Although the song was immensely popular on both album and contemporary hit radio, it failed to chart even within Billboard’s Hot 100. Even the album, “As Far As Siam” didn’t make a dent into the Top 200 LP charts; however, it did place in the Pop Album chart at #65.
Tom Cochrane wrote the song about a rise in anti-Semitism that was occurring in the late 70s and early 80s. Prior to writing the song, he had read a book about the Holocaust. The lead guitar is actually Kenny Greer playing a lap steel.