The Stories Behind the Songs
The songs discussed include Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)", Kaiser Chiefs' "I Predict A Riot", New Order's "Blue Monday", The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?", Sparks' "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us", Tubeway Army's "Are 'Friends' Electric?", and Underworld's "Born Slippy".
A line from Guys and Dolls ("Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have?") inspired the Buzzcocks song, while a more common line inspired Sparks to write "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us." Keyboardist Ron Mael, who wrote "This Town", says, "having a song that was the opposite of a cliche but used a cliched line really interested me."
The story behind "Blue Monday" takes the "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" theme a step further. According to Peter Hook, New Order "ripped off" the drum pattern from a Donna Summer B-side (but accidentally lost it, so they had to start over, "and it was never as good.") They also lifted a bass riff from Ennio Morricone, and the title itself from a Fats Domino song (because they "were all miserable" so it seemed "quite apt.")
Gary Numan based "Are 'Friends' Electric?" on a short story he wrote "about a man who calls up for a prostitute and is visited by one." And a "'friend' is an android" hence the quotation marks. Numan had been working on two songs, and hit a block with both, then decided "they sounded all right stuck together." He says this explains the track's five minute length.
Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) (from Buzzcocks, etc.)
Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us (from The Best Of Sparks, etc.)
Tubeway Army - Are 'Friends' Electric? (from Replicas, etc.)