"What Difference Does It Make?"|
UK 7" [Rough Trade RT146]
Rigid sleeve. Light blue label with dark blue text. Initial copies featured cover star Terence Stamp, but when he failed to give his approval to his image being used, the sleeve art was replaced with an imitation in which Morrissey stood in the same pose, holding a glass of milk instead of a chloroform pad. Different editions of the record have been found inside the Morrissey sleeve. Here are the five known versions of this format:
UK 7" - 2008 reissue [Rhino UK RHN146]
- Stamp version 1
Terence Stamp on the cover. The record has a push-out centre. The Rough Trade logo is in a cursive font.
RT 146 A-1U-1-1-1 / RT 146 B-1U-1-1-0
RT 146 A-1U-1-1-0 / RT 146 B-2U-1-1 4
- Stamp version 2
Terence Stamp on the cover. The record has a solid centre. The Rough Trade logo is in a cursive font.
RT 146 A-1U-1-1-6 / RT 146 B-2U-1-1-4
RT 146 A-1U-1 / RT 146 B-1U-1-
- Morrissey version 1
Morrissey on the cover. The record has a push-out centre. The Rough Trade logo is in a cursive font.
RT 146 A-1U-1-3-4 / RT 146 B-1U-1-1-2 0
RT 146 A-1U-1-2-4 / RT 146 B-1U-1-1-10
RT 146 A-2U-1-1-7 / RT 146 B-1U-1-2-7
- Morrissey version 2
Same as previous version, but the record has a solid centre.
RT 146 A-1U-1-3-6 / RT 146 B-1U-1-3-3
- Morrissey version 3
Solid centre again, but the logo on the label is replaced with the rubber-stamp one.
RT 146 A-2U-1- / RT 146 B-1U-1-
RT 146 A-1U-1-2- / RT 146 B-2U-1-1-
This is almost identical to the original Rough Trade release. The sleeve is still rigid and features the Terence Stamp artwork. On the back of it the catalogue number was changed to RHN146 and a barcode was added at the bottom left. The record has a solid centre. The catalogue number was also changed to RHN146 on the label, and the logo was removed. Publishers on the right of it are now Universal Music, etc.
UK 12" [Rough Trade RTT146]
The story of the 12" parallels that of the 7", with a twist. After Terence Stamp finally gave his approval, further copies were pressed with him on the cover again, but this time with the band's name in the top left corner. All versions described below come with a high-quality white paper inner sleeve if it wasn't lost or switched with that of another record. Here are the three UK versions of this title's 12" single:
UK CD5 [Rough Trade RTT146CD]
- Stamp version - no band name
Terence Stamp on the cover, without any text. The catalogue number is found in the top left corner on the back. The spine is light blue (from the back colour). Label shows the Rough Trade logo in cursive letters.
RTT 146 A1 / RTT 146 B2
- Morrissey version
Morrissey on the cover, still without the band's name. On the back of the sleeve a rubber stamp Rough Trade logo was added to the top right corner. The Terence Stamp credit is replaced with one of Morrissey. The dark blue of the front cover wraps around to create a dark blue spine. Label remains unchanged.
RTT 146 A1 / RTT 146 B2
- Stamp version - with band name
Stamp back on the cover, but with "The Smiths" in light blue added in the top left corner. The Rough Trade logo on the back is removed, leaving the catalogue number still in the top left corner. Terence Stamp credit is back. Some copies have a light blue spine (from the back colour), others a dark blue one (from the front image). The label now features a non-cursive uppercase Rough Trade logo.
RTT 146 A1 / RTT 146 B2
In 1988 Rough Trade started reissuing the Smiths singles back catalogue on cd format, but stopped after nearly half of them were done. "What Difference Does It Make?" was one of the eight singles to get reissued that year. Some of these were given different artwork for the new format, but this wasn't the case for "What Difference Does It Make?". The Terence Stamp artwork was adapted to fit the cd's thin jewelcase type of insert. The cd's 'label' itself follows the pattern of all others in the series, with a horizontal stripe across the middle, this one being in the two tones of blue used for the vinyl formats.
UK 7" - jukebox issue [Rough Trade RT146]
The text layout on the label of the "What Difference Does It Make?" jukebox 7" is the same as the original version described above, but the record has a large opening in the centre. It doesn't come with a picture sleeve unless someone found an orphan one to slip it in.
RT 146 A-2U-1-1-15 / RT 146 B-1U-1-1-15
RT 146 A-2U-1-1-13 / RT 146 B-1U-1-1-15
UK 7" - jukebox issue [Rough Trade RT146]
Identical to above, but has a white label. May be a test pressing for the above, but not necessarily.
RT 146 A-2U-1-1-13 / RT 146 B-2U-1-1-13
UK 7" white label promo [Rough Trade RT146]
The single was partially promoted with a white label version of the 7" single. The record is identical to the test pressing mentioned below, with 'A' and 'B' stamped inside circles on respective sides, but the promo edition was pressed with a push-out centre, just like the (initial) stock copies were. This promo was distributed with a 2-sided A4 press sheet on white paper showing a black and white reproduction of the single's artwork (Stamp variation) above the track listings and catalogue numbers for the two formats. The reverse of this press sheet features information about this single, the forthcoming debut LP, upcoming tour dates and Sandie Shaw's upcoming cover of the Smiths' "I Don't Owe You Anything" (we now know that the a-side and release date of the latter collaboration were not quite as stated on this press release).
RT 146 A-2U-1-1 / RT 146 B-2U-1-1
UK 7" promo [Rough Trade RT146]
UK 7" Scott Piering promo [Rough Trade RT146]
This alternate promo 7" probably pre-dates the one above. The record has a solid centre and all-white labels. The a-side label is stamped with the letter 'A' in a circle and has a custom 'The Smiths RT146' sticker on it (which is different to the test pressing of the 7" described above which has the same labels without the sticker). The record is slipped inside a plain black record bag featuring photocopies of the labels and a white Scott Piering (plugger) sticker on the front. This record bag acts as an inner sleeve as the record is also slipped inside a stock picture sleeve with a Scott Piering contact information sticker on the front.
Stock copies of the original 7" edition mentioned above were distributed with a Scott Piering sticker on the back of the sleeve. This variation was probably aimed at retailers instead of media because the press sheet accompanying it gave format prices along with the usual release information.
UK 7" Beer Davies promo [Rough Trade RT146]
Stock copies of the 7" were made into promos by having a red and white Beer Davies plugger sticker affixed to the back of the sleeve and by being mailed out with three 1-sided press sheets on white A4 paper. One of the press sheets gives release information about this single and announces the upcoming release of the band's debut album, an upcoming tour across England, Scotland and Wales, and the upcoming Sandie Shaw single. The second sheet features the itinerary of the upcoming tour typewritten on generic Beer Davies paper featuring the plugger's logo and contact information in red at the bottom. The third sheet, featuring biographical information on the band, had also been sent out with initial copies of the "Hand In Glove" single the previous year.
UK 12" promo [Rough Trade RT146]
Stock copies of the 12" (original edition with Terence Stamp on the front but no band name) were made into promos by having a red and white Beer Davies plugger sticker affixed to the back of the sleeve and by being mailed out with the same three 1-sided press sheets on white A4 paper described in the above paragraph.
UK 30cm x 60cm promo poster (12" x 24")
UK 90cm x 150cm promo poster (36" x 60")
Two different subway-size posters have been reported, one featuring Terence Stamp (view here), and the other Morrissey taking the same pose (view here).
UK 7" test pressing [Rough Trade RT146]
Test pressings of the 7" format usually have white labels with the letters 'A' and 'B' in circles stamped on the respective labels. In some cases the band name and title were added onto them in handwriting, other copies have a white rectangular sticker with typewritten band name and catalogue number. Some copies have been spotted with nothing on the labels. The test pressings can be differentiated from the more common white label promos (listed above) by the fact that they have a solid centre. Many copies come in a Terence Stamp picture sleeve. This test pressing is quite rare. It can be speculated that about 5 to 10 copies were pressed.
RT 146 A-1U-1-1-1 / RT 146 B-1U-1-1-1 (handwritten info)
RT 146 A-2U-1-1-1 / RT 146 B-2U-1-1-1 (sticker info variation, and nothing on label variation)
UK 12" test pressing [Rough Trade RTT146]
UK 12" white label test pressings of singles released by the Smiths in 1983-1984 are quite rare as they were never used for promotion. They are from the initial pressing of the 12" format, and their labels are simply white paper ones, with perhaps title and band name handwritten on them. Again, about a handful or two are expected to have made it into the hands of the band members, label employees and entourage, and from there perhaps into the collections of a few lucky fans.
UK 7" - 2008 reissue 7" test pressing [Rhino UK RHN146]
The white label test pressing of this item has so far only been sold as a set with the test pressings of the other 7"s included in the "Singles Box". It is therefore described in the latter item's collectors appendix.
UK 7" - 2008 reissue 10" acetate [Rhino UK RHN146]
The 10" metal-based lacquer reference acetate for the 2008 7" reissue listed above comes housed in a 12" grey Heathmans Mastering sleeve with printed custom studio labels on the front (white with Heathmans Mastering logo on top, band name, title, catalogue numbers and '21/9/2008'). The matrix number is handwritten in the centre of the disc.
UK proof of alternate 7" artwork
Printed but uncut and unfolded alternate artwork for the 7" format has made it into the hands of at least one collector. This is basically the usual 7" artwork, front and back, but unlike the final version, the front does not show the band's name.
UK proof of 12" artwork
This shows the usual front and back of the version of the 12" single featuring Morrissey.
UK proof of cd-single artwork
Unfolded and uncut printer paper proof for the cd-single front and reverse sleeve with proofing and registration bars. There doesn't seem to be any difference with the final version of the artwork.
Australia 7" [CBS RTANZ003]
The sleeve of the Australian 7" features Morrissey on the cover, so the single must have been released there later in 1984 than in the UK. Its back is based on the UK 7" back artwork, with the correction for the catalogue number and the addition of the 'shattered logo'. Strangely, the label is beige with brown text, the colours of the "This Charming Man" single. Its layout is the typical UK one with the rubber-stamp Rough Trade logo instead of the usual Australian 'shattered' one.
Australia 12" [CBS RTANZ12002]
Most of what was said about the 7" applies to the 12". The sleeve features Morrissey (but without the band's name), its back is like that of the UK 12" with minor local variations, and the label is in the colours of the "This Charming Man" single and features the rubber-stamp Rough Trade logo instead of the usual Australian 'shattered' one.
Australia CD5 [Festival D1074]
Festival Records in Australia was the only label to follow Rough Trade's cd-single reissue programme in 1988. However they didn't quite follow the Rough Trade designs and the packaging was done more cheaply than in the UK, so the Australian cd-singles almost look like bootlegs from the era. The front artwork was cropped to fit the jewelcases (the UK cd-singles were released in the thin cases that used wider artwork) and the colours were not reproduced as well. Fortunately the cd label's 2-colour horizontal stripe design remained as in the UK.
Australia 7" promo [CBS RTANZ003]
The Australian promo 7" is the typical type for this format: black and white bowler hat man label with promo warning and 'shattered' logo. This is more commonly found in a pink or blue generic CBS sleeve (that incorrectly states 'also available on cassette single') than a picture one.
Australia 12" promo [CBS RTANZ12002]
The promo 12" has the expected black and white bowler hat man label with promo warning. It is slipped inside a stock picture sleeve that has been stamped with a promo warning in gold on the back.
Australia 12" promo [CBS RTANZ12002]
Stock copies of the 12" format with a 'demonstration record' sticker on the b-side have been reported. These must have served a different promotional purpose than the usual promo mentioned above.
Canada 7" [Sire 92 92397]
The Canadian 7" is not the most exciting item to collect. The record's label is the typical yellow Sire one, and the centre has a large opening. The record is slipped inside a generic white WEA paper sleeve because only major artists in the 1980s in Canada were treated to a picture sleeve for their 7" singles.
Canada 7" promo [Sire 92 92397]
The promo counterpart to the above is almost identical. It comes in the same sleeve, but the record has a solid centre on which is printed the usual 'not for sale' warning. This promo is backed with "Back To The Old House" instead of featuring a repeat of the title track on the flip as in the USA. This is just a case of killing two birds with one stone as the Canadian stock copies were pressed just like the promo ones, including the 'not for sale' line in the middle. The stock copies simply had their centre cut out, taking away the promo warning while the copies destined to be dispatched to radio and retailers remained the way they were pressed.
France 12" [Virgin 80119]
Collectors of alternate artwork love French 12"s because they often differ from their counterparts from other countries. In the case of the "What Difference Does It Make?" 12", the front of the sleeve shows the band's name in white and at the right instead of the left. The record probably came out in France some time after the UK because it features Morrissey instead of Terence Stamp. The back of the sleeve is based on the back of the regular UK 12", with slight modifications to account for the involvement of Virgin Records. The labels are the classic Virgin ones, green on one side and red on the other. The record is slipped inside a white paper inner sleeve.
Germany official import 7" [Rough Trade/Intercord RTT146/197.265]
Early copies of the single in West Germany were British ones with a big black and white Intercord Import Service circular sticker over the front of the sleeve and a "197.265" sticker over the RTT146 catalogue number in the top right corner on the back of the sleeve.
Germany 7" [Intercord INT110.152]
The German "What Difference Does It Make?" 7" was released by Intercord and not by Rough Trade Deutschland despite the fact that the latter label was already involved with the release of the 12" format. The sleeve opens from the top and its front features Terence Stamp, the band name and a small blue British flag in a circle in the top right corner, with the words "Aus der englischen Hitparade" inside it (view left). The back was modeled on the back of the UK 7" but a number of changes were made: the catalogue number in the top left corner was changed for the UK one and moved all the way up, an Intercord logo was added in the top right corner, the Cartel credit in the bottom left corner was changed for an Intercord one and a label code was added in the bottom right corner. The labels are the usual blue Intercord ones.
Germany 12" [RT Deutschland RTT146]
Rough Trade Deutschland were responsible for releasing the 12" format in Germany. They used the version of the 12" front artwork showing Morrissey without the band name instead of the Terence Stamp variation. The back is just like the back of the UK 12" showing Morrissey on the front, minus the Rough Trade credit in the bottom right corner, which had to be adapted. The labels are very similar to the UK ones, but their colour is a richer blue. The record has a UK RTT catalogue number instead of a RTD one from Rough Trade Deutschland, presumably because it was pressed in the UK (the 'sound clinic' run-out groove etchings for both the UK and German editions are identical).
Germany 7" promo + press sheet [Intercord INT110.152]
The release of this single was partly promoted in Germany via stock copies of the 7" mailed out with an INFO sheet. The track listing, running times and catalogue number are given in the yellow border at the top of the press sheet and the Intercord logo and contact information in the yellow border at the bottom. There are two versions of this German press sheet. In most cases the header, footer and left margin are yellow and the release information and bio are typewritten inside the centre area. The other variation is the same but the yellow is white like the rest of the page. It must be mentioned here that the latter variation is not a photocopy of the first (although photocopies have been seen on the collectors' market). The dimensions are about 7" by 8", so the sheet fits snugly inside the record sleeve with just the INFO section sticking out the top. Some copies of this promo 7" have a white circular 'Promotional Copy Not For Sale' sticker on the front of the sleeve.
Germany 12" promo + press release [Rough Trade RTT146]
It appears that stock copies of the UK 12" (with Terence Stamp on the front) were mailed out to German media and/or retail with a 2-page A4 press release in German. One page shows an image of the band in which Morrissey has his arms in the air, with release identification at the top and the single's UK chart success at the bottom, as well as a Rough Trade German address stamped at the very bottom. The other page is mainly a discographical biography of the band so far, with list of personnel at the top.
Holland 7" [Ariola/Megadisc RT146/VR10802]
Early Smiths releases in Holland are the ones that are most similar to their UK equivalents, and it is never more the case than with this single. The sleeve shows Terence Stamp just like the earlier UK 7", and the back is identical to that of the latter, save for the added Megadisc/Ariola 'Made in Holland' credit. Later Dutch releases would feature Megadisc labels, but in 1984 they were still Rough Trade ones. In this particular case the label is identical to the original British pressing described above, with only the additional number VR10802 and a mention of Stemra, which manages music publishing in Holland. The only other difference is the size of the centre opening, a large one, instead of the British push-out centre.
Holland 12" [Ariola/Megadisc RTT146 (08-022832-20)]
The 12" format is based on the original British 12", so it features Terence Stamp on the cover, without the band's name. What has been observed for the 7" format also applies here, with the only difference being that the added number in this case is 08-022832-20.
Holland promo cassette [---]
A cassette featuring the three tracks from this single was mailed by Megadisc to radio stations in Holland to promote the single. It is black with a yellow label, without any mention of label or catalogue number. The cassette didn't have an insert, but was usually paired with a press release.
Japan 12" [Tokuma Japan 15RTL-4]
The "What Difference Does It Make?" single was released in Japan on 25th June 1984, the same day as the "This Charming Man" 12", and four months after the band's self titled debut album. Its obi strip is almost the same as the one around the latter single. It is of the same colour and also lists all three releases available in Japan at that point in time. The cover shows Morrissey imitating Terence Stamp, without the band's name, but with the catalogue number in small characters in the top right corner. The label is very similar to the UK one, but with a yet unseen Rough Trade logo looking like a straightened version of the rubber stamp logo. The record comes in the usual round-bottomed plastic inner sleeve. A paper insert is also included, featuring the Japanese lyrics to the title track, a photo of the band from the same session as the one used for the "This Charming Man" insert, a text signed by Yoshi Hoshina, and a special note "To dear Japan / We really love you, / MORRISSEY".
Japan 12" promo [Tokuma Japan 15RTL-4]
The promotional version of the previous item is identical to the stock one, but with two exceptions: it has the usual 3-character promo mark above 'A SIDE' on the label, and a white 'SAMPLE NOT FOR SALE' sticker in the top right corner of the sleeve.
New Zealand 7" [CBS RTANZ003]
The New Zealand " What Difference Does It Make?" 7" was given the same catalogue number as its Australian counterpart, which misleads many collectors in thinking that what they may have is an Australian pressing. However the New Zealand 7" is different to the Australian one in both label and sleeve. The labels are green with a red silhouette of a man in bowler hat and a red 'shatterered' Rough Trade logo. Even though New Zealand 7" labels never state the country of origin, they are still recognizable by the ridge in the vinyl all around the label. This particular New Zealand 7" comes in a generic orange/peach CBS sleeve and was pressed and very small numbers.
New Zealand 12" [CBS RTANZ12002]
The Australian and New Zealand 12"s are even more often confused for one another than their 7" equivalents are, mainly because both come in the same picture sleeve of Morrissey mocking Terence Stamp, with Australian credits. However, one only needs to pull the records out of their sleeves to find that the labels differ in a similar way to how the 7" labels did. The Australian 12" record has a beige label with brown text while the New Zealand record has the usual green label with red man silhouette, without the 'Made in Australia' credit. The record is slipped inside a thin plastic inner sleeve with a round bottom just like in Australia. This is a particularly rare item for a commercial one.
New Zealand 7" promo [CBS RTANZ003]
New Zealand promo 7"s are stock copies with a white rectangle 'For promotional use only not for resale' sticker over the label on side B.
New Zealand 12" promo [CBS RTANZ12002]
The New Zealand promo 12" is a stock copy with a 'demonstration' sticker on its label.
Portugal 12" [Transmedia TM/RT146]
The sleeve of the Smiths' debut single in Portugal shows Morrissey on the front, without the band's name. The back and label are very similar to their UK counterparts, with minor local variations for label and catalogue numbers. The Rough Trade logo is the cursive one. This item, like most Portuguese Smiths singles, was pressed in very small numbers.
Spain 12" [Nuevos Medios 41-086M]
Spain is one of the few countries that systematically followed the UK release pattern, but bar a few exceptions, the singles were only released there on 12" format. The front of the sleeve of this particular 12" shows Morrissey, without the band's name. The label is in the same shade of blue than in the UK. It also features the same cursive Rough Trade logo, with the strange Nuevos Medios logo added over the band's name.
USA 7" [Sire 9 29239-7]
The first of very few Smiths singles to get a release in the United States came out approximately at the same time as the band's eponymous debut album. Its cover shows Morrissey, with band name. The sleeve is rounded at the top, outwards at the front and inwards at the back, creating an opening from which is it easier to reach the record. Like most American Smiths 7" singles, it is unfortunately made of very thin paper so there are very few copies in circulation that have not been creased or ripped at the top edge. The label is the usual yellow Sire one.
USA 7" promo [Sire 9 29239-7]
The only differences between the stock 7"s and the promo ones are the words "promotion not for sale" added to the yellow Sire label at the one o'clock position, and the fact that the title track appears on both sides of the record. Nothing on the sleeve marks this as a promo.
USA 12" promo [Sire PRO-A-2136]
This item served to promote the band's debut album. Details are found in the collectors appendix of the latter release.
USA 10" acetate for the 7"
Warner Bros 10" acetate for the 7" single. Comes with a photocopy of the label.