B100: #90 “Nothing Can Stop Us” by Saint Etienne

Into the 90s now on my B100 favourite songs list, so “Nothing Can Stop Us” by Saint Etienne is a very fitting track for this slot.

Emerging in 1990 with their fantastic beat-heavy cover of Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”, “Nothing Can Stop Us” was Saint Etienne’s third single, released in 1991 ahead of the magpie magic of debut album “Foxbase Alpha”.  Delving deep into a grab bag of house beats, shimmering synths, gallic grooves and uplifting indie pop, Saint Etienne shared an early 90s enthusiasm for mixing up dance and rock influences with fellow hardcore record collectors Primal Scream; albeit two bands with very very different personas.  Amongst strong competition, “Nothing Can Stop Us” just comes out on top as my favourite Saint Etienne tune: anchored by a seductive bassline hook that builds to its euphoric and defiant chorus stating “I’ve never felt so good, I’ve never felt so strong, nothing can stop us now…”, sentiments perfect for many a late night affirmation.  

Formed by Croydon childhood friends Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, Sarah Cracknell joined as a permanent vocalist after singing on “Nothing Can Stop Us”.  With albums “So Tough” (1993) and “Tiger Bay” (1994) following hot on the heels of 1991’s “Foxbase Alpha”, it’s Saint Etienne’s early to mid 90s output that remains most beloved, brilliantly captured on iconic 1995 singles compilation “Too Young To Die”.  Subsequent LPs all have their moments though, especially 1998’s “Good Humor” and 2012’s “Words And Music By Saint Etienne”. 

Various side projects – not least Bob Stanley’s magnificent pop history tome “Yeah Yeah Yeah” – mean that Saint Etienne releases have become increasingly sporadic over the intervening years, but they remain an always welcomely reassuring presence.  And especially as a joyful live act, having caught them many many times over the years at various festivals (ranging from Glastonbury 1994 to Primavera Sound 2017) and gigs, most recently at the Barbican last year performing “Tiger Bay” plus the hits with the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Saint Etienne (with the London Contemporary Orchestra) at the Barbican, 22nd May 2019


  • Other great Saint Etienne songs include: Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Who Do You Think You Are, Hobart Paving, You’re In A Bad Way, Hug My Soul, Like A Motorway, He’s On The Phone.
Ticket stub and VIP pass from New Year’s Eve 2004 gig, Shepherds Bush Empire
“Nothing Can Stop Us” is on my B100 Spotify playlist
“Nothing Can Stop Us” is also featured on my 379: Indie O to Sm Spotify playlist


One thought on “B100: #90 “Nothing Can Stop Us” by Saint Etienne

  1. Pingback: Jumping Fences to Wichita: my 100 favourite songs | No Longer Teenage Fan Club

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