What Difference Does It Make?

Album: The Smiths (1984)
Charted: 12
Play Video


  • This song is about being rejected by a close friend after they find out a secret about you. Some fans believe The Smiths' front man, Morrissey, is singing about how he was snubbed by a friend after revealing that he was gay.
  • Morrissey told Following The Mozziah that he was not at all fond of this song's lyrics: "'What Difference Does It Make' is musically interesting but lyrically it is very...Simon Le Bon [Duran Duran]. I find the lyrics facile and mildly embarrassing. Otherwise it's a majestic pop melody by Johnny and, ironically, had the lyrics indeed been penned by Simon Le Bon, I would probably cover it! As it is I'd feel too ashamed."
  • The Smiths planned to use a photograph of Terrence Stamp on the set of the 1965 film, The Collector, for the single artwork. Stamp initially denied the band the use of his image, so Morrissey re-enacted the photograph instead. Stamp later changed his mind, and the original artwork was printed as planned. Those early pressings with the alternative Morrissey artwork are now very collectable.
  • This song is lifted from The Smiths' self-titled debut album, which peaked at #2 in the UK in 1984. In 2003, the album ranked at #481 on Rolling Stone magazine's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?

Real or Spinal Tap

Real or Spinal TapMusic Quiz

They sang about pink torpedoes and rocking you tonight tonight, but some real lyrics are just as ridiculous. See if you can tell which lyrics are real and which are Spinal Tap in this lyrics quiz.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Sam Phillips

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.

Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues

Justin Hayward of The Moody BluesSongwriter Interviews

Justin wrote the classic "Nights In White Satin," but his fondest musical memories are from a different decade.

Tom Johnston from The Doobie Brothers

Tom Johnston from The Doobie BrothersSongwriter Interviews

The Doobies guitarist and lead singer, Tom wrote the classics "Listen To The Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."