Believe it or not, this was a Top 20 hit in the US and a Number 2 hit in the UK back in 1970. Two of the key members of Hotlegs (Kevin Godley and Lol Creme) later became pivotal members of the band 10CC (“I’m Not in Love,” “The Things We Do For Love”) and then later went on to greater fame as music video directors in the early MTV era (The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit,” and Duran Duran’s notorious X-rated “Girls of Film”). Note the “neanderthal” women who appear later in the clip are wearing knee-high leather boots. My only question is why didn’t the notorious SF punk rock band Flipper record a 4-hour version of this song?
Forget the Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” As creepy as that song is, Randy Newman’s “Suzanne” is even more disturbing. If Sting sounded coldly calculating in his stalker anthem, Newman adds a quiet confidence that is terrifying. The song is arranged like a nightmare: lazy piano rhythms lull you into a sense of relaxation while an organ nervously tries to tell you something’s wrong. Except the organ isn’t quite loud or powerful enough to warn you in time.
Though, leave it to Newman to have the last laconic, dry-as the-Sahara observation about his protagonist: “This guy is not really much of a threat.”