"I Don't Owe You Anything"


The song was written in late April 1983 at about the same time as "Accept Yourself" and "You've Got Everything Now". The song, as rehearsed at the time, exceeded the 7-minute mark and featured additional lyrics that were since dropped.

It was first professionally recorded in July/August 1983 at London's Elephant Studios with producer Troy Tate in the initial sessions for the band's debut album.

It was recorded again on 25 August 1983 for the band's second appearance on David Jensen's BBC programme (first broadcast on 5 September 1983), with producer John Porter.

Two versions were recorded in mid-October 1983 at Pluto Studios in Manchester, with producer John Porter. An original faster format was dropped in favour of a slower version. Hammond organ played by Paul Carrack was added to the mix during additional mixing sessions in November 1983 at Eden Studios in London.

Sandie Shaw's version of the song (in collaboration with the Smiths) was recorded in February 1984 at Matrix Studios in London, with producer John Porter. Another Sandie Shaw version (backed by Johnny and Andy only) was recorded for the BBC radio programme Saturday Live, broadcast 14 April 1984.


album version {4:04}
"The Smiths" (debut album)
Sandie Shaw version {4:04}
"Hand In Glove" single by Sandie Shaw, all formats
• Sandie Shaw's "Nothing Less Than Brilliant" cd-single
• UK cd-single#2 reissue of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"
• Sandie Shaw's "Nothing Less Than Brilliant - The Best Of Sandie Shaw" album
• Sandie Shaw's "Hello Angel" album reissue
• Sandie Shaw's "Nothing Comes Easy" box set


David Jensen radio session 5 September 1983 {4:15}
This radio session has yet to be compiled on a Smiths anthology but it is commonly found in good quality on various manufactured bootlegs as well as a digital file on the internet.
Saturday Live radio session 14 April 1984 [Sandie Shaw with Johnny and Andy] {3:56}
• Sandie Shaw's "Cool About You - The BBC Sessions 1984-1988"


This song has been performed live 34 times by the Smiths, perhaps up to 46 times when taking into account the number of unknown setlists from the early Smiths days. It was done at least 15 times in 1983 (perhaps even up to 24 times) between late May and early October. It returned for a further 19 (perhaps up to 22) performances after its release on the band's debut album, mostly in June of 1984 with a few occasional airings earlier in the year. Sandie Shaw, who had recorded her own version of the song with the Smiths as musicians, joined the band twice to sing it with them, on 12 March 1984 in London and the following day in Manchester.

There are no officially released live recordings of the song at this point in time, but bootleg recordings are circulated.


definitive Troy Tate studio recording {4:29}
This is found on record company cd-rs of Troy Tate's work for the band's debut album. It has not yet been officially released but has leaked in slightly inferior quality on bootlegs.
Troy Tate studio outtake {4:30}
This studio outtake is similar to the above with additional work done to it and different vocals. It is commonly found on bootlegs.
Crazy Face rehearsal for Troy Tate {5:29}
This band rehearsal ahead of Troy Tate's involvement with the material that would become the band's debut album has leaked on the internet in 2012 in a package titled the "Pablo Cuckoo Tape". Information is found here.

The existence of a master tape with at least 8 versions of "I Don't Owe You Anything" has been reported, but nothing from it has made it onto bootlegs.