogue number and credits. The inner sleeve is a plain white paper one instead of the UK's glossy coloured bag. The labels are green with grey text in the usual Rough Trade layout. They differ from the UK labels by the Nuevos Medios logo, catalogue number and credits.