Black Coffee in Bed

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"Black Coffee in Bed"
Single by Squeeze
from the album Sweets from a Stranger
Released 9 April 1982 (UK)
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1981
Genre Rock, new wave
Length 6:12
Label A&M
Writer(s) Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook
Producer(s) Squeeze & Phil McDonald
Squeeze singles chronology
"Messed Around"
"Black Coffee in Bed"
"When the Hangover Strikes"

"Black Coffee in Bed" was the first single released from Squeeze's fifth album, Sweets from a Stranger.


Chris Difford stated, "[t]he lyric was inspired by my picking up my notebook one day and seeing a coffee stain on it, which inspired the first line. It was a very vivid image for me and inspired this song of loss and regret."[1] Difford also said that "lyrically it was attractive to [a country] kind of metre. The fact that Glenn put a soul melody to it shows the unique quality of our writing." [1]

A music video, which Difford said showed the band "look[ing] totally out of place and not credible at all," was directed by Steve Barron (notable for directing Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" video.)[1] The video for the song implies that Chris Difford played the guitar solo, when it was in fact performed by Glenn Tilbrook. The video also implies that the backing vocals were performed by members of Squeeze, but backing vocals on "Black Coffee in Bed" were actually performed by guests Paul Young and Elvis Costello. Glenn Tillbrook stated that "[t]he backing vocals by Elvis [Costello] and Paul Young were the icing on the cake."[1]


Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that Sweets from a Stranger peaked "with the sublime "Black Coffee in Bed" -- a post-breakup tune that could have easily slid onto East Side Story."[2]

Chris Difford stated, "We always thought we recorded [the song] too slow," and Glenn Tillbrook said, "It could never be a fast song, but it certainly had the opportunity to be slightly perkier."[1]

Chart performance[edit]

When the song was released as a single, it peaked at #51 on the UK Singles Chart, as well as #103 in America (and #26 on the Mainstream rock chart.) The single was the only one from Sweets from a Stranger to chart.

At the time of its release it was the longest Squeeze track ever issued, and it remains the only 7" Squeeze single over six minutes long (the 12" single version of "Last Time Forever", released in 1985, exceeds "Black Coffee in Bed" in length by 11 seconds).

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Black Coffee in Bed" (6:12)
  2. "The Hunt" (3:52)


  1. ^ a b c d e Tillbrook, Glenn; Difford, Chris; Drury, Jim. Squeeze: Song by Song. Sanctuary. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Sweets from a Stranger".