Album: Manchester Calling (2020)
Play Video


  • The Manchester Calling album is broadly inspired by commercial expansion in the city Paul Heaton calls home. Said Heaton: "Manchester is now being turned into a business center for the rich, which I can't stand. If there's a theme to the record, it's anti growth, anti greed, against the continuous tearing down of old buildings and sticking up soulless offices, and the disappearance of local accents on TV, along with the creeping spread of Americanese."
  • The title track is a dystopian soundscape featuring multiple spoken voices in different accents, some Heaton and some his friends, passing savage sentence on a city.

    Half the size of London, slightly less than Brum
    Half the population with head lodged up its bum
    Now property developers look down on Northern scum
    And that's Manchester Calling

    Heaton explained to Q magazine: "I think Manchester's on a slightly different path now. By that, I mean maybe what's happening to the city center. I see it as just rampant capitalism. It's got a different swagger now to the other swagger that I quite like in Mancunians. It's not the swagger of Liam Gallagher. Now it's a swagger of big business."
  • John Owen Williams produced the song along with the rest of Manchester Calling. A longtime Heaton collaborator, Williams produced both Housemartins albums and the previous three Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott long players.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)Songwriter Interviews

The former Metallica bassist talks about his first time writing a song with James Hetfield, and how a hand-me-down iPad has changed his songwriting.

Director Nick Morris ("The Final Countdown")

Director Nick Morris ("The Final Countdown")Song Writing

Nick made some of the biggest videos on MTV, including "The Final Countdown," "Heaven" and "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)."

Glen Burtnik

Glen BurtnikSongwriter Interviews

On Glen's résumé: hit songwriter, Facebook dominator, and member of Styx.

Boz Scaggs

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Frankie Valli

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.

Which Songs are About Drugs?

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.