Shot by Both Sides

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"Shot by Both Sides"
Single by Magazine
from the album Real Life
B-side "My Mind Ain't So Open"
Released 20 January 1978
Genre Post-punk
Length 4:04
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley
Producer(s) Mick Glossop & Magazine
Magazine singles chronology
"Shot by Both Sides"
"Touch and Go"
Real Life track listing
"My Tulpa"
"Shot by Both Sides"

"Shot by Both Sides" is a song written by Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley, and performed by the English post punk band Magazine, which was released in January 1978 as the band's first single (reaching #41 on the UK charts) and a few months later appeared on their debut album Real Life.

The name of the song comes from a political argument between Howard Devoto and his girlfriend, in which his girlfriend said to him, "Oh, you'll end up shot by both sides."[1]

The original single version of "Shot by Both Sides" (b/w "My Mind Ain't So Open") is different from the album version: for example, the chorus of the single version begins with the word "shot" repeated, while the album version has it sung only once (with an echo effect). By this time, Magazine consisted of only four members due to the original keyboardist Bob Dickinson leaving the band the previous year due to musical differences and an assumption/decision on the part of the other band members that his music doctorate studies would prevent him touring.

Shot by Both Sides is also the title of the English translation of Meisei Goto's paranoid Japanese novel, Hasamiuchi (original 1973, translation 2008). Translator Tom Gill chose the title because he was a Magazine fan, and also because the more obvious title, Crossfire, had already been used as the title of another Japanese novel translated into English—a detective novel by Miyuki Miyabe.

A very similar guitar riff would shortly be used in the song "Lipstick" by Devoto's former band Buzzcocks, released as a b-side in November 1978; Devoto received a co-writing credit for "Lipstick".

Cover versions[edit]

"Shot by Both Sides" has been played live by various artists, including Radiohead, Mansun, Fin and Jarvis Cocker. Swedish punk band No Fun At All did a cover on their record "EP's going steady".

"Shot by Both Sides" was also covered by English punk band Beyond Dread and UK82 punk rockers, English Dogs.



  1. ^ Reynolds, S: Rip It Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984, p. 21. Faber & Faber Ltd, 2005

External links[edit]