“Tempted” was the second single released from Squeeze’s fourth album, East Side Story. Over the years it has become one of Squeeze’s best-known songs, despite failing to crack the Top 40 in any country in which it was released (UK No. 41, Canada No. 45, US No. 49, Australia No. 90); Stewart Mason of AllMusic remarked, “Although its increasing ubiquity on ’80s hits radio and on television (it was used in a successful clothing commercial in 2003) would suggest otherwise, Squeeze’s “Tempted” was not actually a hit single.” The song later became ingrained in public consciousness due to its use in commercials by Burger King and Heineken, film soundtracks like that of Reality Bites (which featured a 1994 remix), and the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (on the in-game radio station Emotion 98.3, and subsequently on the real-world CD, vol. 3, of the game soundtrack), and Rock Band. To this day, “Tempted” still gets moderate airplay from Classic hits, Classic rock and adult alternative-formatted radio stations.
Unlike other Squeeze songs, which are usually sung by guitarist/songwriter Glenn Tilbrook or less often by guitarist/lyricist Chris Difford, the song’s lead vocal is sung by keyboardist Paul Carrack, though Tilbrook and producer Elvis Costello also trade a few lines in the second verse (in the video and during live performances Difford sings the Costello parts; since Carrack’s departure, Tilbrook has sung the lead vocal as well as his own original lines when live). The song was written by Difford and Tilbrook.