Tempted (Squeeze song)
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Artwork for original UK vinyl single
|Single by Squeeze|
|from the album East Side Story|
|Released||10 July 1981 (UK)|
|Genre||Pop rock, blue eyed soul, new wave|
|Length||4:04 (album version)|
3:53 (US single edit)
4:07 (Tempted '94)
|Songwriter(s)||Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford|
|Producer(s)||Roger Bechirian & Elvis Costello|
|Squeeze singles chronology|
"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." The song later became ingrained in public consciousness due to its use in commercials by Burger King and Heineken, film soundtracks like that of Reality Bites (which featured a 1994 rerecording), and the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (on the in-game radio station Emotion 98.3, and subsequently on the real-world CD, vol. 3, of the game soundtrack), and Rock Band. To this day, "Tempted" still gets moderate airplay from classic hits, classic rock and adult alternative-formatted radio stations.
Unlike other Squeeze songs, which are usually sung by guitarist/songwriter Glenn Tilbrook or less often by 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 Difford and Tilbrook.
Singer/guitarist Chris Difford wrote the song's lyrics while the band was taking a taxi to Heathrow Airport. The descriptions of the city and airport sights are interspersed with the narrator's ruminations on a relationship that is failing, or has failed, due to his own infidelities.
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."
"Tempted" has been covered numerous times, including versions by Sting, OK Go, H Factor, Richard Thompson, Joe Cocker, Mickey Thomas, The Georgetown Chimes, Rockapella, Rita Coolidge and Jenny Morris. 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.
In 2019, the song has been re-recorded by Erykah Badu.
- "Tempted" (4:04)
- "Yap Yap Yap" (4:13)
7" (US release)
- "Tempted" (3:53)
- "Trust" (1:45)