"This Charming Man" [original edition]
October/December 1983


This Charming Man

UK 7" [Rough Trade RT136]
UK 7" [Rhino UK RHN136; 2008 reissue]
Australia 7" [CBS RTANZ001]
Belgium 7" [Megadisc RT136]
France 7" [Virgin 105.736]
Germany 7" [RT Deutschland RTD010/RT136]
Germany 7" [Intercord INT110.149]
Greece 7" [Virgin VG8005]
New Zealand 7" [CBS RTANZ001]


This Charming Man (Manchester)
This Charming Man (London)
Accept Yourself
Wonderful Woman

UK 12" [Rough Trade RTT136]
Belgium 12" [Ariola/Megadisc 12RT.136/RTT136]
Germany 12" [Rough Trade RTT136/RTD010T]
Germany 12" [RT Deutschland RTD010T]
Japan 12" [Tokuma Japan 15RTL-3]


This Charming Man (New-York)
This Charming Man (New-York instrumental)

UK 12" [Rough Trade RTT136NY]
Belgium 12" [Megadisc RTTNY136]


This Charming Man (New-York)
This Charming Man (New-York instrumental)
Accept Yourself

Australia 12" [CBS RTANZ12001]
New Zealand 12" [CBS RTANZ12001]


This Charming Man [unlabelled London version]
Accept Yourself
Wonderful Woman
This Charming Man (New-York)

France 12" [Virgin 601110; first pressing]
France 12" [Virgin 80.074]


This Charming Man [London version labelled Manchester]
This Charming Man (New-York)
Accept Yourself
Wonderful Woman

Spain 12" [Nuevos Medios 41-061M]


Additional information:
A Dutch one-sided 7" of "This Charming Man" was given away with copies of the Smiths' debut album in the Netherlands. See the latter discography entry for details.

"This Charming Man" was re-released as a single in 1992. Info about this is found at the latter link.

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:
Jean Marais from Cocteau's classic 1949 film "Orphée". The back artwork (view left) shows Marais' arm.

Early versions of the 12" single in the UK and a few other countries such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Spain didn't have the band's name on the front. 7" singles from all countries, 12" singles from France and later repressings of the 12" single in the UK show the band's name on the front. Most 12"s from Germany show the band's name, but some early copies don't. The NY remixes 12"s released in the UK and Belgium have a paler beige tint.


Etchings on vinyl:
"Slap me on the patio" is a lyric taken from the song "Reel Around The Fountain" which had been considered as a single for some time until plans were changed for "This Charming Man". The other etching is a line taken from "This Charming Man".


Additional release date information:
UK 7" and 12": 28 October 1983
UK NY mix 12": 3 December 1983
Japan 12": 25 June 1984
UK 2008 reissue: 10 November 2008


Chart peak information:
UK: 25


UK: The most common promo was a stock copy of the 7" with a Scott Piering contact info sticker on the back of the sleeve. It usually came with a press release in A4 format, with release information and upcoming live dates on one side, and a black and white reproduction of the single's artwork on the other. Some copies without the promo sticker were also distributed with a press release. A few green label test pressing 7"s were also distributed in the UK for earlier and more limited promotion of this single. These also have a Scott Piering sticker on them and are also paired with a press release. The New-York mixes 12" promos were slipped inside a generic white sleeve and had 'vocal' and 'instrumental' stickers on the labels which were stamped with "Scott Piering promotions".

Australia: The 7" and 12" promos had the same content as the stock copies and were slipped in the usual stock sleeves, but their labels were black and white versions with added promo warnings.

Brazil: A 5-track various artists promo EP (21.092, #74; basic grey sleeve with green text) featuring the Manchester and London versions of "This Charming Man" was distributed to media in Brazil in 1985. Because this single was never released in Brazil, and the song is not even featured on the debut album there, and because this promo is from 1985, it is unclear what release was being promoted. It has been speculated that this may have served to promote "Hatful of Hollow", but the version of "This Charming Man" on the latter album is neither one featured on the promo. The promo mentions the source album for other artists featured on it, but not for the Smiths.

Germany: Stock copies of the Intercord 7" were sent to radio paired with a colour Intercord press release with a rainbow across it. Stock copies of the RTD 7" and/or 12" singles were also distributed for promotion, but these were paired with a press release from Rough Trade Deutschland which also mentioned the earlier "Hand In Glove" single.

Japan: Stock copies of the 12" single were sent to radio with a white SAMPLE sticker on the sleeve and the usual 3-character promo mark above 'A SIDE' on the label.

New Zealand: Stock copies of both the 7" and the 12" were distributed for promotion with a 'Not For Resale' sticker on the label on side B.



(on the New York mix of the title track) "It is an absolute thorn. It was completely the people at Rough Trade's idea. They introduced it very innocuously to begin with. François Kevorkian was there and they simply said "Do you mind if he plays about with the track and see what happens?" And there was really no question of releasing it to the public so it seemed very harmless at first. When the American record company wanted it it seemed slightly harmful, but it happened anyways, and when it was released to English clubs and then it was a national release, simply because people demanded it... We had to, in a way, comply with peoples' demands because otherwise it would have been available in this country as an import for an extortionate amount; £5 or something ridiculous. So Rough Trade agreed to press a limited amount for £1.49 which sounded agreeable to us. But at the end of the day I have to honestly say that it doesn't mean anything to me and I'd rather it not be there. And I say this to the Rough Trade people also."
- Morrissey, Debris fanzine, November 1983

(on the quickly deleted 'New York mix' of 'This Charming Man') "I'm still very upset about that. It was entirely against our principles, the whole thing, it didn't seem to belong with us. There was even a question of a fourth version, which would have bordered on pantomime. It was called the Acton version, which isn't even funny."
- Morrissey, February 1984 (source unknown)

"We didn't like the dance mix of 'This Charming Man' which they put out as a 12-inch and we told them so but we're certainly not going around saying 'Rough Trade have screwed us up'."
- Johnny Marr, Sounds, 25 February 1984

"I thought 'This Charming Man' the most obviously instantaneous release imaginable."
- Morrissey, The Face, 1984

"Of all our singles I think I like 'This Charming Man' best, just because the rhythms are so infectious. Smith music really moves me."
- Andy Rourke, Record Mirror, 8 September 1984



"Taking things seriously; intelligence is not an awkward, obscure thing which is difficult to set in motion, but a way to glory. When you have thoughts of your own, you can be assured that you will be accused of seriousness. So? Morrissey is serious, but he offers us rapture, not dialectics. 'This Charming Man' is an accessible bliss, and seriously moving. This group fully understand that the casual is not enough... This is one of the greatest singles of the year, a poor compliment. Unique and indispensable, like 'Blue Monday' and 'Karma Chameleon' - that's better!"
- Paul Morley, New Musical Express, 12 November 1983

"Yes, friends, after all these years good ol' Rough Trade is making a commercial push. Beneficiaries are the Smiths, a Mancunian foursome who play not the electro-funk suggested by assorted mixes of 'This Charming Man', but rather what might be termed 'power pop' were the music not so raw nor the lyrics so artsy... 'This Charming Man' realizes [their] promise in somewhat calmer fashion. As before, the guitar has a glassy jangle, bass is driving and agile when it counts, and drums supply just the right amount of rhythmic fillip. Monochromatic crooning is more of an acquired taste, but the melody (particularly in the bridge) is addictive. I now find it necessary to play the record at least a couple of times a day. Choose your version: The 'Manchester mix' of 'This Charming Man' is also available on the 7-inch. The 'London mix' adds echo to the guitar for a unique effect, but lightens the beat. Francois Kervorkian's New York mix - a separate 12-inch, vocal backed with instrumental - clarifies the vocal and emphasizes percussion, but extends and dissects the song dub-style to no great advantage. Neither of the two 12-inch B-sides can hold a candle to the 7-inch flip of 'Jeane', in which the Smiths get tender but not gloppy."
- Trouser Press

"Where has all the wildness and daring got to? Some of it has found its way onto The Smiths' record, 'Charming Man'. It jangles and crashes and Morrissey jumps in the middle with his mutant choir-boy voice, sounding jolly and angst-ridden at the same time. It should be given out on street corners to unsuspecting passers-by of all ages."
- The Face

"This should have seen them move from 'one to watch for' to "this week's thing' but the gorgeous melody and ususual, sensitive lyrics are all but shot down in flames by a horribly ham-fisted production job. One day..."
- Smash Hits, 10 November 1983

Single Of The Decade
NME: One of the greatest bands ever (and they get to review The Smiths as well!!). The timing of this re-release is impeccable - Brett is absolutely flabbergasted, it's time for some gentle weeping and mutual blouse swapping.
Brett Andersen of Suede: I don't know really what to say about this. There's no way that any of these other records are ever gonna compare to it, it's in a completely different league. This is how to do it, really. It's a truly magical, beautiful song. It's one of the greatest records ever made, it's so ultimately charming and has some of the most brilliant lyrics ever.
NME: Did The Smiths say anything to you about your life?
BA: Mmm, yes. Actually yes, completely honestly and not just being a thing to say but yes, they did. I've never seen them live, that's how much they changed my life, it didn't seem to matter. Anyway, it is one of the best singles ever, it's incredibly idiosyncratic but incredibly self-confident within that. It's a bit unfair to make it Single Of The Week because it isn't a new single - it's a piece of art history. We'll call it Single Of The Decade instead.
NME: How do you feel, knowing Morrissey is a big Suede fan?
BA: Pretty incredible. He's doing a cover version of one our songs, "My Insatiable One." The thought of it is pretty brilliant, imagining him sitting down with our record and learning it, thinking about what the words are after I've spent so many years thinking about his lyrics (sighs wistfully), it's quite incredible.
- Brett Anderson of Suede, New Musical Express, 1992

"The Smiths didn't fall out of a clear blue pop sky — groups like Orange Juice had engaged in similarly fey janglepop. But there was something about Morrissey — cavorting louchely on TOTP in a big, pyjama-like shirt, idly brandishing a bunch of gladioli like a weapon, his vocals deliberately plummy and prominent in the mix. That Thursday evening when Manchester's feyest first appeared on TOTP would be an unexpectedly pivotal cultural event in the lives of a million serious English boys. His very English, camp glumness was a revolt into Sixties kitchen-sink greyness against the gaudiness of the Eighties New Pop World, as exemplified by Culture Club and their ilk. The Smiths' subject matter may have been 'squalid' but there was a 'purity' of purpose about them that you messed with at your own peril."
-Uncut, February 2001, #10 Single That Changed Your Life