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The Smiths — What Difference Does It Make?
Album: Hatful Of Hollow
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2782









Released: 1984
Length: 3:03
Plays (last 30 days): 3
All men have secrets and here is mine
So let it be known
For we have been through hell and high tide
I think I can rely on you
And yet you start to recoil
Heavy words are so lightly thrown
But still I'd leap in front of a flying bullet for you

So, what difference does it make?
So, what difference does it make?
It makes none
But now you have gone
And you must be looking very old tonight

The devil will find work for idle hands to do
I stole and I lied, and why?
Because you asked me to
But now you make me feel so ashamed
Because I've only got two hands
Well, I'm still fond of you, uh-ho-ho

So, what difference does it make?
Oh, what difference does it make?
Oh, it makes none
But now you have gone
And your prejudice won't keep you warm tonight

Oh, the devil will find work for idle hands to do
I stole, and then I lied
Just because you asked me to
But now you know the truth about me
You won't see me anymore
Well, I'm still fond of you, uh-ho-ho

But no more apologies
No more apologies
Oh, I'm too tired
I'm so sick and tired
And I'm feeling very sick and ill today
But I'm still fond of you, uh-ho-ho

Oh, my sacred one
Oh...
Comments (336)add comment
'What difference does it make' if I become an insufferable and boring zenophobe?
I don't know, but he still sounds good.
 stunix wrote:
I do like the drummer.   
 
I logged on to say that this is either the best or the worst drumming I've heard in a while.  I'm just not sure which. Certainly is noticeable.
 jimmy99s wrote:
The Smiths were as good as it gets in 80s England. Anyone who says they're miserable clearly has missed the point.
 
Joe Strummer says hi.
The first song by the Smiths that I ever heard. Love.
A wonderful riff and a fantastic yet atypical "malaise love song", it's  pure Smiths.
 MilesW wrote:



But no more apologies
No more apologies
Oh, I'm too tired
I'm so sick and tired
And I'm feeling very sick and ill today

Miserable
 
He's got plenty to apologise for these days.
 jimmy99s wrote:
The Smiths were as good as it gets in 80s England. Anyone who says they're miserable clearly has missed the point.
 


But no more apologies
No more apologies
Oh, I'm too tired
I'm so sick and tired
And I'm feeling very sick and ill today

Miserable
 cbhutchinson50 wrote:


Great guitar player but I’m sorry Morrisey’s voice grates like nails on a chalkboard
 
I agree that the guitar player is frequently overlooked while Morrissey got the attention. But no one would have noticed Morrissey if not for the astonishing guitar.
The Smiths were as good as it gets in 80s England. Anyone who says they're miserable clearly has missed the point.
 jelgator wrote:
PSD'd my way through Shpongle, Eddie Vedder, Neil Young, and Radiohead.  Ahhh, this feels much better.
 
And you still think RP is the best radio station for you?
 serban.popadiuc wrote:
The Smiths should be played more. Their catalogue is unbelievably good. Not to mention Morrissey, who's "Low in High School" album is stunning. Also, his earlier work is fabulous too! 

More Smiths/Morrissey!
 

Great guitar player but I’m sorry Morrisey’s voice grates like nails on a chalkboard
 serban.popadiuc wrote:
The Smiths should be played more. Their catalogue is unbelievably good. Not to mention Morrissey, who's "Low in High School" album is stunning. Also, his earlier work is fabulous too! 

More Smiths/Morrissey!
 

The Smiths should be played more. Their catalogue is unbelievably good. Not to mention Morrissey, who's "Low in High School" album is stunning. Also, his earlier work is fabulous too! 

More Smiths/Morrissey!
Thank you, Bill for helping me choose what Smiths tracks to put in my playlist.
Good stuff.
 Grayson wrote:
Morrissey nowadays is like having to go find a relation with dementia who has wandered off from the home. Again. He sure poisoned his own damn well, and real good. 
 

Apart from that its alright then ?
Back in the 80s, I accidentally bought a Smiths CD.  I thought I was buying a Smithereens disk.   I liked it just the same and kept it.
My missus got a free ticket to the Smyth's a tribute band who's tag line is we show up more than the Smiths ever did, which says a lot really. I would have liked to see them given Morrissey wasn't there. Oh and she came home with a Gladdy...
The Smiths - the joy of anguish!
PSD'd my way through Shpongle, Eddie Vedder, Neil Young, and Radiohead.  Ahhh, this feels much better.
Morrissey nowadays is like having to go find a relation with dementia who has wandered off from the home. Again. He sure poisoned his own damn well, and real good. 
"Your prejudice won't keep you warm tonight."
God what a riff!  Super hard to play with consistency, but obviously not for Johnny Marr.
A fun blast from the past that always sounds fresh. Play more Smiths!
I've never understood the Church of Morrissey, and far too often can't handle his voice (let alone his subject matter and tone), yet Johnny Marr's guitar work occasionally pushes my annoyance aside and I find myself bopping along with a smile.
Ahh, the genius of Marr/Morrisey. 

How wonderful that veganism is ascending and Morrissey's stance is now mainstream 
 evandfitz wrote:
pretty good
 
lol
 evandfitz wrote:


pg
 
pg

Morrissey's egregious personality aside, I find his singing really, really dull. Always the same phrasing and minor third rise when he's 'improvising' on the melody. I really don't get why some people like him.
I never knew anything personally about Morrissey, which based on the info given here is a good thing.  I always thought he had a ridiculously dark, wry, sarcastic humor.  I find his lyrics funny, but if he's a jerk it kind of ruins it.  Oh well.
I own a 12inch https://www.discogs.com/The-Smiths-What-Difference-Does-It-Make-/release/8100232
with a version that I like much more than this one. Clearer, Rougher.
Morrissey has done the impossible, turned into an even bigger dick than he once was.
love this....

 

Freakin' awesome tune.  Thanks for sharing and making my day, RP!


Nice 80's set now.  
 Thanks Bill! 
 ScottishWillie wrote:
The Smiths were a band I idolised back in the day, in spite of Morrissey. However some of his comments after the Manchester terrorist attack were outrageous even for someone with a proven record of being a bampot. Best not to know anything about your hero’s!  


Politically, he's seemingly gotten more conservative of late - or at least is an admirer of Nigel Farage.  It's apparently another point of contention between he and Johnny Marr.   They made some great music though.  Hard to believe this song is 35 years old.
 ScottishWillie wrote:

The Smiths were a band I idolised back in the day, in spite of Morrissey. However some of his comments after the Manchester terrorist attack were outrageous even for someone with a proven record of being a bampot. Best not to know anything about your hero’s! 



 
He's got feet of clay, right enough, which he keeps putting in his mouth. A great songwriter, but an awful prick of a man.

The Smiths were a band I idolised back in the day, in spite of Morrissey. However some of his comments after the Manchester terrorist attack were outrageous even for someone with a proven record of being a bampot. Best not to know anything about your hero’s! 


Ace tune but not done justice by this version
This song takes on greater meaning for me because I just finished reading Johnny Marr's autobiograph. A great read about following one's passion to wherever it leads. Marr is one of the most diversely talented guitarists in history, and to think it all started here...
Fond memories being in UK at the time The Smiths were playing in Oxford.
Amazing band and tune.......
Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh 

Please stop this noise 
Mark Twain said that Wagner was better than it sounds. Smiths songs would be so much better without Morrissey's dreadful yodelling.
Back when Morrissey was a knob head who mattered. Good memories. Miserable music done well.
 LowPhreak wrote:

{#Roflol}

 
Twice in one day is barely enough
 springof63 wrote:
The Smiths - twice In one day. Why?

 
{#Roflol}
                    I 'm relieved, that all men have secrets
                    He said '' But now you know the truth''
                  Otherwise I had to be one who had to lie
                     Now I'm glad he let it his be known
The Smiths - twice In one day. Why? (never is too often for me) PSD - i can't stand 'em..
 Proclivities wrote:

Fun Boy 3 was also from the 1980s.  It would be good to have some of their tunes here.

 
Oh yeah, I agree, agree, agree, broaden your palette, anything with Terry Hall in fact.
 stunix wrote:
I do like the drummer.   

 
panic on louder than bombs is also a strong drumming
Smiths are eternal !!!
 Baby_M wrote:
Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign song!

 

 

{#High-five}


 jsed wrote:
Look, The Smiths evoke some strong reactions.  I get it.  Many times I just want Morrisey to shut up.  But when I peel back the Morrisey lyric I am always struck by the Johnny Marr guitar and the Andy Rourke bass.  Their arrangement and sound is unique, it's complex and well played.  Marr and Rourke were a pretty special pair.

 
You are ignoring Mike Joyce.
 Zep wrote:

Try a chronological approach, and start with Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, or Bob Wills. 

 
Or dig up and album from pretty much any country song in the RP Library. :)
I do like the drummer.   
favorite song by the Smiths—-but there is a better version, yes?
And I'm still fond of this...:)
 arlvatom wrote:
I'm soo tired, sick and ill of the 80s.  How about some Fun Boy 3.
 
Fun Boy 3 was also from the 1980s.  It would be good to have some of their tunes here.
More Morrissey and Jonny Marr please...
 
 Baby_M wrote:
Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign song!

 
Her and Jeb must have flipped a coin.
Look, The Smiths evoke some strong reactions.  I get it.  Many times I just want Morrisey to shut up.  But when I peel back the Morrisey lyric I am always struck by the Johnny Marr guitar and the Andy Rourke bass.  Their arrangement and sound is unique, it's complex and well played.  Marr and Rourke were a pretty special pair.
 I must be being punished my Gods of RP for my recent Coldplay comment because as soon as I turn the sound back on... Morrissey. DOH! 
Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign song!
 arlvatom wrote:
I'm soo tired, sick and ill of the 80s.  How about some Fun Boy 3.
 
The more that I see, the less I believe. 
 
 kcar wrote:
My knowledge of country music is so scant it's measured by the thimble, but I get the impression that the industry goes through phases of change that force the old generation to disappear entirely to make room for the new stars. Other musical genres do the same thing, but it seems more pronounced and engendered by record labels in country than in other styles. 

Am I completely wrong, oldfart48? Can you recommend any particular "real country" artists? 
 
Try a chronological approach, and start with Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, or Bob Wills. 
 oldfart48 wrote:

if you ever get to hear real country , lnstead of the recycled 80's crap Nashville produces you may think differently. go back to the early days . before the phoney strings took over.

 
My knowledge of country music is so scant it's measured by the thimble, but I get the impression that the industry goes through phases of change that force the old generation to disappear entirely to make room for the new stars. Other musical genres do the same thing, but it seems more pronounced and engendered by record labels in country than in other styles. 

Am I completely wrong, oldfart48? Can you recommend any particular "real country" artists? 
I'm soo tired, sick and ill of the 80s.  How about some Fun Boy 3.
 

 
Best version of this song, in my humble opinion.  Great drums, always-beautiful-Byrdsy guitar from JM!! {#Clap}
 Proclivities wrote:
morrissey

 
Nice pastiche! Mind you, the flying bullet line I've always taken as seriously tongue in cheek and sarcastic,
 carlos65 wrote:
Morrisey may be a complete and utter knob, but I for one have never paid any attention to his utterings. The music speaks for itself, great stuff.  Johnny Marr should stick to the guitar and keep his mouth firmly shut too.

 
Yep, I'll second that. Morrissey is a great songwriter, Marr a great guitarist. Together they were greater than the sum of their parts, apart they're less. Neither has reached the zenith that they achieved with The Smiths. Morrissey is an awful gobshite with some dubious views, and it's a continuing mystery to me why he's become such a poster boy for middle-aged menopausal men, but that can all be ignored and his songs enjoyed in their own right. This song was on the very first Smiths album, which I had ages ago and played the grooves out of before having to sell it due to being skint (a sadly frequent occurrence in my life).
 oldfart48 wrote:

if you ever get to hear real country , lnstead of the recycled 80's crap Nashville produces you may think differently. go back to the early days . before the phoney strings took over.

 
There is some great country/folk music out there. Part of Rock'n'Roll's roots. but not Garth Brooks, dead dogs or shooting the juke box, if you please.


Morrisey may be a complete and utter knob, but I for one have never paid any attention to his utterings. The music speaks for itself, great stuff.  Johnny Marr should stick to the guitar and keep his mouth firmly shut too.
 rdo wrote:

{#Cheers} Country music sucks.  America is great.  So is Australia, by the way.

 
if you ever get to hear real country , lnstead of the recycled 80's crap Nashville produces you may think differently. go back to the early days . before the phoney strings took over.
I need a "Smiths" filter on my RP.{#Beat}
This is just fantastic! Outstanding actually.
This is just tiresome ...
 not really...they stay quite busy.   Very nice outro     Krakus wrote:

"Devil will find work for idle hands to do."  I bet this statement scares a lot of children in Utah!



 



"Devil will find work for idle hands to do."  I bet this statement scares a lot of children in Utah!


 sirdroseph wrote:


This photo is extremely disturbing on so many levels, please to not post anymore.

 
Issues?
Always have time to listen to this mighty tune courtesy of the The Smiths!
So unlike The Smiths, it can only be The Smiths.
 (former member) wrote:


We be dancing...  love it...



 

 

This photo is extremely disturbing on so many levels, please to not post anymore.
There are some days when RP lays down such riveting grooves that I can't leave the house, let alone, leave this cherry spot between the cranking speakers!  This is one of them!  Bravo, Bill! and Thanks!

"What difference does it make?"  Didn't somebody say that not that long ago?  I'm trying to remember.
Such a great, great LP!  So good to hear a Smiths song other than "How soon is now"....
 Rockit wrote:
Romeo is that you with the Potato in your pants?
 
I have been saved!  Love this song...
 
 Proclivities wrote:

This song pre-dates any recordings by Chris Isaak.
 
Cousins in angst, separated at birth. At least Morrissey whines about more than heartbreak. 
plus 1 {#Biggrin}
 
they are poets of a modetrn age, and the voice is not always the most important thing to consider. Don't forget to check out Jake Bugg if you are looking for similar up and coming talent...19 and has a big future ahead of him
ScottishWillie wrote:
I realise that likes of Neil Young, Dylan and Morrisey all rub up a certain type of person the wrong way because they don’t sing conventionally. However isn’t this like saying Picasso is rubbish because he cant draw realistic heads. Personal I’d rather see artists express themselves creatively rather than restricting performance to individually who can sing “Perfectly”.
 


 Paul_in_Australia wrote:
It might be a nice piece of writing, but the logic is not nice at all. "I think the reason the rest of you (you being non Americans) don't choose to like Country is that country comes from our country, the United States of America, and not from your country, some other place. "

Utter tosh. The reason I don't like country music is that 90% of it cloying, sentimental gloop, bereft of authenticity and presented in a way that jars with my taste buds. It is an issue of taste, not nationality. Nationality is a matter of fact, taste is a matter of opinion. Once we start listening to music on the grounds of national origin, it is a short step to fascism. You would know you live in a fascist state as you would see national flags everywhere, and externally originated ideas would be trashed, and xenophobes would start appealing to the nationalist streak, talking sentimentally about 'this great country' and constrasting how great 'our country is' and how it is under threat from 'other countries.' The antidote to this is the free exchange of ideas, so I'm glad to hear a little country on RP, and I hope that I can learn to enjoy the 10% of country music that is acceptable to me, and that we can all share in the joy of music, wherever it comes from...
 
{#Cheers} Country music sucks.  America is great.  So is Australia, by the way.
I realise that likes of Neil Young, Dylan and Morrisey all rub up a certain type of person the wrong way because they don’t sing conventionally. However isn’t this like saying Picasso is rubbish because he cant draw realistic heads. Personal I’d rather see artists express themselves creatively rather than restricting performance to individuals who can sing “Perfectly”.
 bluejay08003 wrote:
I like this version, but it's "flatter" than the studio version off of their first album. 
 
Now, I like this version, but I also like the studio version. There's only one way to sort this out... FIIIIIIGHT!
 bluejay08003 wrote:
I like this version, but it's "flatter" than the studio version off of their first album. 
 
it's also played at a faster tempo
I like this version, but it's "flatter" than the studio version off of their first album. 
 smackiepipe wrote:
Sounds like he's channeling Chris Isaak at the end of that thing.
 
This song pre-dates any recordings by Chris Isaak.
 fredriley wrote:

? Erm, he wrote it. Unless it's an unknown cover.

 
(with his voice)
Romeo is that you with the Potato in your pants?


We be dancing...  love it...



 
Hatful of Hollow, 1984
 ovidiu wrote:
Praising a good pair of headphones that allow me for the first time to hear the fast drumming in this piece
 
{#Music}
Sounds like he's channeling Chris Isaak at the end of that thing.
Praising a good pair of headphones that allow me for the first time to hear the fast drumming in this piece
Morrisey is for me the male equivalent of Natalie Merchant with his monotone vocalizing - here except for the falsetto in the end.

I think the musicians are excellent, and I think they clearly struck a nerve with the young listeners in both the UK and US at the time for which I give them props.

I am the great defender of the non pitch perfect singer songwriters on this site so I can't be too harsh on the band, but that doesn't mean I have to put them up with the likes of Waits, Neil Young, Costello, Radiohead, Pearl Jam or Dylan - geniuses (IMHO) who get flogged here for the vocals.
everyone seems to love The Smiths, and earlier today everyone was slagging off the '74 version of the Floyds Shine on.   

Im not mad, everybody else is!
 evermovingtarget wrote:
One of the most annoying vocals of all time. The only good part of this song is right at the end, exactly where it ends.

 
Dead on.  Actually, anything with Morrissey makes me ill.
 Tippster wrote:

Hatful of Hollow is mostly BBC1 radio sessions... so "Live."
Johnny Marr is a Guitar God.
 
Cool!!  Thanks for the tip... I'll look into acquiring it... : )
 Tippster wrote:
The original version is better.
 
I like this version, but I do prefer the first one I'd heard, as well.
The Smiths in their Prime!
 hencini wrote:
This sounds like a different version from what I'm used to hearing (which I never really liked much, although I love these guys).  Anyway, I like this one quite a bit more.  : )
 
Hatful of Hollow is mostly BBC1 radio sessions... so "Live."
Johnny Marr is a Guitar God.


Another outstanding Smiths song. 

Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...


 
The Smiths were magical.
This sounds like a different version from what I'm used to hearing (which I never really liked much, although I love these guys).  Anyway, I like this one quite a bit more.  : )


I'll dance to this...

 
I'm still fond of you.
one of the greatest compliments I ever got..A fan once said I was his 2nd fav. guitar player of Johnny Marr..I'll take that anyday


We be dancing... love it...

 
I don't know what it is about this song... I have and always have had a deep and enduring dislike for The Smith right from their first records in 1983.  Even constant exposure to them from a friend when we were in the Soviet Union for three months in 1987 didnt change my mind.  And yet I absolutely love this song and have done since I first heard it a quarter of a century ago. Go figure.

 evermovingtarget wrote:
One of the most annoying vocals of all time. The only good part of this song is right at the end, exactly where it ends.

 

Wow - this from a Dylan fan?