Tempted (Squeeze song)

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Single by Squeeze
from the album East Side Story
Released 10 July 1981 (UK)
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1981
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:04 (album version)
3:53 (US single edit)
4:07 (Tempted '94)
Label A&M
Writer(s) Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford
Producer(s) Roger Bechirian & Elvis Costello
Squeeze singles chronology
"Is That Love"
"Labelled With Love"

"Tempted" was the second single released from Squeeze's fourth album, East Side Story. Over the years it has become one of Squeeze's best-known songs, despite failing to crack the Top 40 in any country in which it was released (UK No. 41, Canada No. 45, US No. 49, Australia No. 90); Stewart Mason of AllMusic remarked, "Although its increasing ubiquity on '80s hits radio and on television (it was used in a successful clothing commercial in 2003) would suggest otherwise, Squeeze's "Tempted" was not actually a hit single."[1] The song later became ingrained in public consciousness due to its use in commercials by Burger King and Heineken,[2] and the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the radio station Emotion 98.3 and Rock Band. To this day, "Tempted" still gets moderate airplay from adult alternative-formatted radio stations.

Unlike other Squeeze songs, which are usually sung by guitarist/songwriter Glenn Tilbrook or less often guitarist/lyricist Chris Difford, the song's lead vocal is sung by keyboardist Paul Carrack, though Tilbrook and producer Elvis Costello also trade a few lines in the second verse (in the video and during live performances Difford sings the Costello parts; since Carrack's departure, Tilbrook has sung the lead vocal as well as his own original lines when live). The song was written by Squeeze members Difford and Tilbrook.


Tilbrook considers this one of his favourite songs: "It was our first song. It was when we grew up, really, as a band. When we finished it I couldn't quite believe it was us."[2]

"Tempted" has been covered numerous times, including versions by Sting, OK Go, Richard Thompson, Joe Cocker, The Georgetown Chimes, and Rockapella. Jools Holland also covered this song on his album Lift The Lid, which was a nod to Jools' history with the band.

In 1993, Squeeze remixed and overdubbed the original recording to create a 'new' version of the song for the soundtrack to the film Reality Bites. This version received some radio airplay and was dubbed "Tempted '94."

In 2010, the song appeared in re-recorded form on Spot the Difference, a retrospective of Squeeze hits performed by the 2010 edition of the band. Though Carrack was no longer a member of Squeeze at this point, he sat in as a guest and sang lead vocals on this re-recorded track.

Track listing[edit]


  1. "Tempted" (4:04)
  2. "Yap Yap Yap" (4:13)

7" (US release)[edit]

  1. "Tempted" (3:53)
  2. "Trust" (1:45)


  1. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Tempted" review. AllMusic. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b Tempted by Squeeze. Songfacts. Retrieved 8 November 2012.