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Stop Me
single by The Smiths
B-side "I Keep Mine Hidden"
Released 1987
Format CD, Vinyl
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:32 minutes
Label Sire Records (U.S.)
Writer(s) Morrissey, Johnny Marr
Simon Le Bon cover song

"Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" is a 1987 song by The Smiths. The song has been performed by Simon Le Bon in concert.

About the song[]

The Smiths' song, written by the usual combination of Morrissey and Johnny Marr, came out on the group's 1987 album Strangeways, Here We Come.

The track bears rather striking structural similarities to the song Frankenstein off the album New York Dolls by the New York Dolls. For example, both have a "chugging" style drumbeat and a similar rising chordal cadence (played on the guitar) as their introduction, the chordal progressions through out the songs are similar and both share almost identical closing instrumental lead guitar riffs. As Morrissey used to be head of the Dolls' UK fan club, it is likely that the similarities between the two tracks is not coincidental. There would then be an added irony to the title of the song, as it could be interpretated as referring to listeners, telling them to stop Morrissey if they think they've heard the song before, this meaning lying over the line's contextual significance as part of the lyrics as a whole.

Cover versions[]

Mark Ronson:
In 2007, the song was re-composed by Mark Ronson with additional lyrics from the song "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes using the voice of Daniel Merriweather as the lead. Merriweather admitted in an interview with The Guardian that he was not very familiar with "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One" before he recorded Mark Ronson's revised version. He explained: "Mark said, 'I want you to sing on this - it's my favourite Smiths song,' so I listened to it. I'd heard it once before, but I was never a Smiths fan. But I thought it was beautiful." The song itself stems from five interpretations of pre-existing remixes known as Chicken Lips remix, Chicken Lips remix dub, Dirty South remix and Dirty South remix dub, as well as the original song itself -- the majority of the interpretation from the chicken lips remix. The song was later released as a single on 2 April 2007 with the record label, Columbia Records with the shortened name "Stop Me", and featured on the compilation album Version. The music video, released at the same time as the song, features a man who finds a pair of trainers that control him and force him to run down a motorway. This version was released in the USA. The international version involve people crying animated tears, causing some small floods. Live versions such as Mark Ronson / Stu Zender featuring Merriweather - Stop Me (Conan O'Brien, NBC, 2007.07.12) have been televised, among others (BBC Radio 1, Jimmy Kimmel Live).

After release, the single reached number two in the UK Singles Chart, number one in the UK Download Chart and gained considerable praise and reference, as well as controversy from loyal Smiths fans despite its chart success being the highest ever UK chart position for a Smiths song. The music review site, Thisisfake DIY, gave the single a 5-star rating, citing that its popularity stemmed from its abstraction from a typical Smiths song, resembling a "sweeping, orchestral pop song with horns to boot ... soulful, evocative vocals ... a stirring mix". This song was #80 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007.

After the win and performance of Ronson at the 2008 edition of the Brit Awards, Stop Me climbed as high as number 31 in the iTunes Top 100 and re-entered the UK Top 75 Singles chart at number 51.

Simon Le Bon:
Simon Le Bon performed Mark Ronson's version at the Smirnoff Experience Concert in Paris, France on 2 July 2008, with Daniel Merriweather on Mark Ronson & the Version Players' set. A recording is available on the unofficial album Experience Paris.

Track listing[]

  • CD-Maxi
  1. "Stop Me"
  2. "Stop Me" (A Chicken Lips Malfunction)
  3. "Stop Me" (Dirty South remix)
  4. "No One Knows"
  • CD-Single
  1. "Stop Me"
  2. "No One Knows"
  • 10" Vinyl
  1. "Stop Me"
  2. "No One Knows"