Shut Up

7" Vinyl (45 RPM)

Stiff Records

BUY 126

United Kingdom


“Shut Up” is a song penned by Suggs and Chris Foreman and recorded by Madness. It debuted on their third studio album, “7.” Released as a single on September 11, 1981, it made its mark on the UK Singles Chart, remaining on it for 10 weeks and peaking at number 7.

Upon its release as a single on September 11, 1981, “Shut Up” by Madness garnered significant attention from fans and critics alike. The track’s infectious energy and clever storytelling captivated listeners, contributing to its notable success on the UK Singles Chart.

Lyrically, “Shut Up” tells the tale of a criminal endeavouring to refute incriminating evidence against them. Interestingly, while the track’s title is “Shut Up,” those exact words are not present in the song’s lyrics. Nevertheless, they were included as the closing words of an alternate verse in an early rendition of the composition.

Chris: ‘Shut Up’ is a song about habitual criminals. It was written with Suggs but doesn’t have the words “shut up” in it. We lost a verse somewhere. I was aiming for a Slade-type song with an ABBA-type piano in the rundown, but by strange coincidence, I eventually ended up using the great Dave Hill’s SuperYob® guitar in the video.

I’d seen a guitar that looked like a gun in a shop in the West End and said I wanted it for the video, but they turned up with SuperYob instead. Now owned by Marco Pirroni – the guitar, not the shop. There’s a wild west bit before the solo, with some twanging, and Clive Langer said I should write a whole song like that. So I did. It was called ‘A Town With No Name‘ and was eventually the B-side of the ‘Shut Up’ single. The artwork was a drawing sent in by a fan called Paul Clewley, and I suggested using it for the cover. Paul has done some other artwork for us over the years.
He sadly passed away in 2008.


Territory: United Kingdom

Release Date: September 18, 1981
Format: 7" Vinyl (45 RPM)
Limited Edition: No

Label: Stiff Records

Catalogue Number: BUY 126

Manufactured: United Kingdom

Disc Colour: Black
Pressing: Original Pressing
Release Type: Official


Peak Position: 7
First Chart Date: 26/09/1981
Weeks in Chart: 9
Position DatePosition
26/09/1981 22
03/10/1981 10
10/10/1981 7
17/10/1981 12
24/10/1981 15
31/10/1981 19
07/11/1981 27
14/11/1981 48
21/11/1981 72



1 A1 Shut Up 3:21
1 B1 A Town With No Name 2:48


Mike Barson Piano, Organ, Tubular Bells Band
Chris Foreman Guitar, Sitar Band
Lee Thompson Tenor Saxophone Band
Mark Bedford Bass Band
Daniel Woodgate Drums Band
Graham McPherson Vocals, Percussion Band
Cathal Smyth Trumpet Band


Producer Clive Langer
Producer Alan Winstanley


Copyright © Stiff Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ Stiff Records


Record Label Stiff Records
Publisher Nutty Sounds Ltd.
Publisher Warner Chappell Music Ltd.


Extensive efforts have been made to gather factual information and knowledge on madness from various sources and document them. These sources include publicly accessible websites, books and publications, historical artefacts, and other pertinent materials. As a result, a comprehensive index of resources has been compiled and integrated into the website. These resources, if relevant to this article, are listed below.

ReferenceSource Website Website Website
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