“A Little Respect” is a song written and recorded by the English synth-pop duo Erasure, released in September 1988. It was written by Vince Clarke and Andy Bell. The lyrics are a plea to a lover to show compassion and respect. The heavily synthesized instrumentation is accentuated by acoustic guitar and Bell’s vocal falsetto in the chorus. It was their tenth single and was taken from their third studio album, The Innocents. Known as one of their signature songs, the single reached number four on the UK Singles Chart and was Erasure’s second consecutive top-20 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, where it made number 14, and reached number two on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
Metro Weekly placed “A Little Respect” at number-one in their ranking of Erasure’s 40 Greatest Tracks in 2014. Chris Gerard wrote,
“Opening with that distinct, stately keyboard riff before an acoustic guitar comes in and adds to the rhythm, “A Little Respect” is Erasure at their apex. Very few pop songs can be considered perfect, and this is one of them. It is guaranteed even to this day to get a room full of people singing at the top of their lungs. It just feels good. The heavily rhythmic background, the positive and self-affirming lyrics, Andy Bell’s note-perfect vocal delivery… it’s a combination that came together to form a song for the ages. It reached #14 in the US and #4 in the UK, but it’s had the lasting impact of a #1 hit.”
Treblezine included the song in their A History of Synth-Pop in 50 Essential Tracks. They wrote,
“If there’s a synth-pop Mount Rushmore, surely Vince Clarke is one of the figures carved on its rockface. He appears here twice, as does a former band, and there are a handful of other short-lived projects we left out. But Clarke’s most enduring project is also his most purely pop, with the chart performance to prove it. Erasure had 13 top-10 singles in the UK since 1986, plus three US top-40 singles, including this standout opener of 1988′s The Innocents. At a lean 3:33, Clarke and Andy Bell compress synth-pop innovation and disco-pop immediacy into a perfect moment of transcendent pop glory.”
American band Wheatus released the song on 2 July 2001 as the second single from their self-titled debut album. The single peaked at number three in the United Kingdom while reaching number 5 in Ireland and number 19 in Austria.
Ayhan Sahin of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that the version is “surprisingly polished, paying serious homage to Brit synth popsters Andy Bell and Vince Clark.” He goes on to say that the structure of the song stays “intact, as does that super-sticky chorus, with acoustic and electric guitars playing back and forth in place of the ’80s electronic beats.” (Wikipedia)
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