A Little Respect - Erasure
Erasure is beatmaker Vince Clarke and lead singer Andy Bell. This was their second big hit in the US, after "Chains Of Love." In the UK, it was their fifth trip to the Top 10.
The song is a plea for reconciliation from a lover who has been hurt, and it shows Andy Bell's ability to pour his heart out in his lyrics, which is something Clarke struggles with. In our interview with Vince Clarke, he said: "I've tried to write lyrics that perhaps express the way I feel sometimes. I've struggled with that feeling. I find it easier to write lyrics about someone else's situation other than my own. I can't with any of my songs, say Yeah, that was me when I was half drunk, hung over or something or other. They're more situations about other people. Andy is much better at offering his heart to the world and expressing how he feels, he's a king at that, I think."
Andy Bell was one of the first openly gay pop stars, and according to Spin magainze (February, 1989), he would sometimes introduce this song on stage by saying: "When I was a little girl, I asked my mummy, 'Can I be gay when I grow up?' She replied, 'Yes if you show a little respect."
At one point, Andy Bell was concerned that his would sound too much like Aretha Franklin's version of "Respect,"and while there are some similarities in the words, the musical backdrops are completely different.
The video showed Clarke and Bell acting out the lyrics literally, sometimes to rather ludicrous effect. It is one of the few videos Vince admits to actually enjoy making.
Björn Again covered this in 1992 and Wheatus recorded it in 2001 as the follow-up to their hit "Teenage Dirtbag." Andy Bell said in the Metro newspaper January 22, 2003: "I thought 'A Little Respect' by Wheatus was OK. I call them Weetabix because I find them a little weedy - they're very young. We were happy they did it and we were going to do a remix but their record company didn't send us the parts. I think that was because I was doing it rather than Vince. A total insult really."
This song is known for the very high note Andy Bell hits toward the end, which gives you an idea of why Clarke chose him from a long queue of applicants after he placed an ad in Melody Maker looking for a vocalist.