You're in a Bad Way

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"You're in a Bad Way"
You're in a Bad Way.jpg
Single by Saint Etienne
from the album So Tough
B-side "Archway People", "California Snow Story", "Duke Duvet"
Released 1 February 1993 (1993-02-01)
Format 12" vinyl, cassette, CD
Recorded 1992-1993
Genre Britpop
Length 3:20
Label Heavenly - HVN 25
Warner - 9-18563
Songwriter(s) Stanley/Wiggs/Cracknell
Producer(s) Saint Etienne (Album Version)
Alan Tarney (Single Version)
Saint Etienne singles chronology
"You're in a Bad Way"
"Hobart Paving"
"You're in a Bad Way"
"Hobart Paving"

"You're in a Bad Way" is a song by British pop group Saint Etienne. It appears on their 1993 album So Tough and was released as a single the same year.

The song is a deliberately old-fashioned throwback to 1960s pop music. In an interview with Melody Maker magazine, Bob Stanley claims that it was written in ten minutes as a simple imitation of Herman's Hermits, and was only intended to be a B-side to "Everlasting", but the record company decided that it should be a single.[1] "Everlasting" was dropped as a single and remained unreleased until it was eventually included on disc 2 on the deluxe edition of So Tough in 2009.

The album version of the song begins with a sample from the film Billy Liar (1963):[1] "A man could lose himself in London. Lose himself. Lose himself. Lose himself in London!" The lyrics describe a man who is depressed and has ceased to care for himself - the singer tells him "jeans are old and your hair's all wrong / Don't you know that crewcuts and trainers are out again?" The singer invites him to "Just dial my number or call my name". It also makes reference to "watching Bruce on the old Generation Game", which led to the song being self-mockingly described as "the one about Bruce Forsyth" in the sleevenotes to the compilation Too Young to Die – Singles 1990–1995.

On the CD single (but not the other formats), pieces of dialogue follow each track to segue into the next. Between "You're In a Bad Way" and "Archway People", there is a sample of dialogue from the film Brighton Rock (1947) spoken by Richard Attenborough.[2] The third b-side, "Duke Duvet" is based on a drum break from "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode, and concludes with a comic monologue called "Spong-Bake" written by Christopher Morris.[3]


"You're in a Bad Way" was one of the group's biggest hits, reaching #12 on the UK Singles Chart.[4] In Iceland the song reached #26.[5] The single, produced by Alan Tarney, is different from the version on the UK edition of So Tough, with a "brighter" arrangement featuring chimes and an alternate vocal for the last chorus. The US and Australian editions of "So Tough" use the single version of the track.

There are two videos for the song. One is a low-budget production featuring split-screen photography of the band performing in a blank space and wearing restrained 60s attire. The other is more spectacular: the band performs in a stylized, garishly-coloured version of a 1960s TV show, with a scantily-clad dancers and a backdrop of retro home furnishing.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written and composed by Stanley and Wiggs; except where indicated

7" - Heavenly / HVN 25 and Cassette (HVN 25 CS)
  1. "You're in a Bad Way" (Cracknell, Stanley, Wiggs) - 3:20
  2. "Archway People" - 3:26
7" - Warner / 9-18563-7
  1. "You're in a Bad Way" (Cracknell, Stanley, Wiggs) - 3:02
  2. "California Snow Story" - 4:20
12" - Heavenly / HVN 25-12 and CD (HVN 25CD)
  1. "You're in a Bad Way" (Cracknell, Stanley, Wiggs) - 3:20
  2. "Archway People" - 3:26
  3. "California Snow Story" - 4:20
  4. "Duke Duvet" - 3:09
CD - Warner / PRO-CD-5948
  1. "You're in a Bad Way" (Cracknell, Stanley, Wiggs) - 3:08
  2. "You're in a Bad Way" (Alternative Mix) (Cracknell, Stanley, Wiggs) - 2:43
  3. "St. Etienne Speaks..." - 9:17 ("St. Etienne Speaks... The truth and trauma in their own words behind England's dukes and duchess of pop!")


Chart (1993) Peak
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[6] 66
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40) 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 12


  1. ^ a b "You're In A Bad Way". Saint Etienne Heaven. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Archway People". Saint Etienne Heaven. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Duke Duvet". Saint Etienne Heaven. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Chart Stats - Saint Etienne". Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  5. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (09.04.1993-15.04.1993)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  6. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. February 27, 1993. Retrieved March 23, 2018. 

External links[edit]