1987 Released

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Interesting facts and trivia about Respectable. By Songfacts®.

This song is about independence, with a rebellious attitude. "We are never gonna be respectable," the sisters sing. It's empowering, but also glossy, framed by a video where the girls do basic choreography on a set that evokes a back alley, but could be on Sesame Street if the trash were picked up.

Mel & Kim were an English duo, Mel and Kim Appleby, both former models before being discovered by Pete Waterman of the production team Stock, Aitken and Waterman. It was Stock, Aitken and Waterman's first joint composition and production UK #1. They produced Dead Or Alive's #1 "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)," but didn't write the song.

According to 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Pete Waterman said, "'Respectable' became an anthem, not just for them and their image, but also for the company itself. The lyrics came from an ad we took out in the trade press that used the lines, 'You can love or hate us, you ain't gonna change us we ain't ever going to be respectable.' It was Mike Stock's idea to add the gimmicky, 'Tay-tay, tsy, tsy, t-tay' at the beginning but Mel and Kim hated that bit. Nonetheless, they took the track away with them to a gig they were doing in Holland that evening. Later that night, Pete got a call from the girls saying that the Dutch audience went wild for that intro and it should not be taken out."

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of Respectable.
C Key
Major Mode
4/4 Time Signature
122 BPM

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