When John Grant was young, he moved from a Michigan small town out to Colorado and attended a middle school where everybody was educationally more advanced than he was. He became painfully aware of the American class system as his very wealthy classmates hated him because he was lower class. They also started to question his sexuality.
Here Grant sings about the cruel prepsters who tormented him throughout his young adulthood. "It could only have been that way. Sometimes I think I should have been strong enough," he told Uncut. "I could have told everyone at school to f--- off and my whole family to f--- off and just forged out by myself on my own and thought I was great. But you know, that's a tall order. There was so much hatred leveled at me for being this... dirty fa--ot. That people wanted to kill, and beat up and hate. That you were a lesser form of human being."
Grant added that the persecution crashed his spirit, "It took a lot of alcohol, sex and drugs to be distracted from that," he admitted. "The liquid courage made it possible for me to go out in the world a bit. It got to the point where I couldn't perform effectively on stage. And that's when you have to go through the real work of facing things."
Grant recalls on the song fancying the horrible, handsome "candy-stripe" boy in school.
He wore a candy striped button down He's got razor-white teeth They sparkle like a crown He's got highlights in his hair
"It's an embarrassing thing to say about myself but if I'm sitting with a classically beautiful male, I become like a schoolgirl. I see it happening to myself and it's just horrible," he told The Sun. "You still see it in the gay community. The men who fit into that category of classic masculinity are still the most highly prized."
Phil Oakey recorded his vocals for "Don't You Want Me" in the studio bathroom. The recording was disrupted by guitarist Jo Callis reaching through an open window from outside to repeatedly flush one of the toilets.
The song "Sadeness" by Enigma (the one with the chanting monks), got its name from the French novelist Marquis de Sade, who believed sex had to be painful in order to be pleasurable - thus the word "sadism."