A Little Respect

Album: The Innocents (1988)
Charted: 4 14
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Erasure is beatmaker Vince Clarke and lead singer Andy Bell. This was their second big hit in the US, after "Chains Of Love." In the UK, it was their fifth trip to the Top 10.

    The song is a plea for reconciliation from a lover who has been hurt, and it shows Andy Bell's ability to pour his heart out in his lyrics, which is something Clarke struggles with. In our interview with Vince Clarke, he said: "I've tried to write lyrics that perhaps express the way I feel sometimes. I've struggled with that feeling. I find it easier to write lyrics about someone else's situation other than my own. I can't with any of my songs, say Yeah, that was me when I was half drunk, hung over or something or other. They're more situations about other people. Andy is much better at offering his heart to the world and expressing how he feels, he's a king at that, I think."
  • Andy Bell was one of the first openly gay pop stars, and according to Spin magainze (February 1989), he would sometimes introduce this song on stage by saying: "When I was a little girl, I asked my mummy, 'Can I be gay when I grow up?' She replied, 'Yes if you show a little respect."
  • At one point, Andy Bell was concerned that his would sound too much like Aretha Franklin's version of "Respect," and while there are some similarities in the words, the musical backdrops are completely different.
  • The video showed Clarke and Bell acting out the lyrics literally, sometimes to rather ludicrous effect. It is one of the few videos Vince admits to actually enjoy making.
  • Björn Again covered this in 1992 and Wheatus recorded it in 2001 as the follow-up to their hit "Teenage Dirtbag." Andy Bell said in the Metro newspaper January 22, 2003: "I thought 'A Little Respect' by Wheatus was OK. I call them Weetabix because I find them a little weedy - they're very young. We were happy they did it and we were going to do a remix but their record company didn't send us the parts. I think that was because I was doing it rather than Vince. A total insult really."
  • This song is known for the very high note Andy Bell hits toward the end, which gives you an idea of why Clarke chose him from a long queue of applicants after he placed an ad in Melody Maker looking for a vocalist.
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Comments: 10

  • Kate from Austin , TxNothing related to Scrubs, although I would love to see it, but it is a classic 80s song that picks you up no matter how you feel. Love the LOOOOONG high notes...
  • Jeff from Austin, TxThis is a truly classic 80s song. No matter how youre feeling, you CANNOT hear this song and feel lousy. However, after I hear it, I do sometimes wake up in the arms of a big, hairy biker guy. But it's all worth it because this is a great song.
  • Sam from Washington, DcBest Erasure song! Puts you in a good mood.
  • Sophie from Staffordshire, Otherthis is a really good song!
  • Danci from Treetown, OkRight on Kevin. I loved that episode!!
  • Kevin from Suburb Of Pittsburgh , PaTha episode of Scrubs was one of the best ones. It was cool to see the entire hospital going through their days and everyone was singing that song.
  • Nelson from MelbourneSublimely awesome track this! Tremendous emotion. I'm suprised Wheatus took on this incredible song cuz it doesn't do any favours for his limited vocal range. Struggled with the lows and lacked the power in the highs. It seems to me Wheatus wanted to throw in as many instruments as possible to try and take the focus away from his voice. I suppose it was all about the money. The good thing is it makes Erasure's original even better.
  • Kim from Auburn, WaThis song can also been found in the movie D.E.B.S. (2004). The lead villian (Lucy Diamond) lip-syncs most of the song during a montage.
  • Pinchy from Chicago, IlThis song to me means a lot, I had a close friend who passed away long time ago and he played this song all the time. He was 18 I was 10 and ever since then I love Erasure because he would play it over and over, when he died his high school played this song on the intercom for him. So even now when I listen to this song it bring tears to my eyes. When I was a little older i started to pay attention the the lyrics and understood it even more and fell in love with it all over again. Love Erasure it is my biggest wish to meet them and tell them how much their music has touched my soul!!!! Love you Vince and Andy!!!
    -PINCHY
  • Ashley from Pensacola, FlThis song is seen in an episode of scrubs. Characters perform surgery to Erasure on the stereo in the background.
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