"Shame" was scheduled for release as a single whilst OMD were still on tour. The band had suggested "Stay" as a possible single from the album, but label Virgin thought "Shame" had more potential. The band relented, although feeling the album version was a bit slow, recruited producer Rhett Davies to give the song more of a polish.
This single marked OMD's first CD single release. It was issued in a gatefold sleeve featuring a sepia-toned photo of the band on the gatefold along with track details.