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Squeeze singer and guitarist Chris Difford wrote the lyrics to this song. He explains: "Tempted was written in a cab on the way to Heathrow, I just wrote down what I saw and how I felt as we wormed our way through the traffic. I also must have anticipated a good time on tour as the chorus suggests."
Paul Carrack sang lead on this. He also sang with the bands Ace ("How Long
") and Mike And The Mechanics ("The Living Years
"). In 1987, he had a solo hit with "Don't Shed a Tear
Carrack was with Squeeze for their East Side Story
album, replacing Jools Holland on keyboards and also contributing vocals. He rejoined Squeeze in 1993 for their album Some Fantastic Place
, and sang on a new version of "Tempted" that the band recorded for the soundtrack of the 1994 movie Reality Bites
Elvis Costello produced this track. You can hear him singing on the second verse.
This was the first Squeeze song to crack the charts in America. Squeeze was already a big deal in their native England, where they had 7 Top-40 hits to this point. They managed just 2 more US hits: "Hourglass" and "853-5937," but "Tempted" remains their most enduring song in the States, where it continues to get airplay.
Glenn Tilbrook, who writes the music for Squeeze, considers this one of his favorites. Says Tilbrook: "It was a sort of breakthrough song for us, in spite of the fact that it wasn't a hit, 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." (Read more in our interview with Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford of Squeeze
In the US, this was used in a commercial for Burger King, and another for Heineken. It's a good fit for advertisements where someone is "tempted" by their product.
At many Squeeze shows, fans would throw toothbrushes (Rocky Horror-style) on stage at the opening line: "I bought a toothbrush..."
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).
Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?
Kristian Bush of Sugarland
Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.