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This song was the second single from American pop/rock band the Bangles' debut album, All Over The Place
. The tune didn't originally chart in the UK, but after being re-released in the light of the success of "Manic Monday
," it reached a not so manic #56.
Katrina & the Waves guitarist Kimberley Rew wrote the song. Bangles guitarist Vicki Peterson recalled to Melody Maker why they chose this track to cover: "Michael (Steele, bass) and I shared a house, and our room-mate was listening to a tape sent to her by a friend of ours who lives in San Francisco. This tape happened to have a song by a band called Katrina & the Waves on it, a demo version with Kimberley Rew singing the lead vocal, 'Going Down To Liverpool'. Michael and I were standing in the bathroom putting on make-up or something..." She added: "It was great, the beat, the feeling of it, something about the guitars sounded like us. We were trying to think of a couple more numbers to put on the album, and we had some songs of our own and a couple of covers, but we decided it would be nice to do a more current cover. And it was just three chords, real basic."
The song makes various oblique observations on unemployment – the UB40 it refers to was Unemployment Benefit form 40, a document in the 1980s issued to people in the UK claiming unemployment benefit. Peterson commented to Melody Maker
: "There are several ways you can look at it. He is making a statement – 'UB40 in my hand'. It's very sort of sarcastic, thrown away. 'Going down to Liverpool to do nothing all the days of my life...' It's very offhandedly done, it's not like a heavy-handed political statement. It's something that we were comfortable with." (This interview is available at Rock's Backpages
In the song's music video Leonard "Spock" Nimoy plays the part of the band's chauffeur.
John Lee Hooker
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