The tune leans towards more of a retro punk rock sound than most of the other tracks on the album. Though many legends have arisen about what the song is about (one of which is Jones' impending dismissal from the Clash in 1983), it is actually about a rocky personal relationship between Jones and former Meat Loaf backup singer Ellen Foley that would soon implode. The lyrics seem to reflect ups and downs concerning the relationship and the dilemma of sticking with or ending it.
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.|20px|20px|Joe Strummer|1991
|1982||CBS logo etched into vinyl||45 rpm 7" vinyl||Epic ENR-03571||USA||One Sided Single - Epic's Get the Hit - Special Low Price.|
|1982||"Cool Confusion"||45 rpm 12" vinyl||Epic 07 5P-223||JP||—|
|1982||"Straight to Hell" (Edit)||45 rpm 12" vinyl||CBS CBS A13 2646||UK||—|
|1982||"Straight to Hell" (Edit)||45 rpm 7" vinyl||CBS CBS AII 2646||UK||Picture disc.|
|1982||"Inoculated City"||45 rpm 7" vinyl||Epic 14-03006||USA||June 10, 1982.|
|1982||"Cool Confusion"||45 rpm 7" vinyl||Epic 34-03547||USA||Released on June 24, 1982|
|1982||"Straight to Hell"||45 rpm 7" vinyl||CBS CBS A 2646||UK||Released on September 17, 1982.|
|1983||"First Night Back in London"||45 rpm 7" vinyl||Epic 34-03061||UK||Released on July 20, 1983.|
|1991||45 rpm 12" vinyl||CBS / Sony||UK||A-side|
In March 1991, the band allowed the song to be used in a commercial for Levi Strauss & Co. The single was re-released on the back of the commercial and made it to number one in the UK singles chart.
Post punk band The Libertines performed a live version of the song, with Mick Jones featured on guitar. Jones, also sampled the track for his Big Audio Dynamite II song "The Globe". The American punk band MxPx frequently covers the song during live sets. ZZ Top also covered it in the early 1980s. On December 22, 2007, Love and Rockets played "Should I Stay or Should I Go" at the Strummerville benefit show at the Key Club in Los Angeles. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers also included it in their sets in the past.
Cover band Camp Freddy have performed an acoustic version of the song. Cover band Daddy Cool Band (Croatia) include it in their live sets featuring female lead vocal. The rock band Šank Rock from Slovenia made a cover of the song in slovene with the title "Al' Naj Ostanem Al' Naj Grem" which is simply the translation of "Should I Stay or Should I Go".
Should I stay or should I go? If you choose to stay in South Africa and face its challenges, then it is time for a change in attitude. John Demartini tells The Mercury how this can be done.(News)
Feb 08, 2008; The general feeling among South Afri- cans is doom and gloom based on various facts and perceptions. South Africa is the crime,...
Should I stay or should I go? If you choose to stay in South Africa and face its challenges, then it is time for a change in attitude. John Demartini tells The Star how this can be done.(News)
Feb 08, 2008; The general feeling among South Africans is doom and gloom based on various facts and perceptions. South Africa is the crime,...