My favorite New Order track. It starts out very timid but gradually builds up. The moment the synths kick in made me shiver the first time I've heard it. The lyrics are rather childish, but I usually don't care about those anyway.
You could see this as typical of late period Clash or solo Joe Strummer. It's got a vaguely world music type vibe with Far Eastern sounding keyboards and interesting drumming.
It was a double A-side with 'Should I Stay or Should I Go', (which was later re-released (without Straight to Hell) and was a big hit in the UK, following a Levis advert.) Straight to Hell is a lot less 'rock-y' than Should I stay.
If you were going to buy a Clash compilation then I would check whether this is included if you like there more mellow stuff - its on some of the compilations but not others.
I'm lucky enough to have seen this done by both the Clash and Joe Strummer when he was in the Pogues. Both very memorable.
With Saint Etienne being one of my favourite groups of the last decades (and possibly the best british pop group today) it's really hard to pick a track, it wouldn't be hard to recommend dozens of amazing tracks they did the last 15 years. That said, "Fascination" is the only new song they produced since Finisterre (2002) and it was included on their first compilation released in the US. It doesn't really matter if they embrace a more late 60s style a la Good Humor or a more electronic or dance approach to their music, due to Sarah Cracknells distinctive voice and Stanleys and Wiggs' ear for strong melodies it always sounds essentially Saint Etienne. This one is a heartfelt, bittersweet song, with an almost Hip Hop-ish basic beat, lush synths, floating harp-like electronica and a great piano melody.
The amount of 80s talent was really incredible on Electronic's debut single: Bernard Sumner (New Order) doing vocals and synths, Johnny Marr (Ex-The Smiths) on guitar (pulling off a wonderful solo in the middle of the song), Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) providing background vocals and Anne Dudley (Art Of Noise, arranger on ABC's legendary "Lexicon Of Love") orchestrated a wonderfully lush string arrangement. The outcome is a fluffy, elegant, slightly melancholic and almost timeless piece of british pop music (except for that dated, rather bland sounding electric piano).
from Getting Away With It (Single), available on CD
16 Mar 05 ·delicado: odd - I was thinking about this song just yesterday. The B-side, 'lucky bag', was also quite good as I recall. 28 Mar 05 ·Mike: Electronic could be very good indeed when they started out and I'm a big fan of a number of their songs from this period. Tennant and Marr went on to work together on the last PSB album, but I'd like to hear more collaborative work from Tennant and Sumner.