Should I Stay or Should I Go

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"Should I Stay or Should I Go"
Single by The Clash
from the album Combat Rock
B-side"Inoculated City"
Released10 June 1982
Format7" single, cassette tape
GenrePunk rock
Length3:06
LabelEpic 14-03006
Writer(s)Topper Headon, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Joe Strummer
Producer(s)The Clash
The Clash singles chronology
"Know Your Rights"
(1982)
"Should I Stay or Should I Go"
(1982)
"Rock the Casbah"
(1982)
The Clash reissued singles chronology
"Return to Brixton"
(1991)
"Should I Stay or Should I Go" (rerelease)
(1991)
"Rock the Casbah" (rerelease)
(1991)
 
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"Should I Stay or Should I Go"
Single by The Clash
from the album Combat Rock
B-side"Inoculated City"
Released10 June 1982
Format7" single, cassette tape
GenrePunk rock
Length3:06
LabelEpic 14-03006
Writer(s)Topper Headon, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Joe Strummer
Producer(s)The Clash
The Clash singles chronology
"Know Your Rights"
(1982)
"Should I Stay or Should I Go"
(1982)
"Rock the Casbah"
(1982)
The Clash reissued singles chronology
"Return to Brixton"
(1991)
"Should I Stay or Should I Go" (rerelease)
(1991)
"Rock the Casbah" (rerelease)
(1991)

"Should I Stay or Should I Go" is a song by the English punk rock band The Clash, from their album Combat Rock. It was written in 1981 and featured Mick Jones on lead vocals. It became the band's only number-one single on the UK Singles Chart, a decade after it was originally released.[1] In November 2004, it was ranked at 228 on Rolling Stones "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.[2] In 2009 it was ranked 42nd on VH1's program 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.[3]

Many rumours have arisen about the song's content, such as Jones' impending dismissal from The Clash or the rocky personal relationship between Jones and singer Ellen Foley,[4] but Jones himself says

It wasn't about anybody specific and it wasn't pre-empting my leaving The Clash. It was just a good rockin' song, our attempt at writing a classic... When we were just playing, that was the kind of thing we used to like to play. - Mick Jones, 1991[5]

The Spanish backing vocals were sung by Joe Strummer and Joe Ely:

On the spur of the moment I said 'I'm going to do the backing vocals in Spanish,' ... We needed a translator so Eddie Garcia, the tape operator, called his mother in Brooklyn Heights and read her the lyrics over the phone and she translated them. But Eddie and his mum are Ecuadorian, so it's Ecuadorian Spanish that me and Joe Ely are singing on the backing vocals. - Joe Strummer, 1991[6]

The song is featured in the trailer for You, Me and Dupree and Rugrats Go Wild, where it was featured on its soundtrack. The live version of the song was also featured in the opening credits for the film 28 Days. The song's opening guitar riff was used in One Direction's 2012 hit single, "Live While We're Young", which caused controversy.

Releases[edit]

The single was reissued several times. It was first reissued in 1982, with a different cover as a double A-side with "Straight to Hell" and with "Cool Confusion" as its B-side. It was reissued again in 1983, with "First Night Back in London" on the side two, and then for a third time in 1991, with "Rush" by Mick Jones' group Big Audio Dynamite II as a double A-side, with a remix of "Rush" as its B-side (see the table below).[7]

YearB-sideFormatLabelCountryNote
1982CBS logo etched into vinyl45 rpm 7" vinylEpic ENR-03571USAOne Sided Single - Epic's Get the Hit - Special Low Price.
1982"Cool Confusion"45 rpm 12" vinylEpic 07 5P-223JP
1982"Straight to Hell" (Edit)45 rpm 12" vinylCBS CBS A13 2646UK
1982"Straight to Hell" (Edit)45 rpm 7" vinylCBS CBS AII 2646UKPicture disc.
1982"Inoculated City"45 rpm 7" vinylEpic 14-03006USA10 June 1982.
1982"First Night Back in London"45 rpm 7" vinylEpic 34-03061USAReleased on 20 July 1982
1982"Straight to Hell"45 rpm 7" vinylCBS CBS A 2646UKReleased on 17 September 1982.
1983"Cool Confusion"45 rpm 7" vinylEpic 34-03547USAReleased on 27 January 1983.
1991
  1. "Rush (Dance Mix)" (Big Audio Dynamite II)
  2. "Protex Blue" (The Clash)
45 rpm 12" vinylCBS / SonyUKA-side
  1. "Should I Stay or Should I Go" (The Clash)
  2. "Rush" (Big Audio Dynamite II)

Personnel[edit]

"Should I Stay or Should I Go"[edit]

"Inoculated City"[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart succession[edit]

Preceded by
"Do the Bartman" by The Simpsons
UK number-one single
9–16 March 1991 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Stonk" by Hale and Pace

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 524–5. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2004-12-09. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  3. ^ "100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs". Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  4. ^ "The Uncut Crap - Over 56 Things You Never Knew About The Clash". NME (London: IPC Magazines) 3. 16 March 1991. ISSN 0028-6362. OCLC 4213418. "'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' was written by Mick about American singer Ellen Foley, who sang the backing vocals on Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell LP." 
  5. ^ Clash on Broadway Box Set liner notes (Media notes). Sony Music Entertainment Inc. 
  6. ^ Moser, Margaret (2000-05-22). "Music: Lubbock Calling (Austin Chronicle. 05-22-00)". The Austin Chronicle. Weekly Wire. Retrieved 2007-11-22. "I ran into them accidentally in New York when they were cutting 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' and Strummer said, 'Hey, help me with my Spanish.' So me and Strummer and the Puerto Rican engineer sat down and translated the lyrics into the weirdest Spanish ever. Then we sang it all. When you listen to 'Should I Stay or Should I Go,' there's a place in the song where Mick says, 'Split.' Me and Strummer had been yelling out the Spanish background lyrics and we had snuck up behind him as he was recording. We were behind a curtain, jumped out at him in the middle of singing, and scared the shit out of him. He looks over and gives us the dirtiest look and says, 'Split!' They kept that in the final version." 
  7. ^ "Albums by The Clash - Rate Your Music". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  8. ^ "Should I stay or should I go in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Should I stay or should I go in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 15 July 2013.  Only results when searching "Should I stay or should I go"
  10. ^ a b "Clash". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "The Clash awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ a b "Lescharts.com – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (in French). Les classement single.
  15. ^ "The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go". Charts.de. Media Control.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Clash search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  18. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go". Top 40 Singles.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go". VG-lista.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go". Singles Top 60.
  21. ^ "The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.

References[edit]