“It’s a Shame About Ray” by The Lemonheads
Song of the Day
“If I make it through today,
I’ll know tomorrow not to put my feelings out on display.
I’ll put the cobwebs back in place.
I’ve never been to good with names,
but I remember faces.”
“It’s a Shame About Ray” is the title Song off of The Lemonheads 5th Album. It was released in June of 1992. Tom Morgan of the Australian band Smudge helped write the album, The Robb Brothers produced it, and Juliana Hatfield played bass, and sang backing vocals on some of the songs.
The title track, today’s Song of the Day, is said to be inspired partially by a club owner who called everyone ‘Ray’. Evan Dando later saw the actual line, “It’s a shame about Ray” in a Sydney newspaper article with about something that happened to a child named Ray.
He explained further to Melody Maker:
“It comes from this guy in Melbourne, Australia, who calls everyone Ray. So I started to think that Ray could be a name for everybody, so ‘It’s A Shame About Ray’ could be about anybody. It’s a pretty grey and indefinite kinda thing, but then it’s very specific. It’s a little puzzler for me, too. I’m not sure if the person singing the song is Ray himself, or someone who knew him. It’s hard to know.”
Evan Dando wrote the song “It’s a Shame About Ray” in Australia while he was performing solo as the opening act for the band Fugazi. He collaborated on the track with Tom Morgan, the lead singer of the band Smudge.
The song was an international hit for The Lemonheads, as well as a # 5 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in America. The song was included in Pitchfork Media’s Top 200 Tracks of the 90’s, listed at # 138.
The music video features Johnny Depp (see video above and screen shot below).
The song It’s a Shame About Ray, and the album, has been described as “bubblegrunge”, which was an attempt to describe a cross between Grunge and more melodic Pop.
How would you describe the sound of the song?