I Confess

Album: Special Beat Service (1982)
Charted: 54
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Songfacts®:

  • Dave Wakeling, who was the keyboard player and singer in The English Beat, wrote the lyrics to this song. He told us: "I used to love listening to people's conversations on buses. And in order, I suppose, to make it appear more confessional and more personal, I would often mess with which person it was written, whether it was I, or he, or she. 'I Confess' was only partly autobiographical. A lot of other references point to a story I'd seen in a magazine about how a guy screwed his wife's sister on their wedding night. That was taking it a bit far. But it made me think that how people can get very sorry for themselves in any sort of situation regardless of their own actions. And so two things in it that were really personal for me was that I found that I ruined three lives, but didn't care, till I found out that one of them was mine. And the second thing was, I noticed in my own life and in the young friends' love affairs that were going on, that when things started to go wrong in them, the argument was often about who loved each other the most, and the accusation was that the other person didn't love as much as you did. And so it seemed to me that the hardest confession to make in those sort of situations were they were right, you didn't actually care very much. And so really the deepest of the confessions for me in that song was if it's all the same to you, I'll stay indifferent." (Read the full Dave Wakeling interview.)
  • The opening piano solo and the Latin-tinged rhythms that follow were a big departure from the group's previous Ska-oriented sound. Lyrically, the subject matter was also far removed from the band's previous material, which was much more political.
  • Thanks to MTV airplay of this song and "Save it for Later," this album hit #39 in the US (it was #21 in the UK), their only single/album to chart in the States.

Comments: 3

  • Jeremy from MassachusettsFYI: the trumpet solo was played by Steve Sidwell. My source for this is Dave Lord, who also played trumpet on the album.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 23rd 1983, the English Beat performed "I Confess" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    It did not chart on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, but did reached #34 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
  • Sam from Seattle, WaDave played guitar, not keyboard, for the English Beat.
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