"Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)
" is a 1978
song written by Pete Shelley
and performed by his group, Buzzcocks
Background and writing
Sometime during November 1977, the band watched the musical Guys & Dolls
in the TV lounge of a guesthouse in Edinburgh
. It was the dialogue Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have
from the film which inspired the song. The following day Pete wrote the lyrics of the song, in a van outside a post office, with the music following soon after.
Music and lyrics
The song features a simple lead riff which forms the verse interludes and the bridge of the song which is based on an open E chord. (The song uses the following chords: C#m, B, E, D, A and is in the key of C# minor, or arguably E). Unlike its live brethren, the studio version features vintage "classic chorus effect" sounding guitar. Like most Buzzcocks songs, the words follow a theme of sexual politics, feature high-octave-range tenor vocals with accurate and rich vibrato from Pete Shelley. Incidentally, this almost ad-lib Shelley vibrato pattern is emulated by Ramones vocalist Joey Ramone on the 1983 album Subterranean Jungle.
Critic Ned Raggett
describes the song as a "deservedly well-known masterpiece".
- A cover of the song was released as a charity tribute single to the late DJ John Peel on 21 November 2005. It featured artists including Roger Daltrey (The Who), The Datsuns, The Futureheads, David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Peter Hook (New Order, Joy Division), Elton John, El Presidente, Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Pete Shelley and the Soledad Brothers. The single was supported by Peel's son, Tom Ravenscroft, and proceeds went to Amnesty International.
- UK retro-soul band Fine Young Cannibals had a #9 UK hit with a downbeat cover version.
- The band Thursday did a cover of this song, featured on Tony Hawk's American Wasteland.
- Angie Heaton and Bob Kimball dueted on the song for the Parasol Records compilation Sweet Sixteen, Volume 2 in 2001.
- The punk band Anti-Flag released a cover of it on their split album with Bouncing Souls. Anti-Flag have also played this song live, bringing the song to a younger audience.
- A cover by Pete Yorn appeared on the Shrek 2 soundtrack in 2004.
- The French band Nouvelle Vague did a cover of on their album Bande à Part.
- The Toronto-based rock band Billy Talent released their second album in June 2006 including a cover version of this song on the iTunes version of the album.
- British singer/songwriter Thea Gilmore recorded a version for her 2003 covers album Loft Music.
- In 2006 electropop band Anorak covered the song in their aptly titled "synthetic pop covers from the european space agency" album.
- Of Montreal has played a cover of the song live.
- Jeff Tweedy, lead singer of Wilco, has performed a cover of the song live.
- A cover of the song appears as downloadable content for the music video game Rock Band.