You’re in a Bad Way

“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 – The Singles.

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]

Pale Movie

“Pale Movie” is a song by British pop group Saint Etienne from the album Tiger Bay. It was released as a single in February 1994, and reached #28 in the UK Singles Charts. It also became a hit in other countries, reaching number 1 in Lebanon.[citation needed]

In common with the folk music theme of the Tiger Bay album, “Pale Movie” combines a Eurodance beat with Spanish folk-style guitars. The lyrics use surreal imagery to describe a man’s love for a mysterious woman. Although the title is not sung, some of the words refer to cinema: “In the bed where they make love / She’s in a film on the sheets. / He shows dreams like a movie, / She’s the softness of cinema seats.” Other lines are stranger: “her skin as white as the milk, / Just like a Sherpa Tenzing / under a Manila silk.”

In an interview with Melody Maker magazine, keyboard player Pete Wiggs said that he considers the song “potentially brilliant” but “a bit of a failure”; he feels that the band “stuck too rigidly to our folk idea”. He also adds that they only chose Spanish guitar so that they could go to Spain for the video [1] (the video for the song features the band riding around the countryside of Nerja,[citation needed] Spain on scooters).

The cover art for the single features photographs of swimming tigers, presumably in reference to the album title.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

“Only Love Can Break Your Heart” is a song written by Neil Young. It has been covered by many bands, including a 1990 single by Saint Etienne.

The song is the third track on Neil Young’s album After the Gold Rush. The song was supposedly written for Graham Nash after Nash’s split from Joni Mitchell,[1] though Young in interviews has been somewhat tentative in admitting or remembering this.[2] Released as a single in October 1970, it became Young’s first top 40 hit as a solo artist, peaking at number 33 in the U.S.[3] The single was issued with a Crazy Horse version of “Birds” (rather than the solo piano version of the album) on the B-side, apparently accidentally.[4] The song is praised as a “seemingly simple song which display[s] considerable attention to detail in the deployment of instruments.”[5]

In 1990, English band Saint Etienne recorded a cover version of the song, included on their debut album Foxbase Alpha. The vocals are by Moira Lambert, as Sarah Cracknell had not yet joined the band as a permanent member.[8] The band recorded the song in producer Ian Catt’s bedroom studio in Pollards Hill.[9] The recording, made in under two hours, got them a record deal, their first single, and their first hit.[10] Andrew Weatherall later remixed the song, further emphasising its dub bassline: this remix, subtitled “A Mix of Two Halves” (duration 8:49), was featured on both releases of the single and on the compilation Casino Classics. The U.S. and European releases contained a different extended mix by Flowered Up (duration 6:19), issued in the UK only on a flexidisc, though it was mistakenly listed as the “Mix of Two Halves”. Weatherall had no involvement with this mix.
The song was re-released in the UK as a double A-side with the track “Filthy”, peaking at number 39 in the UK Singles Chart.[11] The song remains Saint Etienne’s only entry in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 97 in 1992. It did, however, top the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. The U.S. b-side to the single was the Foxbase Alpha album track “Stoned to Say the Least.” In 2003, Vibe listed Masters at Work’s remix of the song as one of the “Top 25 remixes ever created.”[12]
Two videos were released for the single. The original version is mostly in black and white and depicts Lucy from early 90s pop trio Golden miming the vocals (Lambert refused to appear in the video).[13] The second features Cracknell miming to Lambert’s vocals and depicts the band entering a cinema in a small French town where they see themselves in a movie.

Nothing Can Stop Us (song)

“Nothing Can Stop Us” is the third single by Saint Etienne. Released by Heavenly Records in 1991, it is the first release to feature Sarah Cracknell, who would continue to front the band from this release on. “Nothing Can Stop Us” reached the number one spot on the American dance charts for one week.[1] The song is based on a looped sample from Dusty Springfield’s recording of “I Can’t Wait Until I See My Baby’s Face”.

“Nothing Can Stop Us” was released as a double A side with “Speedwell”. As such, “Speedwell” takes lead track duty on the remix 12″ single with the Flying Mix and Project Mix.

The music video features the band driving and walking around central London with a late 60s movie style.

The American remixes were done by the Masters At Work team of Kenny “Dope” Gonzales and Little Louie Vega. The lyric was partly re-written for these mixes, and the changes were retained in subsequent live performances.

In 1994, Saint Etienne produced a new version of the song for Kylie Minogue, which was released as a b-side on her single “Confide in Me”.

Like a Motorway

“Like a Motorway” is a 1994 song by the British pop group Saint Etienne. The song combines the melody from the nineteenth century folk song “Silver Dagger” with a driving techno beat influenced by Kraftwerk and Snap!.[citation needed] It describes a friend whose lover has mysteriously vanished.[1]

“Like a Motorway” appears on the album Tiger Bay. It was released as a single in May 1994, and reached #47 on the UK Singles Chart. The US release of Tiger Bay also features an “alternate version” with more complex percussion and electric guitar stings.

The cover art for the single features an abandoned car overgrown with foliage. The video consists of a long, slow zoom in Sarah Cracknell as she sings against a black background, intercut with occasional rapid shots of Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley in a car.

Kiss and Make Up (Saint Etienne song)

“Let’s Kiss and Make Up” is a song by The Field Mice from their 1989 album Snowball. It is better known in the form of Saint Etienne’s cover version of 1990, which retitled it “Kiss and Make Up” and was released as a single.

Saint Etienne were “drinking buddies” with Michael Hiscock from The Field Mice.[1] The group recorded a demo of this song in their first studio session in January 1990, with New Zealand singer Donna Savage of Dead Famous People on vocals. Notably, they would go on to record what would become their first hit single, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” in that same session. This demo of “Kiss And Make Up” was released as a bonus track on the group’s 2009 release, Foxbase Beta, a remix of their 1991 debut album, Foxbase Alpha.

A re-recorded version of “Kiss And Make Up,” also with Savage on vocals, was released in 1990 by Heavenly Records as the band’s follow-up single to “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.” This version can be found on several compilation albums.

“Kiss and Make Up” does not feature on the original UK version of Foxbase Alpha, but does feature on the US release. The US release contains a third version of the song, re-recorded with Sarah Cracknell on vocals. Cracknell had recently joined Saint Etienne as the group’s full-tume vocalist.

Join Our Club

“Join Our Club” is a single by the alternative dance trio Saint Etienne, released by Heavenly Records in May 1992 as a double-A side with “People Get Real”.

Saint Etienne wrote the song after Heavenly Records refused to release “People Get Real” as a single. They deliberately tried to write the most commercial song they could, and it ultimately reached number 21 in the UK Top 40.[1] The lyric alludes to a number of other songs, some recent hits at the time it was written (e.g. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Justified and Ancient”), others older favourites of the group (including Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing” – coincidentally, a hit cover version for Incognito the following month – and The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Do You Believe in Magic”, which like “Join Our Club” itself is a celebration of the pleasure of listening to music, and whose title is used as a recurring hook).

In the UK, it was a between-album single, released between Foxbase Alpha and So Tough. However, it appeared on the US version of So Tough with “People Get Real” appearing on the US release of Foxbase Alpha. Both later appeared on You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone b-side collection in the UK.

Xmas 93

“Xmas 93” is a Christmas-themed single released by Saint Etienne. Released by Heavenly Records in December 1993, the lead track “I Was Born On Christmas Day” features guest vocals from The Charlatans singer Tim Burgess.

The song’s title is a nod to band member Bob Stanley who was born on 25 December 1964. The music video for the hit was filmed in the vicinity of Kensington and Chelsea Register Office in London.

The main b-side, “My Christmas Prayer” is a cover of the Billy Fury original. The two bonus b-sides, “Snowplough” and “Peterloo” are both instrumentals.

The b-sides “Snowplough” and “Peterloo” can be found in the So Tough reissue bonus disc, while “My Christmas Prayer” and “I Was Born On Christmas Day” on Tiger Bay reissue bonus disc.

Hug My Soul

“Hug My Soul” is a single by British band Saint Etienne. It was the third single from the album Tiger Bay, and was released September 1994 by Heavenly Records. It was written by vocalist Sarah Cracknell along with songwriting partners Guy Batson and Johnny Male (Male and Batson would help co-write a number of tracks on Cracknell’s solo debut Lipslide).

The single was released with three B-sides written by Saint Etienne’s songwriting partnership of Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs: “I Buy American Records”, “Hate Your Drug” and “La Poupee Qui Fait Non (No, No, No)”. The latter was produced by the band’s friend (and future Heavenly label mate) Edwyn Collins. A second CD featured remixes by Motiv8, Secret Knowledge, Juan “Kinky” Hernandez and Sure is Pure. It reached #32 in the UK charts.[1]

This would be Saint Etienne’s final release for Warner Bros. Follow up single “He’s on the Phone” would be released on MCA Records, lifted from a dance compilation album called Life is a Dance.[2] The US releases included a number of exclusive remixes – including an alternate album version (which was released as a bonus track on the US version of Tiger Bay), a Motiv-8 dub, and the On Tour In ’94 dub.

The song bears a resemblance to the 70s disco hit More, More, More by Andrea True Connection. In particular, the phrasing of the “More More More” lyric “Ooh, how do you like your love?” is identical to the “Hug My Soul” lyric “Ooh, what are you dreaming of?”, and both lyrics are the opening to each of their representative songs.

Hobart Paving

“Hobart Paving” is a single by British pop group Saint Etienne. It was released by Heavenly Records in May 1993 as a double A-side with the band’s cover of “Who Do You Think You Are”, originally released in 1974 by Jigsaw and a hit for Candlewick Green. It reached number 23 in the UK Singles Chart.

The song describes an unhappy woman, using characteristically surreal images such as “Rain falls like Elvis tears” and “Just like a harpsichordist she moves”. The apparently meaningless title appears in the song’s chorus: “Hobart paving, don’t you think that’s it’s time, / On this platform with the drizzle in my eyes?” The title may derive from a construction firm called Hobart Paving Company Limited [1] in the town of Croydon, where two of the band members grew up.[2]

He’s on the Phone

“He’s on the Phone” is a song by British pop group Saint Etienne in collaboration with French singer-songwriter Étienne Daho. A fast-paced dance track, it is one of Saint Etienne’s biggest hits, reaching #11 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] The lyrics tell of an “academia girl” trying to escape from a relationship with a married man: “He’s on the phone / And she wants to go home, / Shoes in hand, / Don’t make a sound, / It’s time to go.” At the centre of the track is a spoken-word section by Daho.

The song is a remix by Motiv8 of “Accident”, which appeared on the Saint Etienne/Étienne Daho Reserection EP, released a few months previously in June, 1995. “Accident” itself is a rewritten version of Daho’s 1984 French-language hit single “Weekend à Rome”, with original English lyrics. Daho’s spoken-word vocals are from the Reserection opening track, “Reserection”.

The single was credited to “Saint Etienne featuring Étienne Daho”. Daho also appears in the song’s music video and joined the band in their performance of the song on Top of the Pops. Daho would also go on to perform the original “Weekend à Rome” lyrics with the instrumentation from “He’s on the Phone” in a performance on the French edition of Star Academy.

Spanish pop singer Princessa covered the song on her 1996 album Calling You.


Avenue (song)

“Avenue” is a song by British pop group Saint Etienne, from the album So Tough (1992). The song was originally titled Lovely Heart or Young Heart.[1] The album version is a 7-minute version with lengthy instrumental sequences; it was edited down to around 4 minutes for radio play, though the commercial single contained the full-length version, with the radio edit only released on promotional material. The edit wasn’t released commercially until 2005’s Travel Edition 1990-2005.

The song describes a woman nostalgically remembering a love affair from her youth, mostly through impressionistic and surreal imagery, with the refrain: “oh, how many years / is it now Maurice?”. The chorus repeats the words “Young heart”. The song is recorded with echo effects that make it sound as though it is being performed in a large hall.

The birdsong on the track is sampled from the Pink Floyd track “Cirrus Minor” from the 1969 album More. “Paper” features guitarist Maurice Deebank of the band Felt. “Johnny In The Echo Café” is based on a sample from Forest’s song “Bluebell Dance”, from their album Full Circle.

The video for the single release depicts the band driving to Brighton.

A remix single was also released, with two remixes each by Gordon King (from World of Twist) and Rudy Tambala of A.R. Kane. King’s “Variety Club Mix” was later included on the remix collection Casino Classics.

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