"Surrender" by Swing Out Sister

By Mark Nobes and Hannah Johnson

"Surrender" was the third single (and second hit) to be released by the British sophisti-pop band Swing Out Sister, and featured on their No.1 debut album It's Better To Travel.
The single was the follow-up to their best-known hit "Breakout", which reached No.4 on 16th November 1986.
The production continues in a similar style, mixing synths with traditional instruments, and with a strong focus on horns, strings and a distinctive percussion arrangement, although the drum beat has a more contemporary sound than on "Breakout". The overall sound is smoother, and the chorus and horn section doesn't grab you in the same uplifting manner, but we still love the track, nonetheless, which is very cool and sophisticated.
Indeed, Paul Staveley O'Duffy's production style has aged very well compared to many other 80s productions, not relying too heavily on reverb and synths, although the bassline is distinctly 80s. But overall, he got the balance just right to make almost perfect, timeless pop.
"Surrender" wasn't quite as successful as their signature tune "Breakout", but still provided the trio with a top 10 UK hit, although this would be the last time the band would reach the top 10 over here. However, their follow-up album Kaleidoscope World performed quite well, reaching No.9 in 1989, although drummer Martin Jackson decided to leave the group half way through the recording of the album, and they have remained a duo ever since.

Did you know?

Interestingly, seven music acts have reached the UK top 100 with a song featuring the title "Surrender", including Diana Ross in 1971 and Roger Taylor in 1999. The best known hit was the No.1 by Elvis Presley in 1961 - this reached No.2 again in 2005.

US 12" vinyl sleeve front (1986)

Chart Performance

The single entered the UK singles chart at No.38 on 4th January 1987, and rapidly climbed the chart to reach No.10 the following week, before peaking at No.7 on 18th Jan for one week, spending a total of four weeks inside the top 10 and eight weeks inside the top 100.
"Surrender" reached No.3 on the Irish Singles Chart, No.7 on The Dutch Top 40, No.13 on New Zealand's RIANZ chart, No.14 on Belgium's Ultratop chart, No.15 on the Dutch Singles Top 100 and No.23 on the Australian Music Report (previously the Kent Music Report).

Remixes and B-sides

The Stuff Gun Remix was remixed and produced by the London-born producer Paul Staveley O' Duffy, with the 7" also being produced by O'Duffy - he also produced their debut album. The Pop Stand Remix was also produced by O'Duffy, with additional production and remix by Justin Strauss and Murray Elias. 
The Roadrunner Mix (on the limited edition 12" vinyl) was also produced and remixed by O'Duffy. "Breakout" (A Horny Version)" featured additional trumpet parts played by the English Jazz Trumpet player Guy Barker, and was produced by O'Duffy.
The B-side "Who's To Blame" was a non-album track which was written and produced by Swing Out Sister - Andy Connell (keyboardist), Martin Jackson (drummer) and Corinne Drewery (vocalist).


The video opens in a joyous manner with lead singer Corinne Drewery laughing, with the band members Andy and Martin travelling in the back of a taxi through the city streets at night time. They are both dressed in suits and top hats. Much of the video focuses on Corinne singing (with her hair blowing around in a very 80s kind of way!), and also shots of her sat in front of a light-up mirror in the dressing room of a theatre, with a fan and open window, suggesting that's it's a balmy night out there.


UK 7 Inch Vinyl - Mercury - Swing 3

A. Surrender - 3:54

B. Who's To Blame - 5:10

US 7 Inch Vinyl - Mercury - 888 243-7

Same track listing as the UK release

UK 12 Inch Vinyl - Mercury - Swing 312

A. Surrender (Stuff Gun Mix) - 6:42

B1. Surrender (7" Version) - 3:52

B2. Who's To Blame - 5:12

US 12 Inch Vinyl- Mercury and Polydor - 870 270-1

A1. Surrender (Stuff Gun Remix) - 6:42

A2. Surrender (7" Version) - 3:45

B1. Who's To Blame - 5:10

B2. Surrender (Pop Stand Remix) - 7:05

UK 12 Inch Limited Edition - Swing 3 312

A. Surrender (Roadrunner Mix) - 6:10

B1. Breakout (A Horny Version) - 4:26

B2. Who's To Blame? - 5:06

Surrender UK 7 inch vinyl sleeve front - Swing Out Sister

UK 7 inch vinyl sleeve front

Surrender Limited Edition 12 Inch Vinyl Sleeve Front - Swing Out Sister

UK limited edition 12" remix (front sleeve)