The fact that John Robie had made such a pig’s ear out of the Sub-Culture remix didn’t stop New Order teaming up with him for the next single which hit the shops less than six months later in March 1986:-
The song was put together for inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie Pretty in Pink and indeed that was where you could first pick it, about four weeks prior to Factory issuing it as a single. As a poorly-paid admin worker at the time when choices had to be made about paying rent/buying food/going out for vodka/purchasing vinyl, I skipped buying the album and waited instead to ensure my collection of 12″ singles remained intact:-
Indeed, I didn’t pick up the 7″ until many years later, inspired to find vinyl again after starting this blog. Its b-side was an instrumental of Thieves Like Us, as featured previously in this series.
The 12″ on the other hand, had a dub mix of the new song as its b-side:-
mp3 : New Order – Shellcock
Also worth mentioning that the 12″ version came in at not far short of ten minutes, and has the distinction of being the longest single they committed to vinyl. It was some almost four minutes longer than the version that was made available via the Pretty In Pink soundtrack and it was also edited down substantially for inclusion on the subsequent Substance compilation, omitting one of the verses.
The collaboration with John Robie was crucial in this instance as Shellshock was inspired in the studio by a club hit from 1983 that Robie had produced and indeed performed on:-
Shellshock reached #28 in the UK singles chart but hit #1 in the indie singles chart.
I think its fair to say it has proven to be one of their most enduring singles….it’s certainly one that I don’t get bored with.