Shellshock (song)

For other songs of this name, see Shell shock (disambiguation).
Single by New Order
from the album Pretty in Pink soundtrack
Released 17 March 1986
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1985
Genre Synthpop
Length 6:04 (Pretty in Pink original version)
4:24 (7" single edit)
9:41 (12" single remix)
6:28 (Substance 1987 edit of 12" remix)
Label Factory - FAC 143
Writer(s) Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, John Robie, Bernard Sumner[1]
Producer(s) New Order, John Robie
New Order singles chronology
"State of the Nation"

"Shellshock" is a single released by British group New Order on 17 March 1986. The song originally appeared on the soundtrack to the movie Pretty in Pink one month prior to its single release. Production is credited to New Order and John Robie, and is loosely inspired by the 1983 Robie-produced R&B club hit, "One More Shot" - a studio project where Robie performed under the band name, C-Bank, and featuring vocals by Jenny Burton.

The single had differing B-sides; in the UK (catalogue number: FAC 143) the 7" came with the recycled "Thieves Like Us Instrumental" which also turned up in the movie Pretty in Pink (although not on the soundtrack), while the 12" had a dub mix titled "Shellcock". The US release had the also previously released instrumental version of "Thieves Like Us," which had appeared on the Murder 12" single on Factory Benelux.

The 12" boasts an extended remix of the song running nearly ten minutes, arguably New Order's longest recording behind the original cut of "Elegia". For the release of the popular singles compilation Substance, the original Pretty in Pink soundtrack version was not used, as is widely believed, but an edited version of the 12" remix cut down to six and a half minutes omitting an entire verse of vocals. It is this version that appears most often on CD. The 9:41 single remix does not appear on any subsequent New Order compilations, however it surfaced on CD and digital download in 2011 on Volume 6 of the Blank & Jones Soeighties compilation series, titled "Extended Version".[2]


The cover artwork on the 12 inch single is by English photographer Geoff Power and is unique in that the typo 'Alex' on the front top cover [part of the found graffiti] was not added by Peter Saville, the designer.

Track listing

All tracks written by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, John Robie, Bernard Sumner; except where indicated. 

7": FAC 143 (UK)
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Shellshock"    4:19
2. "Thieves Like Us" (instrumental edit)Arthur Baker, Gilbert, Hook, Morris, Sumner 3:55
12": FAC 143 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Shellshock"   9:41
2. "Shellcock"   7:35
12": A&M SP-12174 (US)
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Shellshock"    9:41
2. "Thieves Like Us" (instrumental version)Baker, Gilbert, Hook, Morris, Sumner 6:39

Chart positions

Chart (1986) Peak
Australia ARIA Singles Chart[3] 23
Irish Singles Chart 18
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 8
UK Singles Chart 28
UK Indie Singles 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 14
US Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales 26


  1. ASCAP entry
  2. Blank & Jones Present So80s (Soeighties) 6 at Discogs
  3. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, NSW, Australia: Australian Chart Book. p. 215. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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