"Strangeways Here We Come"|
UK LP [Rough Trade ROUGH106]
There are two different versions of the UK LP. The difference between them is only found in the sleeve artwork. The usual and most common version shows the band name and title on the front in tan/grey while on an alternate and more collectible edition these appear in green (view 'usual LP' and 'alternate LP' from the left menu). In most cases the shade of green is mint green, but copies with the band name and title in ocean green have been reported. One copy has been reported as having "The Smiths" in green but the album title in brown. The name of the band on the front is embossed, something that is unique to the UK, a few European countries and Brazil. A different image of cover star Davalos is used on each side of the inner sleeve, which is thick, glossy and gold with black text. One side shows lyrics to the a-side songs printed over Davalos' face, plus the catalogue number in the top right corner. The other has the lyrics for side B plus album credits. That side sometimes has an opening at the top for better grip on the record (some inner sleeves are without this). The labels are black with grey text in the classic Rough Trade layout.
- tan/grey titles
ROUGH 106 A-2U-1-1 / ROUGH 106 B-2U-1-1
ROUGH 106 A2 / ??
- green titles
ROUGH 106 A-2U-1-1 / ROUGH 106 B-2U-1-1
ROUGH 106 A-2U-1-4 / ROUGH 106 B-2U-1-4
ROUGH 106 A2x / ROUGH 106 B2x
ROUGH 106 A2 / ROUGH 106 B2
UK LP [Rhino UK ROURH106; 2009 reissue on 180g LP]
The front artwork of the 2009 LP reissue by Rhino is the same as that of the original edition, but the colour of the band name and title seems to be closer to brown. The back is very similar: the barcode was moved to the bottom right corner and the catalogue number was changed for the new one. Information about the inner sleeve and labels is needed.
UK cassette [Rough Trade ROUGHC106]
The Davalos image on the front of the cassette was given a blue tint which is quite different to the LP sleeve colour. Just like the LP, colour variations in the band name and title on the front have been found. In most cases this text appears in tan/grey but as for the LP, a green text version can also be found (view both in left menu). In the former case the track listing at the bottom is usually printed on a rosy/tan background, while in the latter case that portion is very light green. However cassettes with tan/grey titles and green bottom background are not uncommon. To add to the confusion, in some cases the colour of that bottom half may vary between the two, even within the same insert! The back of the cassette only shows a barcode over the same colour as the front's lower half. The spine colour also varies, from more yellowish beige to less yellowishy beige, with blue text: "The Smiths" and album title in the same font as on the front, with Dolby and Chrome logos at the top and Rough Trade logo and catalogue number at the bottom. The insert's first panel features blue credits over the alternate Davalos image used on the LP's inner sleeve. The second panel shows the rest of the credits above a repeat of the front artwork and a Rough Trade address, in the same colour pattern. The cassette is made of black plastic and its labels are glossy black with grey text.
UK CD [Rough Trade ROUGHCD106]
There are at least four different versions of the UK cd edition. However, unlike the LP and cassette, these differ not only in the colour of the titles on the front, but also in the colour of the compact disc itself. In all cases this format has its own variation of the front artwork which shows the album title in smaller print relatively to the band name (view left) than on the front of the LP sleeve. The back shows a closeup of the road sign, and the track listing is printed over it in a much bigger font. The spine on one side has the text in purplish-tan while on the other side it is green. The cd booklet opens on a light grey version of the cover art. Lyrics are printed in black, one song per page, with titles at the top in gold. Lyrics for "Paint A Vulgar Picture" are printed over two pages, the second of which also featuring the smiling Richard Davalos photo from the inner sleeve. Credits are found at the very centre, following a photo of Johnny leaning over a recording studio chair, cigarette in hand, looking exhausted. The traffic sign from the back of the LP sleeve is reproduced at the very end over two adjacent pages. The back of the booklet is simply white with a small Rough Trade logo and catalogue number at the bottom. Most copies of the album were printed on gold compact discs which at the time was the preferred support for video-cds. Copies on normal silver discs can also be found, but more limitedly. They may date from later that 1987. As stated on the surface of both disc variations, they were pressed in France by MPO. Each disc variation has been spotted in two front artwork variations: more commonly with purplish-tan titles or more limitedly with green titles (view variations in left menu).
UK music book [Warner Bros Music Ltd and IMP 21077]
A4 size 60-page softback songbook featuring the music and words for the tracks on the album. Also includes 8 full-page colour photographs and fold-out poster attached to the inside back cover (view here). Just like the LP, cassette and cd, a green title edition can also be found (view here).
UK/Europe CD [2012 reissue on Warner/Rhino 2564660482]
UK/Europe LP [2012 reissue on Rhino Records 2564665879]
UK LP promo [Rough Trade ROUGH106]
Like most Smiths releases from the era, the album was promoted via white label copies of the LP format. These feature plain white labels and are often circulated in a stock sleeve, paired with the 12"x24" promo poster and the promo postcard described below. Some sets also include a promo badge/pin showing Davalos' face from the front artwork. The inner sleeve is a plain white paper one.
ROUGH 106 A-2U-1-1 / ROUGH 106 B-2U-1-1
UK promo postcard
Promo white label LPs often included this promo postcard. The reverse announces the release of the album, credits the photograph and gives the address for Rough Trade Records.
UK cassette promo or inhouse [Rough Trade C-46/TE150]
Thames Original promo or inhouse reference cassette. Information is needed.
UK press sheet
A 1-sided press sheet on white A4 paper was sent to media or retail, presumably with one of the promotional items described above. The press release is very basic as it does not show any logo or identification from Rough Trade nor any contact information for a record plugger. It is dated "22nd July 1987" at the top and served to promote this album as well as its lead single, "Girlfriend In A Coma". The text consists mainly of information about the musical content of the two releases, thanks to the two cover stars and announcements for an upcoming South Bank Show special and for "live dates ... being discussed at present" (though we know that the band had split up by the time these releases reached the shelves of record shops).
UK 30cm x 60cm promo poster (12" x 24")
View regular edition and green title edition. Some copies of the regular edition, possibly meant for non-UK territories, lack the line "Distributed By The Cartel" at the bottom.
UK 100cm x 150cm promo poster (40" x 60")
Subway size promo poster (view here).
UK 60cm x 90cm promo poster (24" x 36")
Medium size promo poster (view here).
UK 66cm x 76cm promo board (26" x 30")
This item, a variation of the album's back artwork on cardboard, was very likely used for retail promotion (view here).
UK promo counter stand
This item is made of thick cardboard and was used to advertise the album in retail (view here).
UK ad 30cm x 40cm (12" x 16")
Black and white ad. View here.
UK promo gold card
The story behind this promotional item is unknown (view here).
UK/Europe promo CD-r [Rhino Records]
CD-r to promote 'The Smiths - Complete - Remastered by Johnny Marr' reissues. Comes in a PVC sleeve with full color artwork and fold out insert. Additional information needed.
UK LP acetate [CBS Mastering Studios]
This acetate bears generic white CBS Mastering Studios labels with the company's blue logo and contact information in the upper half. These labels were filled with handwritten release information: side letter in the upper left 'corner', the date "6.5.87" in the upper right 'corner', band name on the left, album title on the right and track listing in the bottom half. The acetate presumably comes in a plain white sleeve with perhaps a bit of identification handwritten on the front (confirmation needed).
UK CD test disc [Rough Trade ROUGHCD106]
This item is assumed to have served as a test disc for the cd edition of the album. It has no indication on it about its content, but "ROUGH CD106 MPO" appears around the inner rim. The disc is gold and has red "The Collection" graphics and a red compact disc logo on its surface.
UK LP test pressing of 2009 reissue [Rhino UK ROURH106]
The test pressing of the 2009 reissue on 180g LP is slipped inside a plain white die-cut sleeve. It has plain white labels.
UK proof of cassette insert
This printers proof shows the complete cassette insert unfolded, with proofing & registration bars. The colours are close to the basic tan titles version described above.
UK proof of LP artwork - blue front, blue back, pink title
This printers proof shows an early version of the LP artwork, unfolded with front and back side by side and the spine in between. The front shows a blue tinted version of cover star Davalos (as on the cassette artwork), the name of the band is maroon-red and the album title in pink. The back is also tinted blue with reddish text and the barcode box is blank.
UK proof of LP artwork - blue front, blue back
This printers proof shows an early version of the LP artwork, unfolded with front and back side by side and the spine in between. The front shows a blue tinted version of cover star Davalos (as on the cassette artwork) and the text appears in maroon-red. The back is also tinted blue with reddish text and the barcode box is blank.
UK proof of LP artwork - yellow front, blue back
This is almost like the above. The back is blue tinted but the front is the colour of the definitive version, with band name and album title in brownish red. Versions exist with barcode and others with barcode box left blank.
UK proof of LP inner sleeve
A printers' proof of the LP inner sleeve has made it into the hands of some collectors. It shows the unfolded sides printed bottom to bottom, with registration & proofing bars. There doesn't seem to be any difference with the final product.
UK proof of early LP inner sleeve
This is another proof of the inner sleeve, but it is subtly different to the definitive version. The Davalos image is yellow and contrasts more with a paler background. The text appears to be dark blue or perhaps dark purple. The two sides appear side by side, with cutting marks around, instead of bottom to bottom as is the case for the previous proof.
UK proof of early LP inner sleeve
This is another proof of the inner sleeve, but it is subtly different to the definitive version. The Davalos image is yellow and contrasts more with a paler background. The text is maroon. The two sides appear side by side, with cutting marks around, instead of bottom to bottom as is the case for the definitive proof.
UK proof of early LP inner sleeve
This early version of the record jacket is significantly different to the final version. The Davalos image was given a purplish-blue tint and the text, which is laid out in the same fashion, is printed in black. The result is much more striking than the definitive inner sleeve. The two sides are printed side by side, with cutting marks around.
UK proof of early LP inner sleeve
This early version of the record jacket is significantly different to the final version. The Davalos image is close to greyish maroon and the text, which is laid out in the same fashion, is printed in gold. The result is much more striking than the definitive inner sleeve. The two sides are printed side by side, with cutting marks around.
UK proof of cd artwork
Four rejected proof artwork sheets have been reported for the cd format. These show the artwork in either blue, pink, yellow or green. Additional information or images needed.
UK proofs of cd booklet
This is a set of two printer's proofs for the cd booklet, with proofing bars. One proof shows one side of every 2-leaflet page, while the other shows the respective reverse sides.
UK gold disc award
Official BPI gold disc issued to commemorate sales in excess of 100 000 copies of the album. It features a gold LP mounted on a red background above a gold engraved dedication plaque (presented to Morrissey, presented to Andy Rourke, etc) and cassette artwork card, with mini Union Jack flag in the top left corner. Approximately 20" x 16" framed and glazed.
UK silver disc award
This looks just like the gold certification, but the background is blue instead of red and the record is silver. Silver discs are issued for sales in excess of 60 000 copies.
Australia LP [CBS 460230-1]
The front of the Australian LP features the usual LP artwork although the name of the band is not embossed. The back is similar to the British back. The catalogue number was changed to the Australian one (including the cassette catalogue number) and the barcode was moved to the bottom left corner. It must be said that the sleeve is rather thin, but the inner sleeve is almost as thick as the UK one. It looks just like the British inner sleeve except for the catalogue number in the top right corner which had to be corrected. The labels are the usual Australian ones, green with the red silhouette of a man wearing a bowler hat.
An alternate edition of this release with green band name and album title on the front has been reported. The rest of the packaging is identical to the standard edition described above.
Australia LP [1988 reissue on Festival L30110]
In 1988 Festival secured the rights to release Rough Trade material in Australia and New Zealand and re-released the complete Smiths album catalogue, including this title even though it had come out just one year earlier. The front shows the usual LP artwork although the name of the band is not embossed. The back has the Festival catalogue number in the top right corner but no barcode. Festival credits and logos were added at the very bottom. The inner sleeve is surprisingly nice and glossy for a Festival release. As expected it looks like the original inner bag except for the catalogue number in the top right corner on one side. For extra protection the record is also slipped inside a good quality anti-static bag within the picture inner sleeve. The record features the usual red Festival labels with 'circle' Rough Trade logo at the top. The package also includes a paper insert advertising "The Smiths' Collection" (although these are often missing nowadays as they end up getting lost).
Australia cassette [CBS 460230-4]
The front of the original Australian cassette is laid out just like the UK one, but for some reason the usual blue tinted cassette artwork was replaced with the LP artwork. A Dolby logo was also added in the bottom left corner. The spine is similar to the UK cassette spine, but it is paler, the text is brown, the Chrome Cassette logo was dropped and the catalogue number was corrected. The back of the insert is full and has two holes in the middle for the case's two plastic prongs to go through. It features mainly the album's track listing, with release identification at the top and a Rough Trade credit, a barcode and Dolby technology information at the bottom. The various credits found on the UK cassette's two extra panels are reproduced here on the reverse of the insert, in grey over white, without the images. The cassette is greyish beige with blue text printed directly onto it.
Australia cassette [1988 reissue on Festival C30110]
Information is needed.
Australia CD [1988 reissue on Festival D30110]
CBS had originally passed on releasing this album on compact disc so the first domestic cd edition of "Strangeways Here We Come" to be sold in Australia was this Festival edition. Unfortunately Festival compact discs were packaged with less attention to design than a typical bootleg. The front shows the usual LP artwork instead of the slightly different cd artwork. The booklet is actually just a simple sheet of paper folded once. The Strangeways/Salford traffic sign image is found inside instead of at the back which is here plain mustard yellow with just text (track listing, minimal credits and logos) in a plain font. The cd surface is basic silver with text printed directly onto it in black.
Australia CD [1993 reissue on Warner Australia 450991899-2]
The packaging and content of the 1993 cd reissue on WEA parallels its European counterpart described below. The only difference is found in the licensing credits on the disc (and perhaps also on the back inlay?; detailed information needed). A later variation with black disc surface may exist (confirmation needed).
Australia LP promo [CBS 460230-1]
Stock copies were made into promos by having a "sample record not for sale" sticker on the reverse of the cover. There may be promo text on the label(s) but this is unlikely.
Australia LP promo [1988 reissue on Festival L30110]
A very limited number of copies of the Festival stock LP with promo sticker affixed to the label were distributed to promote Festival's reissue programme.
Brazil LP [WEA 670.4099]
This edition shows the usual LP artwork on the front, and it is one of the few international editions to have the name of the band embossed as in the UK. The image of Davalos appears darker than in most other places and the catalogue number is printed in very small in the top right corner. The back shows the expected variations: catalogue number in the top right changed to the Brazilian one, no barcode, extra Brazilian credits printed in small at the very bottom. The inner sleeve is a plain white paper one. The usual inner sleeve art was reproduced on both sides of a paper insert slipped inside. The Davalos image on this insert is also darker, more golden, just like the sleeve's front artwork. The record bears the usual red Brazilian labels with black text.
Brazil cassette [WEA 767.4099]
This very rare item shows the usual UK variation of the artwork on its front. The spine is in the same colour scheme, its central content is the same, but the catalogue number at the bottom was replaced with a Dolby logo and the Chrome and Dolby logos at the top were replaced with the catalogue numbers for the two Brazil formats and the Dolby setting. The insert includes the first of the usual two inner panels (identical to its UK counterpart), but not the second. The reverse of the insert and the back flap were left blank. The cassette is made of beige plastic and bears pale grey paper labels with black text. The track listing is found at the top of them, a Dolby logo and the catalogue number top left, label logo on the left, side number on the right and WEA credits at the bottom.
Brazil LP promo [WEA 670.4099]
Promo copies of the LP are stock ones stamped with the promo warning "Especial para promoçao invendavel amostra gratis tributada" on the back of the sleeve and in ink on the labels.
Brazil various artists promo EP [WEA 6WP.0012 (#9)]
This promo EP features "Girlfriend In A Coma" backed with a song by Ray Parker Jr and Natalie Cole. It comes in a yellow and purple-blue sleeve with a WEA logo and content listing on the front.
Canada LP [Sire 92 56491]
There are two different editions of the Canadian LP. In both cases the front of the sleeve shows the usual LP artwork, but the name of the band is not embossed. The back has Sire and Rough Trade logos where in the UK is printed the catalogue number and Sire Canada credits were added at the very bottom. The inner sleeve looks just like the UK one, but it is made of paper and its colour is closer to tan than gold. The catalogue number in the top right corner on one side was corrected and additional credits were added in the bottom right corner on that same side. Both variations bear classic yellow Sire labels, but one version has the word 'Sire' under the logo, while the other has it at the 2 o'clock position around it.
Canada cassette [Sire 92 56494]
The Canadian cassette has unique front artwork, clearly different to that of all other editions, including the American one. The front of the insert shows the same blue tinted version of the cover art with rosy brown text as most other places, but beneath it the band name and album title are printed in white over a black background, with Sire and Rough Trade logos below. The spine is black with the band name and title in white, with Rough Trade and Sire logos and the catalogue number filling in the rest of the space. The back flap is also black and features only a barcode above a white Sire address in Canada. The insert has two fold-out panels, they are almost identical to their American counterpart but the tint is closer to beige than yellow. The reverse of the back flap has Dolby information (anything else?). The cassette itself is black with the title, track listing and credits printed directly on to it in grey/silver.
Canada CD [Sire CD-25649]
Because its design was based on the American edition, the Canadian cd shows the usual LP artwork on the front, with the band name and album title in reddish brown. The booklet is very similar to its Rough Trade UK counterpart (see description above), but everything inside appears in black in white. The cd surface is silver and the titles and credits are printed on it in black, in a layout based on the British one. The back shows the usual road sign artwork with the track listing printed over it in a larger font, but the image is tinted yellow instead of the usual golden hue. It appears that there are variations of this back artwork featuring or not a paragraph explaining the preservation of sound quality in the transfer from an analog recording to a digital support. This may however apply to the back of the booklet and not the back of the cd tray inlay. Additional information is needed.
Canada CD [Columbia House W2 25649; record club edition]
This record club edition differs from the standard one described above by a few details. Three changes were made to the back of the cd: the barcode number was replaced with the Columbia House order number, the Columbia House catalogue number was added in black inside a white box in the top left corner, and the credits at the bottom were replaced with Columbia House ones in black over white. The catalogue number on the spine was changed for the Columbia House one. Two changes were made to the disc: "CRC" was added beneath the Columbia House catalogue number at the bottom, and the credits on the right were adapted with the record club information.
Canada LP promo [Sire 92 56491]
Promotion of this album in Canada was done via stock copies of the LP stamped in gold ink on the sleeve. While the stamp is found on the front of the sleeve in the USA, it is always on the back for Canadian releases. The Canadian promo stamp also has the particularity of being bilingual, the promo warning appears in both English and French, the country's two official languages.
After purchasing the rights to the Smiths catalogue in 1992, Warner released two best ofs then in 1993 proceeded with the reissue of all the albums over the territories they controlled. Their 'international' edition was "made by WEA in Germany manufacturing Europe" as the credits state and was sold mostly in Europe and in some Latin American countries. The design of the various formats was based partly on the original British and American designs. The WEA cds and cassettes were reissued again in 1995 when the "Singles" compilation came out, but these repressings are identical to the 1993 editions, except for a yellow exclamation mark sticker on the front of the case marking them as half-price reissues.
Surprisingly, copies of all three formats below have been reported with the text on the front appearing in green instead of the usual colour. This happened with the original Rough Trade pressings on all three formats, but it is not known how or why this has also happened for the WEA reissues. The shades of green can vary from ocean green to mint green, and applies not only to the text on the front, but also on the spine. Intermediary shades also exist, they are part-green, part grey.
Europe CD [WEA 450991899-2]
The packaging of the 1993 cd reissue is based on the original Rough Trade UK edition. The front is identical, and the back is similar: the Rough Trade catalogue number above the barcode was replaced with the WEA ones underneath and the Rough Trade address and logo at the bottom were replaced with WEA credits and logo. The compact disc logo was dropped. The booklet opens on the same Richard Davalas close-up as on the cover, but faded to a light brown/tan, no text. Over the next seven pages are lyrics, one song per page - the titles are in gold with black underline, and the lyrics themselves are in plain black. Credits are printed in faded gold/tan over the two middle pages then there is a one-page photograph of Johnny Marr bent over a chair, all in a faded grey-brown tint. The following page just says "THE SMITHS" with the personnel credits. This is followed by the lyrics to "Paint A Vulgar Picture" over two pages, with a small gold-tinted close-up of Richard Davalas again in the bottom right corner of the second page. Next are the lyrics to the final two songs, one per page, and finally, spread over the last two pages, is the Strangeways sign photo, all tinted the same shade of gold as the cover. The disc surface is mauve with grey text. The front of the plastic case, if it hasn't been replaced, has a small Warner logo etched into the plastic in the bottom right corner.
There are two slight variations of this item. Some copies say "France WE833" under the catalogue number on the back inlay, others say "WE835". This is believed to be a price code for retail in France.
Europe cassette [WEA 450991899-4]
The cassette front artwork was completely redesigned for the WEA reissue and ended up looking closer to the LP and cd artwork (view left). The colour of the band name and album title on the front varies between tan, light grey and greyish blue. The Rough Trade logo and numbers on the spine were replaced with WEA ones. The back is much more crowded: whereas before it featured only a barcode, the WEA edition squeezes in a barcode, the track listing and WEA logo and credits. The insert unfolds three times to display over three panels the traffic sign artwork from the back of the LP, with credits printed over it. The reverse features the lyrics to the ten songs in plain black over white. The cassette itself is made of clear see-through plastic with grey text printed directly onto it.
Europe 10" [WEA 450991899-1]
WEA had something for collectors in their 1993 reissue programme as every album was also put out on limited edition numbered 10" sized LPs. The records were produced in very thick vinyl. The front of the "Strangeways Here We Come" 10" LP shows the usual LP artwork, and a white box at the bottom has the run number stamped into it. The back shows the traffic sign artwork but the sky is golden instead of light blue, which gives the photo an eerie look. There's much more text on it as the full album credits are printed in the bottom left corner around the barcode. The inner sleeve is made of plain white paper which means that the image and lyrics featured on the original inner sleeve are unfortunately missing. The retro-looking labels are wine red with grey text.
A small run of these limited 10"s have been sent for distribution before being numbered. They therefore lack a number in the white box on the front of the sleeve.
Europe 10" test pressing [WEA Smiths6]
White label test pressings have made it onto the collectors market. These appear to be circulated in plain white sleeves.
Europe proof of 10" artwork
This is a printer's proof of the artwork for the 10" LP. It shows the front and back, side by side, with proofing bars. There doesn't seem to be any difference with the final artwork except for the fact that the number box is blank.
France LP [Virgin 70561]
The front of the French LP has the usual LP artwork, with the name of the band embossed and grey. The back is the expected variation on the UK back (details needed). The inner sleeve is gold and glossy as should be, but thinner than in the UK. The catalogue number on it was changed for the French one. The labels are almost identical to the Rough Trade UK ones: the colours are the same, the catalogue number was changed to the French one, the "Made In England" line was removed and the credits around the edge were adapted.
Later copies have a gold PM254 sticker over the catalog number in the top right corner on the back.
France cassette [Virgin 50561]
The standard French cassette was modelled on its English counterpart, with titles and background on the front in a colour close to tan, and cover star and track listing in dark blue. Just like the British cassette, there is an alternate edition with the text and background in aqua green (see UK cassette above for description). The back is also tan with a blue barcode (except perhaps for the green titles variation). The spine is closer to yellow than beige, and the blue text on it is the same as in the UK except for the catalogue number, and the Chrome logo at the top which was replaced with a Virgin logo. The rest of the insert is almost the same as in the UK. The first panel features blue credits over the smiling photo of Richard Davalos also found on the LP's inner sleeve. The next panel features the band member credits above a yellow reproduction of the cover art. There are two variations of the cassette itself. In some cases it is white with bright blue text printed directly onto it: track listing at the top, catalogue number in the top left corner, 'block' Rough Trade logo on the left and SACEM logo on the right (amongst many other tidbits of text). In other cases it is made of clear plastic with white text: track listing at the top, Rough Trade 'circle' logo in the top left corner, catalogue number in the bottom left corner and SACEM logo on the right (plus legal warning, etc).
France CD [Virgin 030262]
The packaging of the French cd may be the closest in appearance to that of the British cd. The front shows the usual cd artwork with the band name and titles closer to grey. The back features additional Virgin logo and credit below the barcode, and the catalogue number above it was changed to the French one. Just like in the UK, the text on the two spines appears in different colours although these two colours - greyish blue on one side and green on the other - are not quite the same as on the British cd. The booklet is identical to its British counterpart except for the catalogue number on the back which had to be changed. The compact disc is silver instead of gold, but the text and graphics design on it is relatively the same. The catalogue number was changed, a SACEM logo was added and French legal text was added around the edge.
France LP promo [Virgin 70561]
Copies of the original LP edition were stamped with the promo warning "Disque gratuit interdit à la vente", the words forming an embossed circle in the top right corner of the sleeve.
France LP test pressing [Virgin 70561]
Test pressings of the French LP have been spotted on the collectors market. These, like any other French test presssing, are very rare. They have white "Echantillon" labels. They probably come in a plain white sleeve.
Germany LP [RT Deutschland RTD60]
As usual the only format released by Rough Trade Deutschland was the LP. The initial and most common pressing was manufactured on dark charcoal coloured vinyl. The labels are almost identical to the British ones. They are of a richer black and a few alterations were made to the text: the catalogue number was changed, a GEMA box was added and the "Made in England" line was removed. The inner sleeve is coloured gold but it is made of thin paper. More interestingly, the background image of a smiling Richard Davalos was reversed, so it appears from the left instead of the right like almost everywhere else. The band name and title on the front of the sleeve are somewhere between maroon and grey and "The Smiths" is embossed. The catalogue number on the back was changed for the German one, Rough Trade Deutschland credits were added at the bottom and there is no barcode. Some if not all copies came with a merchandise mail-order postcard inside (see description below).
The text on the spine of some copies is green instead of brown.
A budget reissue was manufactured a few years later. It is recognizable by a round black sticker on the front of the sleeve. Most of the packaging is identical to that of the original release, but there are two major differences: the vinyl is standard black and the record is slipped inside a plain white paper inner sleeve instead of the usual gold one with lyrics.
Germany LP promo [RT Deutschland RTD60]
The album was promoted via stock copies of the original LP paired with a merchandise mail-order postcard (see postcard description below), a five-page press release about the new album, a press sheet listing concert dates in Germany for other Rough Trade artists and a press sheet with future Rough Trade Deutschland releases. It appears that some copies also included a black & white "Morrissey Of The Smiths" promo photo (view here; better image needed), or a black & white photo of the band with a country setting in the background (view here; better image needed).
Germany merchandise mail-order postcard
German LPs, whether stock or promo, usually included this mail-order postcard. The reverse of the postcard shows purchasable merchandise such as t-shirts, posters or buttons. A detachable section has the order form on one side and the mailing address on the other. This detachable portion is sometimes missing in the copies found today in fans collections, leaving only the postcard portion.
Germany sampler cd [Line LICD 9.00346]
This "Der Sampler 26" promo cd includes the song "Girlfriend In A Coma" alongside other tracks from artists such as Greg Kihn, Tyrone Curry, Anita Ward, etc. Although this is dated from 1988, it appears it still served to promote "Strangeways Here We Come".
Germany 58cm x 81cm promo poster (23" x 32")
This promo poster shows mainly the Davalos artwork in the usual colour, but the name of the band and title at the top appear in black, in a different font. A white stripe at the bottom shows the covers of the six albums released by the band at this point in time, above "Rough Trade Records GMBH" information.
Germany in-house cassette
An advance in-house cassette has made it to the collectors world. It has a Copymasters insert typical of the British cassettes of that sort. The insert has a typewritten track listing and date ("30/6/87"). The cassette is a TDK D60 on which white labels with typewritten information (band name, album title, "RTD 60" and side identification) were affixed.
Greece LP [Virgin VG50300]
The front of the Greek LP shows the usual LP artwork. The band name and title appear on it in maroon brown and "The Smiths" is embossed. The back is as expected. It has Greek catalog numbers appearing in the top and bottom right corners, additional Greek credits at the very bottom, and no barcode. The record is slipped inside a thick anti-static inner sleeve and the usual inner sleeve artwork was instead printed on both sides of a shiny paper insert. The labels are black with grey text and look at first glance like the British ones. However they feature Greek catalogue numbers and credits.
Greece cassette [Virgin TC VG 50300]
The Greek cassette shows the usual LP artwork on the front over a white background. The album title and the name of the band are printed above it in a plain black font. The spine and back are also white with black text. The spine features the expected information (logo, catalogue number, etc) and the album's track listing is found on the back. The rest of the insert is plain white and contains the track listing in black serif font, followed by credits in English, with much smaller Greek credits down the bottom. The cassette itself is beige with navy blue text printed straight on to it.
Holland LP [Megadisc MD7920]
The front of the Dutch LP shows the usual LP artwork. The name of the band on it was embossed. The back looks just like the British back but there is no barcode, the catalogue number was changed and Megadisc credits and logo were added in the bottom left corner. The inner sleeve is gold but not as thick as the UK inner sleeve. Just like in Germany, the Davalos image on them is reversed. The most striking difference between this edition and the British one is the bright silver labels. The text on them is printed in black, in the classic Rough Trade layout.
Indonesia cassette [King's K 1.430 AED]
This unlicensed edition was manufacted in a white VHS style clamshell case. The front shows the usual LP artwork at its centre, with "New Music" in white inside a blue circle in the top left corner, a red and yellow King's logo in the top right corner and the name of the band and album title in black at the bottom. The name of the band and album title are repeated one above the other on the spine, with King's logo and catalogue number at the top and "12/88" inside a blue circle and the price at the bottom. The back is filled at maximum capacity with text and logos: band name and album title at the top, above personnel credits, track listing for sides A and B, catalogue number and logos and credits for Computer Mastering Control, King's and BASF. Side A features nine songs from the usual track listing, in a messed order (but not the same messed order as on the other Indonesian cassette described below). Side B opens on remaining track "Paint A Vulgar Picture", followed with 6 bonus tracks: "The Headmaster Ritual", "Meat Is Murder", "Bigmouth Strikes Again", "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side", "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others". The cassette is a generic black BASF of the type sold for home usage. Its labels bear a silver King's logo, an orange BASF logo and "Computer Mastering Control" in green, but nothing related to the contents.
Indonesia/Saudi Arabia cassette [GL/Gamava Records G-1253]
This unofficial item is an odd one, not only because of its track listing (see below) or the fact that it comes in a clamshell case, but also because it appears to be a joint Indonesia/Saudi Arabia 'release'. The front of the case shows the LP artwork underneath the name of the band in red and the album title in black, all in completely unrelated fonts. Information about the back, the cassette itself, and anything else that may be included inside is needed. The first 10 songs on it are from the usual album, but they appear in a completely resequenced order. Tagged at the end are 6 extra tracks taken from "Meat Is Murder" and "The Queen Is Dead". Track listing: "Girlfriend In A Coma", "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish", "A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours", "Unhappy Birthday", "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me", "Death At One's Elbow", "I Won't Share You", "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", "Death Of A Disco Dancer", "Paint A Vulgar Picture", "The Headmaster Ritual", "Meat Is Murder", "Bigmouth Strikes Again", "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side", "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others".
Ireland LP [Rough Trade ROUGH106]
This edition looks perfectly identical to its UK counterpart in all aspects, including embossed sleeve, except for two: the vinyl is translucent brown when held in front of light, and there are two changes in thickness in the centre of the vinyl (ie two concentric grooves beneath the paper label).
Ireland(?) cassette [Rough Trade ROUGH C106]
This cassette appears at first glance to be from the UK but it is assumed to be from Ireland because a good number of copies in circulation come from the latter country. The insert is perfectly identical to its UK counterpart. However the cassette itself is completely different. It is made of black plastic and its labels are grey with black text in a unique layout. "The Smiths" and "Strangeways Here We Come" are printed at the top on each side. There is no track listing on the labels but the line "See inlay card for details" tells us where it can be found. The catalogue number is found in the top right corner for some copies, and sideways on the left for others.
Israel LP [CBS ROUGH106-1]
It appears from its matrix numbers that the Israel LP may have been pressed in England. The front of the sleeve shows the standard LP artwork but the name of the band is not embossed. On the back the catalogue number was adapted, the barcode was replaced with the words "FULL PRICE" and credits were added at the bottom in English and Hebrew. The record is slipped inside an anti-static sleeve of the round bottom variety. The usual inner sleeve artwork with lyrics was reproduced on the two sides of a thin paper insert slipped inside. The labels are black with white text in the usual Rough Trade typeset. The catalogue number on them is printed as ROUG 106-1 while it appears as ROUGH 106-1 on the inner sleeve and the back of the sleeve.
Israel cassette [CBS ROUG 106-4]
The Israel cassette shows the usual cassette artwork on the front. Copies have been spotted with the band name and title at the top in grey and the track listing portion at the bottom in beige/yellow, while in other cases the text at the top was reddish brown and the bottom part closer to tan. The spine is just like in the UK, but the background is yellow, the Chrome logo was removed and the 'C' in the catalogue number was dropped. The back flap is white and features a 3-line CBS Israel credit part-English part-Hebrew. The insert has two extra panels just like in the UK, but what is beige in the UK is yellow here. The cassette itself is white with dark blue (sometimes black) text printed directly onto it.
Israel CD [WEA/Hed Arzi 91899-2]
This item, just like other WEA cd editions, is very similar to its European counterpart (see description above). All differences with the latter edition are to be found on the disc: the "Made in Germany" line was dropped, the GEMA/BIEM royalties management credit was replaced by Israel's ACUM, and the Hed Arzi logo and Hebrew credits were added in an empty space at the 4 o'clock position (ie to the right of the track listing).
Israel LP promo [CBS ROUGH106-1]
Promo copies of the LP are stock ones with a promo warning sticker on the back of the sleeve.
Italy LP [CGD RGH20697]
The front of the most common Italian LP edition shows the usual LP artwork, with titles appearing in tan brown and "The Smiths" embossed. The catalogue number on the back was changed for the Italian one, the barcode was dropped and Italian CGD credits were added in the bottom left corner underneath a pictogram asking people to protect the quality of music by buying legal editions (bootlegs were common in Italy until the mid-1990s). The inner sleeve is thick and glossy, but the Davalos image in the background is very pale. The labels are almost identical to the British ones. They only differ in the catalogue number and minor local credits.
Italy LP [Rough Trade ROULP 106]
This extremely rare Italian LP edition could be a budget reissue. Its most notable differences with the most common edition (besides the correction of the catalogue number) are the following: the name of the band on the front is not embossed, the labels are white with black text (and the usual musical rights stamp in red ink; text is in the same layout as in the UK with minor changes) and the inner sleeve image is fluorescent yellow with the lyrics printed over it in bright blue (very striking!).
Italy cassette [CGD 30RGH20697]
The front of the Italian cassette shows the typical blue-tinted cassette cover art, but the name of the band and the background for the track listing portion are brown. The spine is just like in the UK, with a different catalogue number and no logo at the top. The back is full with two holes for the case's plastic prongs to go through. It is brown, shows a reproduction of the LP artwork between the holes and band credits at the top. The rest of the credits and the track listing are found inside. The cassette is light grey. Its labels are black with grey text.
A clear plastic cassette edition is rumoured, but this is unconfirmed.
Italy CD [Rough Trade CDROUG106]
This is one of four very rare Smiths compact discs to have been released in Italy, presumably all at about the same time as the "Rank" album. The packaging is very similar to that of the UK cd. The front artwork is identical. The main difference is the catalogue number printed on the rear, on the spine, and on the back of the booklet. The rest of the booklet looks identical to its UK counterpart but it may have been printed on thinner paper (to be confirmed). The disc is different. The text is simply printed in black over the basic silver surface. It features a Rough Trade 'circle' logo at the top, track listing to the right, and logos, catalogue number and credits on the left and bottom.
Italy 7" jukebox [YD729]
The album was somehow promoted with jukebox 7"s of "Girlfriend In A Coma". This is one of only two items of the sort ever produced for the Smiths in Italy (the other being "Ask"). This one is backed by New Order's song "True Faith". The record has white labels with black text. It is circulated in a white die-cut record bag although blue ones have been reported. Picture sleeves for this item are bootleg or fan-made. In both cases the record should come with the titles card meant to be used for song selection in the jukebox. It shows the single's a-side and b-side song titles with the words "Suoni 88" between them. When not lost this is either found loose inside the sleeve along with the record, or in some cases glued to the sleeve.
Japan LP [Victor VIL-28100]
As usual the Japanese LP was packaged with great care. The front artwork is the standard LP one, including the embossing of the name of the band. The back has the catalogue number in the top left corner, a barcode in the bottom left corner and Japanese credits at the bottom. The obi is white on the front, with green, brown and black graphics, and brown on the back with pictures of the five Smiths albums released prior to this one. The record features the standard Victor labels typical of all Victor releases. It is slipped inside an anti-static inner sleeve of the round bottom variety. The usual inner sleeve artwork was reproduced on a two-sided paper insert slipped inside. An additional insert, this one black and white, features a track listing and a bio in Japanese on one side and the complete album lyrics in Japanese on the reverse.
Japan cassette [Victor VCL-10038]
This is one of only four cassettes ever released in Japan for the Smiths, and it is a very beautiful item, even to those who don't usually collect this format. It was presumably produced in very small numbers and has become quite rare. The insert looks like the type that wraps itself around the cassette. Its front has its own unique design that looks nothing like the original British cassette artwork. Davalos' face from the LP artwork is found in the bottom three quarters of it, underneath the name of the band and album title printed in grey/tan over a golden background. Information about the back and rest of the insert is needed. The cassette itself is made of white plastic. Its labels are mint green with black text. A black and white insert looking very much like the one found inside the LP edition was folded in twelve and slipped inside the packaging.
Japan CD [Victor VDP-1278]
The original cd edition of "Strangeways Here We Come" in Japan features the LP artwork on the front instead of the expected cd one. Information about the back and booklet is needed. The obi is golden with black text. A box at the bottom of it states "digital remix", which is of course inaccurate. The cd is silver with black text printed directly onto it, in the same layout used on all other Victor compact discs, which means a Rough Trade logo in a circle at the top and all titles at the bottom.
Japan CD [1990 reissue on Victor VICP-2006]
In 1990 Victor reissued the complete Smiths catalogue on compact disc only (the "Meet The Rock" budget series at 2000 yens). The packaging of this edition is very similar to that of the 1987 edition. The front artwork is still the LP version and the booklet content is the same. The front and back as well as the cd surface are identical except for the corrected catalogue number. The obi was changed to the blue and yellow theme of this "Meet The Rock" series. The cd tray was changed for one made of white plastic. This edition is not very common.
Japan CD [1993 reissue on WEA WMC5-548]
This new Japanese edition was released by WEA who had just purchased the rights to the complete Smiths catalogue the year before. It was modelled on its European counterpart and the packaging is superior to that of the Victor releases. It finally shows the cd artwork on the front which was not the case with the earlier Victor compact discs. Unlike its European counterpart, the Japanese cd has the barcode on the back of the obi instead of the back of the cd tray inlay. The obi is light blue-green and beige with a blue "Smiths Original Catalogue" crest common to all re-releases in the series. Its back covers the complete backspace and displays over a beige background "The Smiths Original Catalogue", an illustrated list of the eight albums being reissued by WEA. The disc is purple/maroon with grey text. The cd tray is made of white plastic. Information about the booklet is needed. Some copies included a mail-in card to order t-shirts and caps.
Japan CD [1995 reissue on WEA WPCR-307]
In parallel with the release of the "Singles" compilation, another reissue programme of the Smiths' back catalogue was put together by WEA in Japan. This 1995 budget reissue is very similar to the one from just 2 years prior. The most noticeable changes were the white obi with red ignited 'Hot price!' bomb common to all the releases in the series and an additional "Smiths Original Catalogue" insert inside. The cd tray is still made of white plastic.
Japan CD [2006 reissue on WEA WPCR-12444]
The most recent reissue programme of the complete Smiths catalogue in Japan dates back to 2006 when all the albums were re-released in mini-replicas of the original LP sleeves. These are slightly bigger than the typical size of a compact disc. In the case of "Strangeways Here We Come", the original UK LP pressing served as a model for everything with the exception of the obi which was based on the original Victor LP obi. This means that the front shows the LP artwork instead of the cd variation, and WEA went as far as embossing the name of the band just like on the original UK LP pressing. The back is very much like the original UK back but the catalogue number was changed and the barcode was moved to the back of the obi. The cd surface follows the same colour pattern and layout as the original UK LP labels, which means that it is dark grey with light grey text. The inner sleeve of the cd is a quasi-perfect replica of the original UK LP one, down to the shape of the cut-out portion at the top facilitating access to the record/cd inside. The cd is actually also slipped inside a plastic film inner sleeve (the round bottom variety), which is in turn slipped inside the picture inner sleeve. A white paper booklet featuring the lyrics in English and Japanese and what looks like a bio is also found inside.
Japan LP promo [Victor VIL-28100]
Promo copies on LP have a red 3-character promo sticker around the top right edge of the sleeve, and the same promo characters printed inside a box on the label, below the catalogue number.
Japan CD promo [Victor VDP-1278]
The promo version of the original 1987 Victor cd has a red 3-character promo sticker over the barcode on the back and promo text printed in red around the cd's inner ring.
Japan CD promo [1990 reissue on Victor VICP-2006]
Victor's 1990 reissue programme was promoted with copies of the albums (including this one) with "sample" stamped around the center of the cd and a promo sticker affixed to the obi.
Japan CD promo [1993 reissue on WEA WMC5-548]
The Japanese promo cd is a stock copy with a white and red promo sticker on the back of the obi and promo text printed on the cd's inner ring.
Japan CD promo [1995 reissue on WEA WPCR-307]
The promo copies of the 1995 edition have a white and red promo sticker on the back of the case and perhaps some promo mark around the cd's centre.
Japan CD promo [2006 reissue on WEA WPCR-12444]
Promo versions of this edition of "Strangeways Here We Come" are stock copies with an additional white sticker with red text over the barcode on the back of the obi and 'sample loaned' etched on the cd's inner ring.
Japan LP test pressing [Victor VIL-28100]
A white label edition of the Japanese LP has been reported. Japanese test pressings are scarcily seen on the collectors' market. Information is needed.
Philippines LP [Backbeat ROUGH106]
The Philippines LP shows the usual LP artwork on the front, but the name of the band is not embossed. The labels are light blue with black text in the classic Rough Trade layout. The back is identical to that of its UK counterpart except for the additional PARI and Backbeat logos and the Backbeat credit (all in black) at bottom centre. Information about the inner sleeve is needed.
Philippines cassette [Backbeat ROUGH C106]
The Philippines cassette uses the usual UK layout on the front, but the cover image is tinted yellow as on the LP (instead of blue as on most cassettes), the bottom area has a greyish green background and all the text is maroon. A black and red BASF sticker is on the front. The spine follows the same colour pattern, except for the Dolby logo at the top and Rough Trade logo and catalogue number at the bottom which are all black. The back shows a barcode in the same colour layout, plus a black PARI logo on its right and Backbeat logo and credits in black at the bottom. The cassette is made of black plastic and bears greenish-blue paper labels with black text. These labels feature the album identification, track listing and songwriting copyright at the top and Rough Trade logo and catalogue number on the left.
Portugal LP [Rough Trade 12ROUGH106]
The Portuguese LP shows the standard LP artwork on the front with the name of the band embossed. Information about the back of the sleeve is needed. The lyrics inner sleeve is glossy but thinner than in the UK. The labels are perfect replicas of the British ones except for the legal credits in Portuguese printed around the edge.
Portugal cassette [Rough Trade ROUGH C106]
The front of the Portuguese cassette shows the usual cassette artwork with the band name and title appearing in reddish brown. The background for the track listing portion is pinkish tan, just like the back which only features a Transmedia credit instead of a barcode. Information about the insert content and the cassette itself is needed.
Saudia Arabia cassette [Thomsun Original EN-1903]
The front of this unlicensed edition of "Strangeways Here We Come" shows the LP artwork with the Thomsun name printed over it. "The Smiths" appears at the top in black, and the album title in green. Thomsun Original is printed at the bottom in pink. The spine and back are light blue. The cassette is a Maxell one with a Thomsun Electronics label. A second label at the top features the track listing. Extra tracks "Work Is A Four-Letter Word" and "William It Was Really Nothing" were added at the end of side A, while "I Keep Mine Hidden" and "Shakespeare's Sister" were added to side B.
See also Indonesia/Saudi Arabia above.
Spain LP [Nuevos Medios 43 272L]
This item was packaged by Nuevos Medios with as much care as Rough Trade treated its releases in the UK. The front, showing the usual LP artwork, has "The Smiths" embossed. The catalogue number on the back was changed for the Spanish one, the barcode was dropped and Nuevos Medios logo and credits were added at the bottom. The inner sleeve is as glossy and gold as in the UK. The labels are similar to the British ones in colour and text layout, but Nuevos Medios logo, catalogue number and credits were added here and there.
Spain cassette [Nuevos Medios 44 273 C]
The insert of the Spanish cassette is almost identical to its British counterpart. The name of the band and track listing background on the front are peach coloured. Nuevos Medios logo and catalogue number were added to the spine. The back is empty as the barcode was dropped. The cassette itself is white with black text.
Sweden LP [MNW ROUGH106]
The Swedish LP shows the usual LP artwork on the front and "The Smiths" is embossed. The back differs from the UK back by the lack of a barcode and the additional words "Sib-Tryck Ab Norsborg" at the bottom. The inner sleeve looks the same as in the UK but it is made of paper. The labels are identical to the British ones except for the additional BIEM/n©b copyright control mention.
Just like in the UK, some copies of this LP show the band name and title on the front in green instead of the usual colour. These also have the text on the spine in green. The rest is exactly the same as the standard edition described above.
Sweden cassette [MNW ROUGH C106]
This is the only Swedish cassette in the whole Smiths catalogue. The insert was based on the British one. However, the Davalos image on the front was not tinted blue, but something closer to the LP/cd colour. The name of the band and title above it appears in the usual brownish colour. The track listing background at the bottom is light blue. The spine is just like in the UK except for the removal of the Chrome logo. The back only shows a Rough Trade copyright line instead of a barcode. The first insert panel is just like the British one but the text is brown instead of blue. What is found in the UK on a second panel was reproduced in Sweden on the reverse of the insert's first (and therefore only) panel, with an additional "Sib-Tryck Ab Norsborg" mention at the very bottom. The cassette itself is dark beige with bright blue text.
Just like in the UK, some copies of this cassette show the band name and title on the front in green instead of the usual colour. In this particular case the tint of green is closer to ocean green, as opposed to the UK's brighter mint green.
Sweden LP test pressing [MNW ROUGH106]
The Swedish test pressing has the same red and white Provskiva Från Grammoplast labels found on all Swedith test pressings. The record is often found in a plain white die-cut 12" sleeve but some copies have been reported in a stock sleeve.
Taiwan cassette [Crystal ROUGHC106]
The front of this unlicensed edition of the album shows the usual LP artwork over a mauve background, under band name and title in an unrelated white script font, and above a black portion with Chinese or Taiwanese text. The insert wraps itself around the cassette, so one spine displays the information in English while the other displays it in Chinese or Taiwanese. Its back features a track listing next to a detail of the album's usual back artwork (building windows). The cassette is made of black plastic and its labels are yellow with black text. The package includes a white paper insert featuring lyrics and photo, folded many times so it can fit inside the case.
USA LP [Sire 9 25649-1]
The front of the American LP shows the uual LP artwork, with the text appearing in purplish brown. Sire USA did not care to emboss "The Smiths" as in the UK and most European countries. Sire and Rough Trade logos appear above the barcode on the back and Sire credits were added at the very bottom. The inner sleeve was cheaply produced in thin paper and its colour is closer to brown than the original golden yellow. The labels are generic yellow Sire ones. The Sire logo on them is the variety with "SIRE" appearing under the yin and yang symbol (variation with "SIRE" top right of the logo may also exist - to be confirmed).
USA LP [Columbia House W1 25649; record club edition]
This record club edition differs from the standard one described above by very few details. The credits at the bottom on the back of the sleeve were altered for Columbia House, and the catalogue number on the right side of the labels was replaced with the Columbia one. The Sire logo on the labels is the variation with "SIRE" set at the 2 o'clock position around it. The Columbia House catalogue number was also added to the spine.
USA LP [Rhino R1 520966; 2009 reissue on 180g LP]
The front of the 2009 Rhino LP reissue is the same as the original Rough Trade
LP. A black, white and red sticker on it advertises that the remastering was conducted by Johnny Marr. Information about the back, the inner sleeve and record, and how they differ to their UK counterparts, is needed.
USA cassette [Sire 9 25649-4]
The American cassette artwork was for once based on its British counterpart. The Davalos image was given a blue tint, just like in the UK. The name of the band over it appears in reddish brown. The background of the track listing portion at the bottom is pinkish tan, just like the back which only features a barcode and a Sire credit. The spine is yellowish beige with blue text in the same layout as on the British cassette. The inlay's two fold-out panels as identical to those of the UK edition. A Sire address and Dolby information are found on the reverse of the insert (confirmation needed; anything else?). The cassette itself is made of clear plastic with text printed directly onto it in white: track listing at the top, catalogue number on the left beneath a Sire logo and above a Rough Trade logo.
USA cassette [Columbia House W4 25649; record club edition]
The Columbia House cassette only shows minor differences with the standard retail one. The catalogue number on the spine was changed for the Columbia House one and an additional credit was added to the back. Information about any other difference with the standard retail cassette is needed.
USA CD [Sire 9 25649-2]
The front of the American cd shows the LP artwork instead of the expected cd one. The name of the band and album title appear in reddish brown. The song titles on the back are followed with their length, which was not the case in the UK. There are actually two different versions of the back. On earlier editions the credits paragraph at the bottom starts with information about the transfer from an analog recording to a digital support and ends with the catalogue number. This was simplified on later editions as only the Sire address and legal warning remained. The booklet is based on the British one. The content is more or less the same, but everything appears in black and white. The first page features only the track listing. The back of the booklet shows additional information about the care of compact discs as well as Sire and Rough Trade logos, a Sire credit and the catalogue number. The paragraph may have been removed on later pressings (to be confirmed). The text layout on the compact disc was unusually based on that of the UK cd, with minor adjustements made for Sire's involvement.
USA CD [Columbia House W2 25649; record club edition]
The Columbia House edition was based on the original American cd described above. The front artwork is the same. The back artwork was based on the original USA retail cd back (see variations above), but the catalogue number at the end of the paragraph of credits at the bottom was changed for the Columbia House one and a Columbia House credit was added after it. The catalogue number on the spine was changed for the Columbia House one. The only other differences between this edition and the standard retail one are found on the back of the booklet and on the disc: in both places the Sire catalogue number was replaced with the one from Columbia House.
USA CD [BMG Direct D102696; record club edition]
This record club edition was modelled on the standard one. Differences with the latter edition are found on the back insert, on the back of the booklet and on the disc. The barcode on the back insert was replaced in its white box by the BMG catalogue number and BMG credits, and the credits at the bottom were replaced with BMG ones. The BMG Direct catalogue number was added in a big thick font above the Sire one on the back of the booklet. BMG credits and the BMG catalogue number were added beneath the Sire credits on the right side of the disc.
USA CD [2012 reissue on Sire/Rhino R2 25649]
USA CD longbox
Until about 1992-1993, compact discs were sold in the USA in tall picture boxes. Many were destroyed after purchase, but some were salvaged and ended up in fans collections. These featured their own variation on the album artwork. View front and back of the "Strangeways Here We Come" longbox. The spines are pale blue with maroon release identification.
USA LP promo [Sire 9 25649-1]
The promo edition of the American LP is a stock one with a promo warning stamped in gold ink on the front of the sleeve. Some copies may have been paired with the promo photo described below.
USA promo 12" [Sire PRO-A-2843]
The album was also promoted with the help of this one-track promo 12" featuring only "Girlfriend In A Coma". The song is featured on both sides so the labels are identical except for being marked as "Side 1" and "Side 2". The record is slipped inside a generic white die-cut 12" sleeve.
USA promo 12" [Sire PRO-A-2893]
The album was later promoted with the help of a second promo 12", this one featuring "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" on both sides. Everything about it looks exactly like its earlier counterpart described above, except for the song title of course.
USA cassette advance [Sire WB-25649]
The album was more limitedly promoted with the help of an advance cassette. This item has generic "Tape duplication by WEA Manufacturing Inc." labels on which "The Smiths" and "WB-25649" was printed. The insert is a generic Warner Bros one with typewritten track listing, "The Smiths" and "WB-25649". Nowhere on the cassette or insert is the album title given.
USA video promo [Mini Comp #25]
The album was also promoted with the inclusion of the video for "Girlfriend In A Coma" on a various artists promo videocassette titled "Mini Comp #25 WBR", dated "10-05-87 and distributed inside a hard, black plastic videocase with paper insert. The song is credited on that insert as "Girl Friend In A Coma". The compilation also features videos by the New Monkees, Nick Mundy, the Jesus And Mary Chain, Trio, Simon F, Rosie Flores, the Ramones, etc.
USA video promo [Mini Comp #62]
The same video was included on a different various artists promo compilation, this one titled "Mini Comp #62". Other artists being promoted by this compilation were George Harrison, the BeeGees, Depeche Mode, the Jesus And Mary Chain, Simon F, etc.
USA "In Conversation" video interview promo [Warner]
The album was also promoted with a different kind of promo video, this one featuring a lengthy interviews with Morrissey and Marr. Excerpts of these interviews have since been included in various documentaries and television specials on the band. Information about the packaging is needed.
USA various artists promo cd [PRO-CD-2831]
Album track "Girlfriend In A Coma" was included on a Warner various artists promo cd titled "Music For The Starving Millions" which was dispatched to media and/or retail ahead of the release of the album.
USA press photo
Some copies of the promo LP were apparently distributed with a black & white "Morrissey Of The Smiths" promo photo (view here). This is identical to the one that came with the German press kit, but it has Sire logo and credits at the bottom instead of a Rough Trade logo. It appears that the same photo may have been used with the press kit for Morrissey's debut solo album "Viva Hate" the following year.
USA 28cm x 89cm promo poster (23" x 35")
Promo poster with very small Sire logo in the bottom right corner (view here).
USA promo flat
Promo flats were usually sent to retail for instore promotion at the time of release of an album. They are made of thick card and are the size of a LP. One side of the "Strangeways Here We Come" flat shows the usual LP artwork. The other is golden yellow with only "The Smiths" appearing in the middle and small Sire logo and credits at the very bottom.
USA gold record
An official RIAA gold record of "Strangeways Here We Come" has made it into the hands of collectors. It shows a gold version of the USA LP with a RIAA plaque and logo over the bottom of the record. A reproduction of the front artwork is found at the bottom between a compact disc and a gold cassette of the album. USA gold awards of "Strangeways Here We Come" with just an information plaque between a reproduction of the front artwork and a RIAA hologram are apparently fakes. The legitimacy of gold records with a gold cassette over the bottom of the record and a blue tinted variation of the artwork beneath it is in doubt.