The band's songwriter Pete Shelley told Artist Direct that the song was inspired by a television program he happened to be watching: Said Shelley: "I had written the tune, but I hadn't got any words, and I was watching a business channel and they were talking about credit, people being in debt, really. And so the word credit was under tuned in my head. And I got this idea of credit, then added the idea of people buying stuff they don't want and the 'video phones with all the latest ring tones.'"
"The Night Chicago Died" was written and recorded by the British group Paper Lace. They talk about Al Capone in the song, but got a lot of details wrong - understandable since they wrote it based on gangster movies.