It was the second of three UK singles from the band's last studio album Strangeways, Here We Come, and was released after the band had announced their split. The record company had originally intended to release "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" as a single in the UK but felt this would be inappropriate following the Hungerford massacre (the lyrics contain a reference to "mass murder").
"Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" was still released as a single in other countries, but its promotional video—which featured Morrissey plus a large number of Morrissey lookalikes—was used in the UK to promote "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish".
The track features an outtake during the fade-out at the end, with Morrissey asking "Okay Stephen [Street, the producer] shall we do that one again?"
The cover of the single features actress Avril Angers in a film still from the 1966 film The Family Way (the film is also the source of the photograph on the cover of the single "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before).
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Etchings on vinyl
British 7" and 12": "MURDER AT THE WOOL HALL"(X)STARRING SHERIDAN WHITESIDE / YOU ARE BELIEVING, YOU DO NOT WANT TO SLEEP
The Wool Hall was the recording studio in Bath where The Smiths had recorded their latest album Strangeways, Here We Come, but it also was where Morrissey, at the time of this single's release, was recording his first solo album Viva Hate. One of Morrissey's pseudonyms, Sheridan Whiteside is the title role in the play The Man Who Came to Dinner. The B-side etching is a reversal of "You are sleeping, you do not want to believe", a sample heard at the end of the Smiths song "Rubber Ring".
|UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)||23|
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