Hitchcock told The Sun February 13, 2009 that song was inspired by, "a tour of the Norwegian fjords and fall-out shelters in the autumn of 1982, driving around hairpin bends with 1,000-foot drops into the waters below and the cliffs disappearing into the clouds above us, playing to Norwegian AC/DC fans on moonshine, bookended by two gigs in Oslo that led into all-night speed parties."
Hitchcock's backing band, The Venus 3, includes RE.M.'s Peter Buck, as well as the Athens band's associates Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey.
Hitchcock told The Sun about the overall mood of the Goodnight Oslo album. He explained: "It's largely about saying goodbye to a lot of bad habits but also celebrating them and being sad to see them go. Like when they took the ashtrays out of the pubs here. So it's excited but it's nostalgic. Always good to go in two directions at once, if possible."
"Cleveland Rocks" was written by an Englishman. Ian Hunter wrote the song after touring America in the late '70s and finding that Cleveland was by far the most receptive city to his brand of Glam Rock.