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UK, Can, Ita, Por, USA 7" and 12" singles Holland 7" single (some copies) Spain 12" single Germany 7" single Germany 12" single Australia 7" single Australia 12" single UK cassette maxi-single UK cd-single Australia cd-single UK 7" single back UK 12" single back UK cd-single back Spain 12" single back Germany 7" single back Germany 12" single back Australia 7" single back Australia 12" single back
"Ask" [original edition]|
Ask (single version)
UK 7" [Rough Trade RT194]
Ask (single version)
UK 12" [Rough Trade RTT194]
Australia 12" [CBS RTANZ12019]
Because the Yootha Joyce artwork had already been used in Germany for the "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" single, this one showed Colin Campbell from "The Leather Boys" . The photo was taken from the January 1964 issue of "Films And Filmmaking". This photo was used again in 1988 for the "Headmaster Ritual" cd-single.
The cover artwork in Australia was obviously not designed by Morrissey. It shows him in front of a 1986 tour poster of a boy eating an ice lollie. The photo is credited to Pat Bellis (aka Jo Novark). The 7" and 12" have minor layout differences. The original release of this single was slipped inside a generic label sleeve. Only 1987 reissues were sold inside the picture sleeve displayed on the left of this page.
Etchings on vinyl:
The UK a-side etching is a pun on the Elvis song "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" while the b-side etching is likely a pun on this single's b-side song "Cemetry Gates".
Additional release date information:
Chart peak information:
Australia: The stock edition of the 7" was sent to radio in a generic record company sleeve while the 12"s were stamped on the back of the sleeve.
Canada: Copies with a hole punched out of a corner of the sleeve may have served promotional purposes, but this is just speculation.
Germany: Copies of the stock 7" were sent to media with a press release. Some of them also had a plugger sticker on the sleeve.
Italy: A corner of the sleeve of stock copies of the Italian 7" (and apparently the UK 12") were pin-stamped with the words CAMPIONE GRATUITO. A jukebox 7" featured "Ask" on one side and a song by Sergio Caputo on the other. The 4-track various artists sampler 12" (CGD INT15276) featuring the title track of this single is actually a promo for the "The World Won't Listen" album.
USA: Stock copies were made into promos by being gold-stamped with a promo warning on the front of the sleeve.
"... it was quite crucial to release a single that was a slight antidote to 'Panic', because if the next single had been a slight protest, regardless of the merits of the actual song, people would say, 'Here we go again.' That's why we put out 'Ask'. The idea there is... Well, restraint is a decent thing really, but it's nice to throw caution to the wind as well -- to jump in at the deep end."
"Yeah, that [recording 'Golden Lights'] was another low point. Those are the two low points of our recording career, certainly. They're really inferior, and don't deserve a place alongside our own material."
"The word is gnomic. Perhaps I should join all you thousands in pondering those inscrutable epigrams. 'Ask' sounds lovely in the kinda-folk, kinda-high-life manner we know and love so well and that's enough for me."
"I don't know... is this one of those skinny white English junkie bands? Am I hip enough to like this? Ooooooh, nice chorus: 'If it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together.' Gee, I'd sure like to hang out with these guys - I bet they're a laugh a minute. On a scale of one to ten, I'd have to say this record is swell."