Hitsville UK

Album: Sandinista! (1981)
Charted: 56

Songfacts®:

  • This is a duet between guitarist Mick Jones and his then-girlfriend Ellen Foley (who also sung "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" together with Meat Loaf). It was rumored that "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" is about Jones' and Foley's stormy relationship.
  • The lyrics refer to the upcoming British Indie scene in the late '70s and early '80s. There are several independent label references in the song, including Small Wonder, Rough Trade, Fast Product and Factory, which in contrast with "slimy deals with smarmy eels."

    Interestingly, The Clash themselves never signed with a Indie label, but stayed with CBS Records (Columbia, now part of Sony BMG) for their whole career.
  • The title is a homage to Motown Records; "Hitsville U.S.A." was its first headquarters in Detroit. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Martin - Rostock, Germany
  • "Hitsville UK" was recorded at Wessex in April 1980. It wasn't an obvious choice for second single from the Sandinista! album, and when it was released The Clash didn't do much to publicize it - it wasn't even ever performed live by the group.

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