I discovered Tempted in 1994. As someone who was not listening to college radio in 1981 (cut me some slack, I was five), the only Squeeze I’d heard was (what I believe was) their lone Top 40 hit, 1987’s Hourglass. So, if I can thank the Reality Bites soundtrack for anything at all, it would be for introducing me to the greatness that is this song.
Ever listen to a song and have a nagging suspicion that “this voice sounds familiar but I just can’t place it”? Well, imagine my surprise when I found out that the voice behind this song (most of it, anyway) was Paul Carrack, who scored a handful of hits as a solo artist (Don’t Shed a Tear almost made this list), in addition to being the lead singer of Seventies one hit wonders Ace (How Long) and the Genesis side project Mike & the Mechanics. The guy gets around, yeah?
His soulful delivery, combined with the superior storytelling skills of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook and the production of Elvis Costello (who knew?) has made Tempted a modern-day classic, even though it never hit the Top 40 on the American pop charts (wow, that was a run-on sentence).
As a bonus, here’s the video for How Long, which would have made it pretty high if there was an Infatu-seventies column. Hmmm, that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well.