Classic Rock Wiki

"Such a Shame" is a song written by Mark Hollis for the English band Talk Talk's second album It's My Life (1984).



  • 1 Lyrics
  • 2 Single
  • 3 Music video
  • 4 Track listings
    • 4.1 Original release
    • 4.2 1990 release
  • 5 Charts
    • 5.1 Weekly charts
    • 5.2 Year-end charts
  • 6 Sandra version
    • 6.1 Track listing
    • 6.2 Charts
  • 7 Other cover versions
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


"Such a Shame" was inspired by Luke Rhinehart’s The Dice Man,[1] one of composer Mark Hollis' favourite books. When asked what drove him to respond to Rhinehart’s book, Hollis replied, "A good book, not a lifestyle I'd recommend."[2]


It was released as the album's second single in 1984 (see 1984 in music), and became a big hit in continental Europe in 1984 and 1985, reaching the Top 10 in numerous countries, and becoming a number one in certain territories (their third number one single after the remixed version of their song "Talk Talk" which topped the South African charts in 1983 and the single "It's My Life" which was number one in the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play in 1984); but strangely this single was largely ignored in the UK. In the US, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100, and was a Top 20 hit in the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play.

The song was also released in 2004. It was also featured in a European TV commercial for the French car Peugeot 205.[3]

Music video[edit][]

In the music video the band performs the song with instruments. There are also recordings of telephone boxes, houses, cars, trees and a bank in one sitting by aprojector shown.

Track listings[edit][]

Original release[edit][]

7" EMI 5433
No. Title Length
1. "Such a Shame"   3:59
2. "Again, a Game...Again"   4:06
7" with extra single, The Talk Talk Demos EMID 5433
No. Title Length
1. "Such a Shame"   3:59
2. "Again, a Game...Again"   4:06
3. "Candy" (recorded in June 1981) 4:20
4. "Talk Talk" (recorded in June 1981) 3:24
5. "Mirror Man" (recorded in June 1981) 3:28
12" 12EMI 5433
No. Title Length
1. "Such a Shame" (extended version) 6:54
2. "Such a Shame"   4:06
3. "Again, a Game...Again"     
  • James Marsh – cover art

1990 release[edit][]

7" R 6276
No. Title Length
1. "Such a Shame" (Original Version) 4:28
2. "Dum Dum Girl" (live from 1986 Montreux Jazz Festival) 3:39
12" 12R 6276
No. Title Length
1. "Such a Shame" (remixed by Gary Miller) 5:40
2. "Such a Shame" (Original Version) 4:28
3. "Dum Dum Girl" (live from 1986 Montreux Jazz Festival) 3:39
Cassette TCR 6276
No. Title Length
1. "Such a Shame" (Original Version) 4:28
2. "Dum Dum Girl" (live from 1986 Montreux Jazz Festival) 3:39
CD CDR 6276
No. Title Length
1. "Such a Shame" (Original Version) 4:28
2. "Such a Shame" (remixed by Gary Miller) 5:40
3. "Talk Talk" (live from 1986 Montreux Jazz Festival) 3:30
4. "Dum Dum Girl" (live from 1986 Montreux Jazz Festival) 3:39
  • James Marsh - cover art


Weekly charts[edit][]

Chart (1984–1985) Peak


Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 13
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[6] 6
France (SNEP)[7] 7
Germany (Media Control Charts)[8] 2
Italy (FIMI)[9] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[10] 11
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 9
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 39
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[14] 49
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 89
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[15] 12
Chart (1990) Peak


UK (Official Charts Company)[16] 78

Year-end charts[edit][]

Chart (1984) Position Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[17] 17
Italy (FIMI)[18] 28
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[19] 95
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[20] 59
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 3
Chart (1985) Position
France (SNEP)[22] 39
Preceded by

"Self Control" by Laura Branigan

Swiss number-one single

26 August 1984 – 23 September 1984 (5 weeks)

Succeeded by

"Careless Whisper" by George Michael

Sandra version[edit][]

"Such a Shame"
Single by Sandra
from the album The Wheel of Time
Released 25 March 2002
Format CD single
Genre Synthpop
Length 4:18
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Mark David Hollis
Producer(s) Michael Cretu, Jens Gad
Sandra singles chronology


"Such a Shame"


"I Close My Eyes"


German singer Sandra covered "Such a Shame" for her 7th studio album The Wheel of Time in 2002. Sandra's version was produced by Michael Cretu and Jens Gad. This cover version was released as the album's second single in March 2002, where it reached number 76 on the official German charts, number 21 Czech Republic Singles Chart and number 19 in the Hungarian Singles Chart.

Track listing[edit][]

  1. "Such a Shame" – 4:18
  2. "Such a Shame" (Straight Dance Mix) – 7:54
  3. "Such a Shame" (Cool Club Mix) – 5:22
  4. "Such a Shame" (Karaoke Version) – 4:18


Chart (2002) Peak


Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100 Oficiální) 21
Germany (Media Control Charts)[23] 76
Hungary (MAHASZ) 19

Other cover versions[edit][]

  • In 1984, "Such a Shame" was covered by James Last.
  • Alles ist die Sekte has "Such a Shame" sampled for their 2003 single "Harmonie (Ausrasten und Pogen)" (English: Harmony (Lashing out and Poging)), released from the album Gar nich so schlimm! (English: Not so bad at all!).
  • German dance project Moonwalker covered the song in 2002.
  • In 2012, it was covered by Belgian singer An Pierlé on her album Strange Days.[24]
  • Polish rock band Myslovitz released a cover version in 2012 as a single. It is one of the songs on the tribute album Spirit of Talk Talk.[25]
  • In 2013, Dutch symphonic metal group Delain covered the song on their Interlude album.
  • Cover version by JACA&LANIETZ in 2013.[26]