Should I Stay or Should I Go
|"Should I Stay or Should I Go"|
|Single by The Clash|
|from the album Combat Rock|
|Released||10 June 1982|
|The Clash singles chronology|
|The Clash reissued singles chronology|
"Should I Stay or Should I Go" is a song by the English punk rock band the Clash, from their album Combat Rock. It was written in 1981 and featured Mick Jones on lead vocals. It became the band's only number-one single on the UK Singles Chart, a decade after it was originally released. In November 2004, it was ranked at 228 on "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list. In 2009 it was ranked 42nd on VH1's program 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.
Many rumours have arisen about the song's content, such as Jones' impending dismissal from the Clash or the tempestuous personal relationship between Jones and American singer Ellen Foley. Should I Stay Or Should I Go' was thought to be written by Jones about Foley, who sang the backing vocals on Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell LP. However, Jones himself said:
It wasn't about anybody specific and it wasn't pre-empting my leaving The Clash. It was just a good rockin' song, our attempt at writing a classic ... When we were just playing, that was the kind of thing we used to like to play. – Mick Jones, 1991
On the spur of the moment I said 'I'm going to do the backing vocals in Spanish' ... We needed a translator so Eddie Garcia, the tape operator, called his mother in Brooklyn Heights and read her the lyrics over the phone and she translated them. But Eddie and his mum are Ecuadorian, so it's Ecuadorian Spanish that me and Joe Ely are singing on the backing vocals. – Joe Strummer, 1991
The single was reissued several times. It was first reissued in 1982, with a different cover as a double A-side with "Straight to Hell" and with "Cool Confusion" as its B-side. It was reissued again in 1983, with "First Night Back in London" on side two, and then for a third time in 1991, with "Rush" by Mick Jones' group Big Audio Dynamite II as a double A-side, with a remix of "Rush" as its B-side (see the table below).
Live recording of the song was released as a part of the album, Live at Shea Stadium, which featured a concert on 13 October 1982 in New York. The song's music video from that performance was included in DVD The Clash Live: Revolution Rock. Both disks were released on 6 October 2008.
|1982||CBS logo etched into vinyl||45 rpm 7" vinyl||Epic ENR-03571||USA||One Sided Single - Epic's Get the Hit - Special Low Price|
|1982||"Cool Confusion"||45 rpm 12" vinyl||Epic 07 5P-223||JP||—|
|1982||"Straight to Hell" (Edit)||45 rpm 12" vinyl||CBS CBS A13 2646||UK||—|
|1982||"Straight to Hell" (Edit)||45 rpm 7" vinyl||CBS CBS AII 2646||UK||Picture disc|
|1982||"Inoculated City"||45 rpm 7" vinyl||Epic 14-03006||USA||10 June 1982|
|1982||"First Night Back in London"||45 rpm 7" vinyl||Epic 34-03061||USA||Released on 20 July 1982|
|1982||"Straight to Hell"||45 rpm 7" vinyl||CBS CBS A 2646||UK||Released on 17 September 1982|
|1983||"Cool Confusion"||45 rpm 7" vinyl||Epic 34-03547||USA||Released on 27 January 1983|
|1991||45 rpm 12" vinyl||CBS / Sony||UK||A-side|
In popular culture
- The song was used in a Levi's jeans commercial in 1991 and was reissued as a single, which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.
- One Direction's 2012 hit single, "Live While We're Young", was accused of plagiarising the song's opening guitar riff, which caused controversy.
- The song is featured in the 2014 video game Far Cry 4. The opening rift is played whenever the player accomplishes any of the game's endings, before cutting to the credits where the full song is played.
- "Should I Stay or Should I Go" was featured in the first season of the Netflix series Stranger Things. The song has shown up multiple times in the series and is a significant part of the storyline.
- "The Brexit Vote Is the Perfect Excuse to Revisit This Song by The Clash". Time. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
- Rowley, Scott (13 September 2017). "The Clash Albums Ranked From Worst To Best – The Ultimate Guide". Classic Rock. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Clash – Combat Rock". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 524–5. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (1-500)". Archived from the original on 25 October 2006.. Rolling Stone. 29 December 2004.
- "100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs". Spreadit.org. 1 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2009.
- "The Uncut Crap – Over 56 Things You Never Knew About The Clash". NME. Vol. 3. London. 16 March 1991. ISSN 0028-6362. OCLC 4213418.
'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' was written by Mick about American singer Ellen Foley, who sang the backing vocals on Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell LP.
- Clash on Broadway Box Set liner notes (Media notes). Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
- Moser, Margaret (22 May 2000). "Music: Lubbock Calling (Austin Chronicle. 05-22-00)". The Austin Chronicle. Weekly Wire. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
I ran into them accidentally in New York when they were cutting 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' and Strummer said, 'Hey, help me with my Spanish.' So me and Strummer and the Puerto Rican engineer sat down and translated the lyrics into the weirdest Spanish ever. Then we sang it all. When you listen to 'Should I Stay or Should I Go,' there's a place in the song where Mick says, 'Split.' Me and Strummer had been yelling out the Spanish background lyrics and we had snuck up behind him as he was recording. We were behind a curtain, jumped out at him in the middle of singing, and scared the shit out of him. He looks over and gives us the dirtiest look and says, 'Split!' They kept that in the final version.
- "Albums by The Clash". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 31 December 2007.
- on YouTube
- "New Live Clash Album And DVD". Ultimate-Guitar.com. 8 June 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6196." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Should I Stay or Should I Go". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "The Clash – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MARCH 26, 1983". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012.. Cash Box magazine.
- "Austriancharts.at – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Ultratop.be – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Lescharts.com – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Charts.nz – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go". VG-lista. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Swedishcharts.com – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Swisscharts.com – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "End of Year Charts 1992". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
- Zadeh, Joe (4 August 2011). "Jean Spirit: The Music Behind Levi's Adverts". Clash. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
- Bychawski, Adam (29 September 2012). "One Direction respond to claims they ripped off The Clash on 'Live While We're Young'". NME. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- Gidick, Sarah (3 August 2016). "5 Things to Know About Winona Ryder's Stylish Comeback Show, 'Stranger Things'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Reed, Ryan (1 August 2016). "Hear 'Stranger Things'-Inspired Mixtape Featuring Smiths, Clash". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Minsker, Evan (10 August 2016). "Netflix's Stranger Things Soundtrack Detailed". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 February 2017.