Although he was born in the UK, the Furs' front man Richard Butler considers himself a bonafide New Yorker and often finds inspiration from the Big Apple. With the Midnight to Midnight
album, he hoped to capture the "very urban, very nighttime" feeling of the city after dark. He told Winner
magazine in 1986: "It's my interpretation of being in a place. There's a song called 'Heartbreak Beat,' and it's about that feeling when you walk through Washington Square Park and you've got all the boxes going and it sounds like this huge phase-shifter. New York has definitely affected the feel of the songs. I very much pick up on what's around me, steal things, phrases, the feeling of being out at night in New York."
Butler's co-writers on the song were the group's guitarist John Ashton and bass player Tim Butler