July 26, 2021

‘Ever fallen in love’, the love rejection of the Buzzcocks

“They never reached the popularity levels of the Sex Pistols and the Clash, but they were vindicated by other groups such as Green Day, the Libertines, Offspring or Nirvana”

Sometimes a phrase taken out of context can be the spark that fuels the fire of a song. In a moment of rest, in front of the television, the Buzzcocks heard a phrase that would be the origin of their best-known song: ‘Ever fallen in love (with someone you shouldn’t’ve)’.

A section by HÉCTOR SÁNCHEZ.

Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine unfolded between songs, dances and dice betting in the adaptation of the Broadway musical “Guys and dolls” that Joseph L. Mankiewicz brought to the big screen in 1955 and which was released in Spain. titled “They and them.” Twenty-two years later, in November 1977, the small screen returned to replenish this film and among the viewers who saw the film, were the Buzzcocks. It hadn’t been long since the band finished recording their first album “Another Music in a Different Kitchen”, and for singer / guitarist Pete Shelley, they were in a good time: “We were on a roll. It had only been six months since we finished our first album. It was what we used to dream of when we were in Manchester… A whirlwind of tours, interviews, television. We were living life ”.


Although her new life was unfolding in a hectic way, it was in one of the gaps in the schedule that Shelley found inspiration for what would become the band’s next theme: “One night in Edinburgh, we were in a hostel watching on television the musical ‘Guys and dolls’. Suddenly, I heard a phrase: ‘Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t have?’ That dialogue from the film could have gone unnoticed, however it caught the guitarist’s attention so much that he did not hesitate to quickly turn it into the chorus of a song: “The next day the van stopped in front of a post office and I wrote the letter. I had a certain person in mind, but I’ll keep the indiscreet details to myself. The music seemed to come out on its own, fully formed ”.

One of the first people to hear the song’s embryo was producer Martin Rushent and he was pleasantly surprised: “When Pete played ‘Ever Fallen in Love’ for the first time, my jaw dropped. I felt like it was the strongest song they had ever written: it was smart, it had clever lyrics and it was very catchy. ” Rushent liked it so much that he didn’t hesitate to do his bit: “I suggested some backing vocals to highlight the chorus and make it even more powerful. No one could get to the top, so I did. As a young man, I had sung in groups and worked as a chorus girl ”.


Martin Rushent’s contribution was not the only variation on the first version of the song, as Pete Shelley confessed that at the beginning the song began differently: “The opening verse was originally ‘Your piss on my natural emotions’ (‘ You piss on my natural emotions’), but since ‘Orgasm addict’ had not been broadcast on the radio for the title, it needed something a little more subtle. So I came up with ‘spurn’ (‘reject’). He had the same degree of contempt, but it was not so offensive. For the Buzzcocks, punk’s transgressive attitude took its toll on their first single as ‘Orgasm addict’. The result was that not all stations were interested in broadcasting a song with such a sexually explicit title and content. However, ‘Ever fallen in love (with someone you shouldn’t’ve)’, which was included in the band’s second album, “Love Bites”, released in 1978, was better received. In fact, it became the group’s flagship song, a fast track that perfectly united punk philosophy and teenage rebellion with the feeling of loving rejection and advice so that those who had never fallen in love with someone would not make the mistake. to do so.

Los Buzzcocks They never reached the popularity levels of the Sex Pistols and the Clash, but they were vindicated by other groups such as Green Day, the Libertines, Offspring or Nirvana, for whom they opened. With ‘Ever Fallen in Love’, the band created a timeless theme that might never have existed if Pete Shelley hadn’t been watching the right TV channel at the right time.

Previous installment of The hidden face of songs: ‘Go your own way’, the spite according to Fleetwood Mac.