"That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore"
July 1985


That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore (edited)
Meat Is Murder (live Oxford 18/3/85)

UK 7" [Rough Trade RT186]
UK 7" [Rhino UK RHN186; 2008 reissue]
Australia 7" [CBS RTANZ010]
Canada 7" [WEA RT186]
New Zealand 7" [CBS RTANZ010]


That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore
Nowhere Fast (live Oxford 18/3/85)
Stretch Out And Wait (live Oxford 18/3/85)
Shakespeare's Sister (live Oxford 18/3/85)
Meat Is Murder (live Oxford 18/3/85)

UK 12" [Rough Trade RTT186]
Australia 12" [CBS RTANZ12008]
Canada 12" [WEA RTT186]
France 12" [Virgin 80195]
New Zealand 12" [CBS RTANZ12008]
Philippines 12" [Dyna EP ETR-2]
Spain 12" [Nuevos Medios 41-151M]


Additional information:
Information about the "Meat Is Murder" live EP originally planned but scrapped in favour of this single is found here.

While most of the world was getting "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" as a follow-up single to "Shakespeare's Sister", Megadisc in Holland preferred to release a different track from the recent "Meat Is Murder" album. They backed it with the same b-sides, but packaged it in different artwork. Information is found here.

The 2008 reissue of the 7" single by Rhino UK was also included in the "Smiths Singles box" which compiled the band's first 10 UK singles (plus two bonuses). On each of the five weeks leading to the release of the latter box, two singles from it were put up for sale individually. Collectors could therefore buy two single reissues every week, or wait at the end of the programme to get all of them in the box, alongside the two bonus 7"s.


Artwork information:
In "Peepholism - Into The Art Of Morrissey", author Jo Slee states that the sleeve was put together using an uncredited photograph of an Italian child actor from the sixties, but it was actually taken from a Ukrainian movie from 1965 titled "The Enchanted Desna" by Julia Solntseva. The still was found in the February 1965 issue of Film And Filmaking magazine (view left).

The colour scheme is slightly different on the French 12". The photo was reused in 1988 as a backdrop for the Smiths farewell/solo debut concert in Wolverhampton.


Etchings on vinyl:
UK 7":

UK 12":

Canada 12": HELEN WHEELS / none


Additional release date information:
UK: 5 July 1985
Australia: 27 August 1985
UK 2008 reissue: 1 December 2008


Chart peak information:
UK: 49


UK: This single was mainly promoted in the UK with a 'white label' version of the 12" format. The label was actually light pink. Some copies were dispatched to media inside an early version of the picture sleeve featuring slightly alternate artwork. Very early and more limited promotion of the single was done through test pressing of the 7" format. More info in the collector's appendix.

Australia: This single was promoted by the usual Australian promo 7" and 12", identical to their stock counterparts except for the labels which were the black and white variations featuring the silhouette of a man in bowler hat. The 7" was occasionally dispatched inside a generic CBS orange striped die-cut sleeve instead of the picture one. The promo 12" was distributed inside a stock picture sleeve stamped with a promo warning in gold on the back.

Canada: Gold stamped copies of the 12" were the main means of promotion of this single.

France: Stock copies of the 12" were stamped with a promo warning so they could be used for promotion of the single. The stamp states "Disque gratuit interdit a la vente", the words forming an embossed circle in a corner of the sleeve.

New Zealand: Stock copies of the 7" and 12" formats were dispatched for promotion with a "Demonstration record" sticker on the b-side's label.



"I'd secretly wanted it to do well because I thought it would be our big torch song, our Dusty single. For about two days I got excited thinking we might have a big 'All I See Is You'-type torch song in the chart. Then reality struck. Why would they play that continuously on Radio 1?"
- Johnny Marr, on the lack of success of this single, Uncut, January 2006



"Morrissey trips out again on mellow folkiness. Try to get ahold of the 12" version because the B-side boasts live versions of 'Nowhere Fast,' 'Stretch Out and Wait,' 'Shakespeare's Sister,' and 'Meat Is Murder' which ably surpass the recorded versions. Johnny Marr plays with a plectrum plucked straight from heaven."
- Cath Carroll, New Musical Express, 13 June 1985