Going Down to Liverpool

Album: All Over The Place (1984)
Charted: 56

Songfacts®:

  • This song was the second single from the Bangles' debut album, All Over The Place, following "Hero Takes A Fall." 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 roommate 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."
  • Tamar Simon Hoffs, the mother of Bangles singer Susanna Hoffs, directed the music video. She also shot the band's clip for "If She Knew What She Wants." In the visual, Leonard "Spock" Nimoy plays the part of The Bangles' chauffeur. Susanna Hoffs explained to Mojo magazine: "Leonard Nimroy is like an old friend of my family's from way back. We were sitting around and we had this concept of the Bangles sitting in this mystery car being driven to Liverpool or whatever, right? And who's gonna drive that car? It just occurred to me, Leonard Nimoy would be great, so I've phoned him up and I thought, 'Oh gosh, is Leonard gonna wanna do it, but he said yes!"

Comments: 4

  • AnonymousHey Joe where you going with that gun in your hand.
    I'm going to shoot my lady

    Think about it.
  • Maz from Liverpool You never go down to Liverpool..You are in Liverpool..and there was always something to do in Liverpool even in the 80's..I know i was 17...and to me then the song made no sense! Video is great Nimoy..The End
  • Annie from DevonI worked in Liverpool at the time and the local radio station banned it.
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandKimberley Rew was also in The Soft Boys with Robyn Hitchcock.
see more comments

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