Shellshock is a single released by British group New Order in 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 song’s recording was rushed in order for it to be part of the Pretty in Pink movie, and subsequent soundtrack.
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 Factory Benelux 12-inch single including “Murder”.
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. As yet, the 9:41 single remix remains unavailable on CD, but the Pretty in Pink soundtrack version contains all of the original vocals.
Editor’s Note: The Pretty in Pink soundtrack is on my list of favorite soundtracks of all-time, and lands in the top five of the list. The movie, also a favorite of mine, is one I can recite line by line/scene by scene, by heart. The songs from the film, so embedded in my consciousness, that when hearing them I can see the scenes they are from vividly and immediately.